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.
1. Finding a new reality
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 screen of your iOS device becomes a window into the AR world, where you interact with virtual objects in ways never before possible. Best of all, the tech doesn’t require special glasses or accessories.
Developers have already created hundreds of apps and games, ranging from the practical to the fantastic.
On the more functional side, there's magicplan, which lets you create floor plans, furnishing ideas and DIY home projects.
The fun video-editing app Filmr plays a more whimsical role. Use it to insert zany characters and animals into the videos you're taking. My Very Hungry Caterpillar AR brings the classic children's book to life, wherever you are. Watch as he hatches from an egg and crawls around, exploring your world.
And with the introduction of AR, gaming will never be the same. Thomas & Friends Minis has you building your own train sets out of thin air, while Zombie Gunship Revenant AR uses the technology to create a visceral, thermal-vision view from a helicopter cockpit as you fend off waves of zombies.
Zombie Gunship Revenant AR
Augmented Reality Zombie War
The Augmented Reality Puzzle
Filmr - Video Editor & Filter
Slow Motion and Transition
magicplan – 2D/3D floor plans
Blueprints, estimates, reports
My Very Hungry Caterpillar AR
Explore the world together
Thomas & Friends Minis
The ultimate train set builder
2. Rise of hyper-casual games
During 2017 we saw the mighty rise of an amazingly entertaining genre of games that focus —with great passion and intelligence— on delivering fun and simple experiences. In many ways, they remind us of the first generations of video games that conquered millions of fans, though not precisely because of their aesthetic. It’s more about the power of a great idea, straightforward gameplay and clear goals.
Hyper-Casual Games seem to blend the principles of the past with the technological advances of the present to cater to today’s audience. And the results are extraordinarily entertaining games that users in many parts of the world are deeply in love with.
Though this huge wave has been forming itself for a while now, it was in 2017 when it became clear that we weren’t witnessing random successes, but rather a real trend in the App Store with titles like Tap Titans 2, Bowmasters and Flippy Knife at the forefront.
In retrospective, it seems clear why these games acquired legions of fans in places like Latin America, South Africa, Turkey, and so many more. Fun is open to practically anyone, and is generally attainable by intuitive tapping and swiping. At no point, players feel intimidated; the level of dedication in terms of time and concentration is not at all demanding. And it seems as though this is part of the secret.
Because isn’t time such a limited asset? And isn’t our need for fun constant in our lives?
Hyper-Casual Games let us get our hourly or daily fix of fun so easily. You simply check in, play small sessions and get the surge of excitement right when you need it: on the way to work, between texts and homework, the kids and football… And for as long as you can. Jump in and out as much as you want.
Without doubt we’ll keep seeing more and more of these games, many of them reaching the highest positions in our charts. Developers have definitely identified the opportunity, and as a consequence, we’re seeing a wider diversity and deeper creativity flowing in from the community. And, of course, there’s the enormous appetite of you, dear players, who seem to have found Hyper-Casual Games a dream come true:
Feel-good-games, no strings attached.
Cute Cats... Am I Right?!?
Tap Titans 2
The most loved Idle RPG
Bowmasters - Multiplayer Game
Top Multiplayer Archery Game
Egg Farming Idle Game
Castle Defense action RPG!
Idle City Empire
Build, automate and profit!
A Pirate Island Adventure !
3. The age of convenience
For a while now, developers and entrepreneurs have known that the way to our hearts is in making our lives a wee bit easier—spare us the mundane, do our shopping and bring us hot, delicious food when we are hungry. Wait, someone can come home to do a pedicure? Take our money already.
2017 seemed like the year this expansion of convenience peaked.
In India's cities, increasingly rare is the product or service you can’t get home delivered.
Zomato, Swiggy and Uber Eats bring your favourite restaurant food home. Big Basket is now delivering groceries and home supplies through a network of local retailers in 26 Indian cities.
Urbanclap will connect you with service providers who are happy to come home to fix your bathroom plumbing or clean your sofa or give you dance or yoga lessons. Mr Right does the same, with a focus on repairs and services.
Bookmyshow takes the guesswork out of your cinema-going experience by letting you book and choose seats at your favourite movies.
Together, these apps make our lives a bit easier, and save us time that is better spent with family, friends or Netflix.
bigbasket - Grocery Delivery
Online Grocery Shopping App
Mr. Right - Home Services App
Home & Appliance Services
Swiggy Food Order & Delivery
Easy Ordering, Faster Delivery
Uber Eats: Food Delivery
Restaurant Food to Your Door
UrbanClap - Service Experts
Zomato - Food & Restaurants
Reviews, Delivery & Bookings
4. Stream anytime, anyplace
There might have been a certain charm in fighting with your siblings over the television remote. But it definitely wasn’t fun if you were on the losing end, missing out on your favourite sitcom because someone else wanted to watch Masterchef or sports.
That era of broadcast television—of fixed time slots and keeping tab of rerun schedules—has made way for binge-watching on streaming, video-on-demand (VOD) apps such as Hotstar and Netflix. It helps that we also happen to live in the golden era of television shows. Just how do they manage to keep making TV shows better and better every year?
The big original global shows—Narcos, Game of Thrones or Stranger Things—are of course much loved in India. But there are three other trends we are excited about as the battle of the VOD apps heat up here. First, the race to bring new movies to the apps shortly after they release in the theatres. Second, original Indian shows. And third, an expansion of the library of movies and shows in Indian languages.
Netflix is making an original show based on Vikram Chandra’s Sacred Games. It should be on air early-mid 2018. We are really looking forward to it.
Sun NXT and Hotstar both have extensive catalogues of movies and shows from South India. Alt Balaji has movies produced by Balaji Telefilms and original shows with urban themes.
You can also check out Sony Liv (live sports and movies), Voot (lots of reality television) and Eros Now (good catalogue of Bollywood movies).
There can really be only one complaint. We are spoilt for choice.