What just happened? Apple has revealed the best and most popular apps of 2019 across a variety of categories. While some of the selections are par for the course, others might surprise you. Read on for the full breakdown across both free and paid charts.

The best iPhone app of the year award goes to Spectre Camera (Lux Optics), a photography app that uses AI to take beautiful long-exposure images. Over on the iPad, digital notebook app Flow by Moleskin took home top honors for its meticulous selection of drawing utensils that mimic the real thing.

Affinity Publisher from Serif Labs beat out all others as Mac app of the year. Boasting an "elegant user experience and [a] remarkably reasonable price point," this app can help anyone turn out professional-looking publications without breaking the bank.

In the broad-reaching gaming category, Sky: Children of the Light took home iPhone game of the year honors while Hyper Light Drifter received top billing as iPad game of the year. GRIS, meanwhile, earned Mac game of the year and Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap was honored as the Apple TV game of the year.

Outside of these hand-picked winners by the editorial team, Apple also published lists of the most downloaded apps and games for 2019. Those have been republished below, starting first with the freebies:


  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • TikTok
  • Messenger
  • Gmail
  • Netflix
  • Facebook
  • Google Maps
  • Amazon


  • Mario Kart Tour
  • Color Bump 3D
  • Aquapark.io
  • Call of Duty: Mobile
  • BitLife
  • Polysphere
  • Wordscapes
  • Fortnite
  • Roller Splat
  • AMAZE!!!

And the most download paid apps and games are:


  • Facetune
  • HotSchedules
  • Dark Sky Weather
  • The Wonder Weeks
  • AutoSleep
  • TouchRetouch
  • Procreate Pocket
  • Sky Guide
  • Toca Hair Salon 3
  • Scanner Pro


  • Minecraft
  • Heads Up!
  • Plague Inc.
  • Bloons TD 6
  • Geometry Dash
  • Rebel Inc.
  • The Game of Life
  • Stardew Valley
  • Bloons TD 5
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas