We’ve spent a lot of time trying to uncover the best apps of 2020, looking for anything and everything that might occupy our brains for a fleeting moment. Luckily enough, the search is now complete. Overnight, tech giant Apple unveiled its App Store Best of 2020 winners, crowning the best apps and games of the year. Designed to improve productivity, health and connectivity in this disconnected year, the ‘best of’ list gives us a rare look at the top of the tech world.
Chosen for their performance across devices, the best apps and games of 2020 were equally celebrated for their positive cultural impact, helpfulness and importance. “This year, more than ever before, some of our most creative and connected moments happened in apps,” Phil Schiller, Apple Fellow said. “This was thanks to the amazing work of developers who introduced fresh, helpful app experiences throughout the year.”
The core components that led the top releases were universal, indicating a wholly supportive movement towards helpfulness. From Shine launching a section specifically dedicated to the intersectionality of mental health and Black lives to the Explain Everything Whiteboard, which saw teachers and students meet in a virtual classroom, 2020’s best apps were targeted towards helping all of us get through the pandemic as seamlessly as possible.
“Around the world, we saw remarkable efforts from so many developers, and these Best of 2020 winners are 15 outstanding examples of that innovation,” Schiller said. “From helping us stay fit and mindful, to keeping our children’s education on track, to helping fight hunger, their impact was meaningful to so many of us.”
Best Apps of 2020
The Apple App Store Best of 2020 awards celebrated 15 of the top apps and games that inspired the world this year. Focusing on the key devices and verticals, here are the winners for 2020.
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iPhone App of the Year – Wakeout!
Taking out the title of iPhone App of the Year 2020 was Wakeout! Designed as a fitness and exercise application for busy people, the iPhone-based platform offers over 1,000 exercises that can be completed in 30 seconds. Targeting the growing proportion of workers who aren’t taking adequate brakes, Wakeout! not only helped from a physical perspective but encouraged us all to be a little more mindful.
Category: Health & fitness
Developer: Andres Canella
iPad App of the Year – Zoom
Unsurprisingly, video chat platform Zoom took out the iPad App of the Year at Apple’s App Store Best of 2020 showcase. With the number of people across the globe forced to work from home, downloads of the app skyrocketed in 2020, making it a cultural phenomenon that stretched beyond just work situations. Now, we Zoom our families, take meetings on the go and video chat for fun all through the app.
Mac App of the Year – Fantastical
Mac App of the Year, Fantastical lets you blend your existing calendar accounts together. Keeping all of your events and tasks in sync, the Mac app gives you a quick overview of your day, which can be customised to suit your design and aesthetic choices.
Price: AUD$7.99 per month
Apple TV App of the Year – Disney+
Suffice to say, it’s been a big year for streaming and Disney+ has proven to be a major winner. With massive shows such as The Mandalorian, the new platform has generated a mass amount of downloads from the Apple App Store, particularly through Apple TV. With unlimited entertainment from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic, it’s hardly a surprise this one took out the Apple TV App of the Year for 2020.
Price: AUD$6.99 per month
Apple Watch App of the Year – Endel
Using soothing soundscapes to help you relax, focus and sleep, Endel was the perfect addition to your Apple Watch this year. With the innovative app, you can customise soundscapes for you on-demand, while also syncing data to Apple Health. This, in turn, allows Endel to tailor its sounds to your current state of being and immediate environment, taking into account factors such as heart rate and local weather.
Category: Health & Fitness
iPhone Game of the Year – Genshin Impact
Aside from just the best apps of 2020, Apple also showed off the very best in mobile gaming as well. In 2020, the iPhone Game of the Year went to Genshin Impact, an adventure journey that sees you journey across Teyvat to seek answers from The Seven – the gods of each element. A fantasy, adventure game, Genshin Impact lets you harness the seven elements to unleash elemental reactions and take down your opponents in battle.
Developer: miHoYo Limited
iPad Game of the Year – Legends of Runeterra
Set in the world of League of Legends, Legends of Runeterra is a strategy card game that makes use of your skill and creativity. In this iPad game, you choose your champions and combine cards from different regions—each with their own style and strategic advantage—then build the perfect deck to take down the rest.
Developer: Riot Games
Mac Game of the Year – Disco Elysium
Taking RPG firmly into Mac territory, Disco Elysium is an absolutely wild ride. As a player, you customise your character in a multitude of different ways, before you intimidate, sweet-talk, resort to violence or dance to get what you want. As the Mac game of the Year for 2020, this release has all the elements of console gaming in a compact format.
Apple TV Game of the Year – Dandara Trials of Fear
As the Apple TV Game of the Year for 2020, Danara Trials of Fear sees the world of Salt hang on the brink of collapse. As Dandara, you enter a unique 2D metroidvania platformer full of mystical creatures and boundless exploration. Using a combination of speed & skill, wits & reflexes, you will solve puzzles, earn power-ups, and access areas previously unreachable.
Developer: Raw Fury
Apple Arcade Game of the Year – Sneaky Sasquatch
Who doesn’t want to live life like a sasquatch? In the Apple Arcade Game of the Year, Sneaky Sasquatch, you creep around campsites and disguise yourself in human clothing in an attempt to be an everyday joe. From playing a quick 9 holes to fishing at the lake, this is a terrific game for killing some time.
Developer: RAC7 Games
According to Apple’s official awards, the best iPhone app of 2020 was Wakeout! an exercise app for busy people. Designed to help those working at a desk or in an office, the app offers over 1,000 short exercises you can do in 30 seconds.
Apple has announced at an award’s unveiling that Disney+ was the winner of the Best Apple TV app for 2020. The action-packed content hub houses a wealth of classic and new releases.
Unsurprisingly, Apple announced that the top iPad app for 2020 was Zoom. With the amount of people working from home during the pandemic, downloads dramatically increased over the year, making it one of the biggest and most-used apps of the year.
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