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(Pocket-lint) - Apple has revealed the 15 best apps and games on the App Store in 2021, along with the most popular.

The annual App Store Awards recognise just 15 apps and games from the millions that are available across its ever-growing range of devices. All apps released for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and Mac platforms in the last 12 months were up for consideration, but that is wheedled down to the crème de la crème.

It also reveals the most popular apps of the year in multiple categories, based on user downloads.

Of those, the most downloaded in the UK was the NHS app, which allows you to show your vaccination status - a true sign of the times in which we now live. It beat perennially popular iPhone apps, such as WhatsApp, TikTok and YouTube.

Not surprisingly though, apps like Microsoft Teams and Zoom still dominated the iPad app download charts, with many continuing to work from home rather than attend face-to-face meetings. There was also a rise in home delivery services.

For the App Store Awards there are five top apps, five top games, and a further five that are the best apps based on a trend that Apple says has dominated downloads this year.

The best apps are:

  • iPhone App of the Year: Toca Life World, from Toca Boca.
  • iPad App of the Year: LumaFusion, from LumaTouch.
  • Mac App of the Year: Craft, from Luki Labs Limited.
  • Apple TV App of the Year: DAZN, from DAZN Group.
  • Apple Watch App of the Year: Carrot Weather, from Grailr. 

The best games are:

  • iPhone Game of the Year: League of Legends: Wild Rift, from Riot Games.
  • iPad Game of the Year: MARVEL Future Revolution, from Netmarble Corporation.
  • Mac Game of the Year: Myst, from Cyan.
  • Apple TV Game of the Year: Space Marshals 3, from Pixelbite.
  • Apple Arcade Game of the Year: Fantasian, from Mistwalker.

Apple's big trend this year is "connection", so the winning five apps were chosen as they have helped bring people "together in meaningful ways".

They include dating app Bumble, multiplayer game Among Us!, creativity app Canva, dinning app EatOkra, and social network Peanut.

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The 15 apps are very different from the list of most downloaded apps in 2021, which is still heavily dominated by the hybrid life we’ve been living through since March 2020.

The download charts for 2021

Top Free iPhone Apps

  • NHS App
  • WhatsApp Messenger
  • TikTok
  • Instagram
  • YouTube: Watch, Listen, Stream
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Snapchat
  • Facebook
  • Google Maps
  • Messenger
  • NHS COVID-19
  • Uber Eats: Food Delivery
  • ZOOM Cloud Meetings
  • Amazon
  • Spotify New Music and Podcasts
  • Shop: package & order tracker
  • Gmail - Email by Google
  • My McDonald’s UK
  • Netflix
  • Deliveroo: Food Delivery

Top Paid iPhone Apps 

  • Driving Theory Test 4 in 1 Kit
  • Official DVSA Theory Test Kit
  • The Wonder Weeks
  • Procreate Pocket
  • CITB Op/Spec HS&E test 2019
  • Forest - Your Focus Motivation
  • TouchRetouch
  • Squeezy NHS Pelvic Floor App
  • Facetune
  • Freya • Surge Timer
  • Dark Sky Weather
  • AutoSleep Track Sleep on Watch
  • Driving Theory by James May
  • CITB MAP HS&E test 2019
  • Site Audit Pro
  • Da Vinci Eye: AR Art Projector
  • Carbs & Cals: Diet & Diabetes
  • ChirpOMatic – Europe
  • The TeamTOMM App
  • WiFi Now Remote

Top Free iPhone Games

  • Among Us!
  • Roblox
  • Project Makeover
  • Water Sort Puzzle
  • High Heels!
  • Count Masters: Crowd Runner 3D
  • 8 Ball Pool™
  • Magic Tiles 3: Piano Game
  • Shortcut Run
  • Subway Surfers
  • BitLife - Life Simulator
  • Roof Rails
  • Stacky Dash
  • Call of Duty®: Mobile
  • Score! Hero 2
  • Bridge Race
  • Parking Jam 3D
  • Pokémon GO
  • Happy Printer
  • Nail Salon 3D

Top Paid iPhone Games 

  • Minecraft
  • Football Manager 2021 Mobile
  • Monopoly
  • Heads Up!
  • Bloons TD 6
  • Plague Inc.
  • The Chase: Ultimate Edition
  • My Child Lebensborn
  • Geometry Dash
  • Tipping Point
  • Pocket Build
  • Countdown - The Official TV Show App
  • Earn to Die 2
  • Bloons TD 5
  • True SkateCluedo: The Official Edition
  • The Game of Life 2
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
  • Incredibox
  • Tenable

Top Free iPad Apps

  • ZOOM Cloud Meetings
  • Microsoft Teams
  • YouTube: Watch, Listen, Stream
  • Netflix
  • Disney+
  • Amazon Prime Video
  • Google Chrome
  • BBC iPlayer
  • TikTok
  • Microsoft Word
  • ITV Hub: TV Player & Catchup
  • All 4 – Watch Live & On Demand
  • Amazon
  • Spotify New Music and Podcasts
  • Facebook
  • Messenger
  • Gmail - Email by Google
  • Sky Go
  • Google
  • Microsoft PowerPoint

Top Paid iPad Apps

  • Procreate
  • GoodNotes 5
  • Notability
  • Messaging for WhatsApp on iPad
  • Driving Theory Test 4 in 1 Kit
  • Teach Your Monster to Read
  • Hit the Button Maths
  • Spelling Shed
  • Official DVSA Theory Test Kit
  • Toca Life: Hospital
  • Duet Display
  • Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendar
  • Toca Kitchen 2
  • Affinity Designer
  • Affinity Photo
  • Toca Life: Neighborhood
  • LumaFusion
  • Toca Life: Vacation
  • Numberblocks: Hide and Seek
  • Numberblocks: Card Fun!

Top Free iPad Games

  • Among Us!
  • Roblox
  • Phone Case DIY
  • Project Makeover
  • Magic Tiles 3: Piano Game
  • Hair Challenge
  • Tiles Hop - EDM Rush
  • Blob Runner 3D
  • DOP 2: Delete One Part
  • Chat Master!
  • Shortcut Run
  • Teacher Simulator
  • Subway Surfers
  • Bridge Race
  • Acrylic Nails!
  • io
  • Count Masters: Crowd Runner 3D
  • Sculpt people
  • Water Sort Puzzle
  • Mario Kart Tour

Top Paid iPad Games

  • Minecraft
  • Monopoly
  • Bloons TD 6
  • Football Manager 2021 Touch
  • Football Manager 2021 Mobile
  • Plague Inc.
  • The Chase: Ultimate Edition
  • Geometry Dash
  • Stardew Valley
  • The Game of Life 2
  • Five Nights at Freddy's
  • Tipping Point
  • Cluedo: The Official Edition
  • PAW Patrol: Adventure Bay!
  • My Child Lebensborn
  • Human: Fall Flat
  • LEGO® Jurassic World™
  • Terraria
  • Ultimate Custom Night
  • RFS - Real Flight Simulator

Top Arcade Games

  • Sonic Racing
  • Mini Motorways
  • Cut the Rope Remastered
  • Skate City
  • PAC-MAN Party Royale
  • NBA 2K21 Arcade Edition
  • Angry Birds Reloaded
  • SpongeBob: Patty Pursuit
  • Hot Lava
  • Sneaky Sasquatch
  • Fruit Ninja Classic+
  • Rayman Mini
  • SongPop Party
  • Crossy Road Castle
  • Outlanders
  • Solitaire by MobilityWare +
  • WHAT THE GOLF?
  • LEGO® Brawls
  • Oceanhorn 2
  • Spire Blast
Writing by Stuart Miles. Editing by Rik Henderson.