In the annual tradition, both Apple and Google have unveiled their standout apps and games for 2023, providing a snapshot of the evolving app landscape. AllTrails, a hiking and biking companion, claimed the prestigious title of Apple’s iPhone App of the Year. Meanwhile, Google Play crowned Imprint: Learn Visually as its best app. Surprisingly, both tech giants concurred on their Game of the Year, selecting Honkai: Star Rail.
Unlike in previous years, Apple’s selections for iPhone App of the Year favored established apps known for their solid design and functionality. Noteworthy finalists included the language learning app Duolingo, the travel app Flighty, and the eventual winner, AllTrails. This deviation from highlighting new or technologically innovative entries marked a departure from past practices, reflecting a nod to consistently high-quality mobile companions.
Interestingly, neither Apple nor Google chose an AI app as their app of the year despite the significant impact of AI on various facets of technology. This decision raised eyebrows, especially considering the rapid success of ChatGPT’s mobile app, which became the fastest-growing consumer application in history earlier in the year. Despite their substantial revenue generation, the reluctance to recognize AI apps, including ChatGPT, seems deliberate.
Beyond the app and game awards, Apple acknowledged excellence in various categories, including iPad App of the Year, Mac App of the Year, and Apple TV App of the Year. Conversely, Google took a unique approach by highlighting “multi-device” apps, designating Spotify as its best multi-device app. Users also had their say, with ChatGPT claiming the User’s Choice App of the Year for Google.
In an interesting move, both Apple and Google refrained from naming an AI app among their Cultural Impact winners, opting for a diverse range of apps. Apple recognized the likes of Pok Pok, Proloquo, and Too Good To Go, emphasizing their impact on culture. Generative AI was acknowledged as the “Trend of the Year,” reflecting the growing influence of AI-generated content.
In addition to the top winners, Google spotlighted various apps in specific categories, ranging from personal growth to AI-powered chat. Both companies showcased apps that demonstrated uniqueness and purpose, contributing to the dynamic app ecosystem.
As the app industry continues to evolve, the choices made by Apple and Google serve as a barometer of user preferences, technological trends, and the ever-expanding possibilities within the digital realm.