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Apple announces App Store Award winners for 2023, including ‘iPhone App of the Year’

Toronto-based Pok Pok is recognized as one of the Cultural Impact Winners this year

Apple has announced the winners of its annual App Store Awards. Recognizing global developers creating standout apps as well as games, the App Store Awards shine a spotlight on innovative creations.

This year, the App Store Awards acknowledges 14 apps and games that “empowered users to unleash their creativity, discover a world of new adventures, and have fun with family and friends,” according to Apple.

Apps

  • iPhone App of the Year: AllTrails (AllTrails, Inc.)
  • iPad App of the Year: Prêt-à-Makeup (Prêt-à-Template)
  • Mac App of the Year: Photomator (UAB Pixelmator Team)
  • Apple TV App of the Year: Mubi (Mubi, Inc.)
  • Apple Watch App of the Year: SmartGym (Mateus Abras)

“I’m incredibly grateful that we won this,” Alltrails CEO Ron Schneidermann explains. “When we look at our roadmap for 2024, there’s so much cool stuff that we’re going to be launching that we couldn’t be more excited about.”

“It’s a huge morale boost,” AllTrails Chief Product Officer Ivan Selin says.  “Not only for us, but most importantly for the team. We are a small, humble team of 200 people. It’s a recognition of the work of every single one of them — every department, every department, every function, every person. No matter how long they’ve been with the company, it’s a morale boost for sure. Especially ending the year on this note is really cool and going into the holidays.”

Games

“When it comes to the Mac gaming community, the Apple silicon is improving the tech and the hardware, Jason Park, head of Round8 Studios, explains (as translated by Neowiz team lead Jason Carnahan). “That’s really opened up [Lies of P] and a lot of different games to the Mac gaming community. We think that’s the perfect time to launch Lies of P. It’s a AAA-level game that hasn’t really been seen on the Mac too much before.”

“The whole ‘Soulslike’ genre has continuously grown in recent years, [and] we felt that for Mac users, most of them probably played a lot of casual or casual games. This epic game can be the perfect opportunity to introduce them to AAA Soulslike games and really grow the genre within the community.”

Cultural Impact

  • Pok Pok (Pok Pok): Recognized for its inclusivity and innovations in creating a space for preschoolers to play and learn.
  • Proloquo (AssistiveWare): An accessibility app, focused on the creation of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) tools.
  • Too Good To Go (Too Good To Go): Encourages users to minimize waste, connecting them with local restaurants that have a surplus of unsold food at accessible costs.
  • Unpacking (Humble Bundle): A cozy and relaxing game that focuses on changes and growth throughout one’s life.
  • Finding Hannah (Fein Games GmbH): A coming-of-age story. It leverages inclusivity and emotion, leaving players absorbed in the power of healing and self-discovery.

“We spend so much time trying to touch families and change children’s lives. It’s so nice to be recognized for that, especially by Apple’s Cultural Impact [Award]. It really means the world to us, and definitely gives us that extra boost of momentum. It’s going to help move us forward and give us more space to keep creating,” Toronto-based Pok Pok CEO Melissa Cash says.

“We talk to the community all the time. Pretty much daily through Instagram, or email. Kids have the best ideas! They have really fun suggestions. We just launched a dinosaur toy last week. That came straight from the community. We talked to the parents too. Ultimately, as parents, we built it for our own kids. We want to do that for other parents.

This year, Apple also announced that generative AI apps have become the ‘Trend of the Year.’ While the tech giant recognizes AI is still in its infancy, it reflects on the many ways it’s helped “users’ collective imagination with its evolution unfolding in real-time.” As a prominent topic in technology and app innovations, Apple’s App Store Editors have put together a curated list of generative AI apps that represent the epitome of Trend of the Year 2023. You can check out more from the App Store Editors here.

Finally, Apple reveals that as of 2023, the App Store houses 1.8 million apps. On a weekly basis, 650 million users visit the App Store to see what is new and find interesting creations. Whether it’s productivity, gaming, or entertainment, the App Store helps support users in 175 countries and regions. In 2022, the App Store was responsible for generating $1.1 trillion USD (around $1.49 trillion CAD) in developer billings and sales.

Image credit: Apple

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