Apple just unveiled its list of App Store awards for 2023 and now is a great time to see some of the best apps and games on the market right now. The App Store Awards 2023 recognizes the best apps that Apple has selected for the year and applauds the designers behind the app who have allowed for its success. There are a few different categories that the App Store’s best apps list includes as it can be difficult to select just one app. With 14 winners this year, the various categories include the iPhone app of the year, iPad app of the year, Cultural Impact winners, and a few more. 

Lost In Play: iPad Game of the Year

Image credit – Cognosphere

App Store Awards 2023—Best Apps and Games This Year

The end of the year is an exciting time to look back on the months that rushed by and pick out our favorite things to have experienced throughout. Whether you’ve been waiting for your Spotify Wrapped to come out (Taylor Swift emerges on top with 26.1 billion global streams) or you want to know if your favorite games have topped the Apple App Store, now is the time to reminisce about the days that were. While there was one winner in each category, the Cultural Impact award was handed out to 5 apps for their contributions to the world at large. The App Store Awards 2023 are out so let’s take a look at the winners in every category. 

iPhone App of the Year: AllTrails

iPad App of the Year: PrĂŞt-Ă -Makeup

Mac App of the Year: Photomator – Photo Editor

Apple Watch App of the Year: SmartGym: Gym & Home Workouts

Apple TV App of the Year: MUBI

iPhone Game of the Year: Honkai: Star Rail

iPad Game of the Year: Lost in Play

Mac Game of the Year: Lies of P

Apple Arcade Game of the Year: Hello Kitty Island Adventure

Cultural Impact: 

  • Finding Hannah
  • Pok Pok
  • Proloquo
  • Too Good To Go
  • Unpacking

Our Favorites From the App Store Awards 2023

Apple’s list of the best apps and games for 2023 includes some great suggestions for apps that you could be using too. While I’m sure we all have favorites that didn’t make it onto Apple’s list, let’s take a moment to acknowledge the ones that did stand out from Apple’s assessment of the App Store’s best apps.

Lost In Play: iPad Game of the Year

Release Date: 10 August 2022

Developer: Happy Juice Games

Publishers: Snapbreak, Joystick Ventures

If you’re a fan of the Dipper and Mabel dynamic from Disney’s Gravity Falls and the art style is something you enjoy, Lost In Play is the perfect game for you. Bringing back the nostalgia of being a child with an endless reserve of curiosity and imagination, this point-and-click game is filled with adventure, minus the dark and dreary atmosphere that follows most popular games today. This iPad game of the year unfortunately is not entirely free to play once the demo ends. Other platforms like Steam and Google Play also have the game available for purchase, for those who do not want to use their iPhone or iPad for it. 

Honkai: Star Rail: iPhone Game of the Year

Honkai Star Rail iPhone Game of the Year

Image credit – Cognosphere

Release date: 26 April 2023

Developer: COGNOSPHERE PTE. LTD.

Gacha games can easily be hit or a miss but MiHoYo’s COGNOSPHERE PTE. LTD. is a leader in the gaming sphere so you know you’re signing up for something good with their games. We’d have picked Honkai: Star Rail as the iPhone game of the year too if it was up to us as this space fantasy RPG has a lot of unique experiences to offer. If intertwining lore and world exploration is something you enjoy, then Honkai: Star Rail or its predecessors Honkai Impact and Genshin Impact are good game options for you. 

AllTrails: iPhone App of the Year

AllTrails iPhone App of the Year

Image credit – AllTrails

Release date: December 2010

Founded by: Russell Cook

This global app is a great companion for outdoorsy folk who love getting in a good jog or hike wherever they go. Depending on your mood as well as your restrictions, like needing a pet-friendly route, AllTrails allows you to find good trails around you so you never have to worry about getting lost. Backed by photos of other users who have visited the locations, you can ensure you find a path to the outside world that fits your needs. It is undoubtedly one of the App Store’s best apps and combines the benefits of technology with our individual connection with nature. 

Proloquo: Cultural Impact

Proloquo: Cultural Impact

Image Credit – Proloquo

Release date: 2009

Developed by: AssistiveWare

Proloquo is another great app highlighted by Apple that simplifies communication for non-speaking people, assisting them in learning a language and communicating with those around them despite their limitations. The Proloquo Coach app can be used in addition to this one, for parents to find the knowledge and support they need to support their children’s communication and learning needs. Developed by AssistiveWare, the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) app is an amazing example of the unending potential of technology to change lives. 

There are many great apps that made it to the App Store award’s finalist mentions such as How to Say Goodbye, Portal, ELEX II, etc. Duolingo was well on its way to becoming the iPhone app of the year so we’re a little curious to see what the green owl will now do considering its prominent presence on social media platforms, but regardless, Apple’s App Store awards have successfully showcased a list of some of the best apps and games in 2023.