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 gained 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.

My Very Hungry Caterpillar AR brings the classic children’s book character to life, right on your coffee table, while Zombie Gunship Revenant AR uses the technology to create an visceral, thermal-vision view from a helicopter cockpit as you fend off waves of zombies. Check out our favourite AR apps & games from this year.

    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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    magicplan – 2D/3D floor plans

    Blueprints, estimates, reports

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    Learn Languages with Memrise

    Have fun, learn languages fast

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    Player Piano 3D

    Discover, Learn and Create

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    Sky Guide

    View Stars Night or Day

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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. Titles like Clash Royale continue to thrive with constant updates and an enormous player base (meaning you'll always have someone to battle against). Or look at Hearthstone, practically an old fogey on the App Store at this point, but still going strong with a constantly evolving meta game.

    Hearthstone

    Thrilling card combat

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    War Wings

    Multiplayer dogfight game

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    Modern Combat Versus

    New Online Multiplayer FPS

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    Battle Bay

    5v5 Multiplayer Battles!

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    Guns of Boom

    Online PvP Action

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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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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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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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    SNOW - Beauty & makeup camera

    Photo & Video

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    YouCam Fun - Live Face Filters

    Snap Animated Selfie Stickers!

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