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.

There’s My Very Hungry Caterpillar AR which brings the classic children’s book character to life, right on your coffee table. And with the introduction of AR, gaming will never be the same. Amon has you solving puzzles by walking around statue pieces suspended in reality, while AR Dragon uses the technology to put an adorable almost-living, breathing dragon right in front of you.

    AR Dragon

    Virtual Pet Simulator

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    AMON

    Augmented Reality Puzzle Game

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    ARise

    The Augmented Reality Puzzle

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    Holo

    Holograms in Augmented Reality

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    Learn Languages with Memrise

    Have fun, learn languages fast

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    My Very Hungry Caterpillar AR

    Explore the world together

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    Player Piano 3D

    Discover, Learn and Create

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    The Machines

    Battle your friends in AR.

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2. Competitive gaming

No matter how satisfying it is to beat a computer opponent in a game, it will never be quite the same as besting another human being. Sure, you might have outsmarted a competitor capable of an inhuman amount of calculations per second, but that cold, lifeless machine won't ever say “uncle.”

Which is why the explosion in real-time competitive gaming on iOS has us so excited. Golden oldies like Clash Royale and Hearthstone might differ when it comes to gameplay, but they have one thing in common: They both let players fight for glory in real-time, and they keep thriving thanks to constant updates during 2017.

It is the newcomers that steal the show this year, though: Modern Combat Versus takes realtime combat to new heights with a hectic first person shooter experience. Bullets fly, explosions shatter and two teams fight for victory in action fuelled battles. Fighting real people online makes competition so much more fun and intense. And players all over the world seem to agree.

    Battle Bay

    5v5 Multiplayer Battles!

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    CATS: Crash Arena Turbo Stars

    Robot Fighting Battle Game

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    Clash Royale

    Epic Real-Time Card Battles!

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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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    War Wings

    Multiplayer dogfight game

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3. Gamifying fitness

We come up with excuses all the time to skip the gym or sleep in instead of heading out for a run because exercise, contrary to popular belief, is just not that fun.

However, gamified fitness apps is changing the face of fitness by making fun the main motivation. Zombies, Run! puts you in the middle of a zombie apocalypse where every run gets you items to build your base camp with and every sprint gets you further away from the zombie horde. Just as urgent is your mission in 7 Minute Superhero Workout in which your squats and punches are turned into weapons to fight the incoming aliens. With these apps, you won't be putting fitness off anymore.

    Standland

    Stand Up and Collect Pets

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    Zombies, Run!

    Running Game & Audio Adventure

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    Wokamon - Fitness Game

    Pedometer + Virtual Pet

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    Fitocracy - Fitness Collective

    Workout Tracking & Coaching

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    ArtWalk

    Health & Fitness

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4. Facial transformations

The online world has evolved far beyond its early days. Case in point: the humble profile picture. The once plain portraits have turned into creative digital expressions. It's all thanks to these photo-editing apps like FaceApp or FaceTune 2 that display incredibly realistic effects on the fly for your selfies.

Embrace the freedom to express yourself in more ways than ever.

    B612 - Beauty & Filter Camera

    Photo & Video

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    BeautyPlus -Snap, Edit, Filter

    Selfie Camera + AR

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    Fabby — Photo & Video Editor

    Create Designer Selfies

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    FaceApp - AI Face Editor

    Selfie Retouch & Backgrounds

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    Facetune2: Best Selfie Editing

    Beauty Camera & Photo Editor

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    LOOKS - Real Makeup Camera

    Makeup Selfie Camera

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    Magic: Play, Record, Share

    AR Games & Masks

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    MSQRD — Live Filters & Face Swap for Video Selfies

    Photo & Video

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    YouCam Fun - Live Face Filters

    Snap Animated Selfie Stickers!

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