BEST OF 2017

Trends of the Year

Welcome to the App Store Best of 2017, our editors' celebration of the most interesting and important apps, games, and trends in app culture—and of the developers behind them.

This year, we identified four breakout trends that we're excited to share with you.

AR

This year, millions of iPhone and iPad users around the world got access to the groundbreaking technology known as AR (augmented reality).

AR has the potential to fundamentally change how we interact with the world around us by blending digitally rendered objects with our environment. The screens of your iPhone and iPad become a window into the AR world, where you interact with virtual objects new, fun and useful ways. Best of all, the tech doesn’t require special accessories.

Developers have already created hundreds of apps and games with AR, ranging from the practical to the fantastic.

On the more practical side, there’s IKEA Place, which lets you see how the company’s furniture will look and fit in your home before you buy. And to go a step further in your space planning, MagicPlan revolutionizes creating floorplans, and even planning out entire home layouts.

Even on cloudy days, AR helps us experience the wonders of the galaxy. Use your iPhone or iPad to visualize planets, constellations and interstellar objects in all their 3D beauty with Night Sky.

And with the introduction of AR, play time will never be the same. For kids, Thomas & Friends Minis brings the classic children’s toy to life, right on your coffee table. For all of us, Player Piano brings a classic instrument to life; with AR you can look at this beautiful piano's innerworkings—and you can play it too.

    IKEA Place

    Augmented Reality Furnishing

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    magicplan – 2D/3D floor plans

    Blueprints,estimates,reports

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    Night Sky

    Guide to the Sky Above

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    Player Piano 3D

    Discover, Learn and Create

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    TapMeasure – AR utility

    Measure & share any room in 3D

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    Thomas & Friends Minis

    The ultimate train set builder

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Real-time Competition

Nothing beats the thrill of head-to-head competition, and this year the App Store became home to some of the most-played multiplayer games in the world.

The sheer number of new multiplayer experiences made it a definitive 2017 trend. The Elder Scrolls: Legends presented a beautifully-crafted ode to Bethesda’s age-old franchise. Wave-based battle game Art of War: Red Tides brought a fresh take on the strategy genre, blending impressive visuals with quick-fix multiplayer bouts. CATS: Crash Arena Turbo Stars brings a playful feel to going head-to-head against others; while the competition is intense, you’ll find yourself laughing as you fight other cats in the battle for the best bot.

Standouts from previous years kept players coming back. Clash Royale mixed things up with a popular 2v2 team battle and events like Touchdown mode. With Hearthstone’s Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion, Blizzard continues to lead the pack of card-battle games everywhere.

Two games paved the way in the shooter genre. Guns of Boom mixed 3D touch and ultra-simple controls to create an intuitive way to battle with friends, even adding in an AR (augmented reality) mode to watch the action from any angle. Modern Combat Versus took a more hardcore approach, blending console-quality visuals with class-based heroes for a more visceral experience.

Whether you're a seasoned player or new to gaming, 2017 has been full of great games to help fuel your competitive spirit.

    CATS: Crash Arena Turbo Stars

    Robot Fighting Battle Game

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    Clash Royale

    Epic Real-Time Card Battles!

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    The Elder Scrolls: Legends CCG

    Online Strategy Card Duel Game

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    Guns of Boom

    Online PvP Action

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    Hearthstone

    Thrilling card combat

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    Modern Combat Versus

    New Online Multiplayer FPS

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Swipe Right For Community

While the dating app Tinder cemented what “swiping right” means, this same UI element has been co-opted by apps that help people make all kinds of connections that are too difficult, embarrassing or just plain clunky to try to make in person. From finding business partners to workout buddies to a could-be friend to have lunch with, all kinds of apps spark a connection, and many are not meant to feed the fires of romance.

Are you a new mom looking for other new moms to hang out with? Swipe right in Peanut when you've found someone for that much-needed chat with another grown-up who gets the highs and lows of parenthood. Need a workout buddy to motivate you? Swipe right in Whistle when you find the guy who's committed to running as often as you. Looking for a new bassist for your band? Swipe right in Vampr when you find the guitarist with a great portfolio.

Apps are the perfect way to help people find people, no matter how unlikely they'd be to bump into each other on the street. We love that app users are finding so many new ways to connect.

    Peanut - Meet Other Women

    Pregnancy Fertility Motherhood

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    Hey! VINA - Meet New Friends

    For Women, By Women

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    Vampr

    Make Music Happen

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    SweatCity

    Your Fitness Concierge

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    Bumble - Meet New People

    Date. Meet Friends. Network.

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    Patook- make platonic friends

    Make Strictly Platonic Friends

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Workout Anywhere

Thrilling Stories, One Message at a Time

If you could look over a stranger's shoulder and read their text conversation with a friend, would you do it? Chat stories provide all the thrill without the moral dilemma. A new app-based storytelling medium that creates instant suspense, when you read a chat story you wait text by text as the conversation rolls in. These bite-sized yarns could be of any genre—romantic thrillers, gripping whodunnits—and some let you influence the ending.

Try Tap, a new app from the Canadian developers of Wattpad, for a deep list of chat stories you can read when you have that little bit of me time on transit. Need more? Hooked, Cliffhanger, Yarn, Readit and Lure all have their own rosters of writers and great stories to choose from.

We love apps, and we love good reads, so it's no wonder that we love this new trend where apps take the concept of texting and turn it into a voyeuristic narrative thrill ride.

    Cliffhanger - Chat Stories

    Thrilling Chat Stories

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    HOOKED

    addictive movies and shows

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    Lure - Read Chat Fiction

    Addictive Chat Stories

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    READIT - Read Chat Stories

    Short fiction texts

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    Tap by Wattpad

    Amazing interactive stories

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    Yarn - Chat & Text Stories

    The Ultimate Chat Fiction App

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