When Apple’s best of 2015 lists were unveiled on Wednesday, the company also named Lara Croft GO the best iPhone game of the year and Prune the best iPad game of the year. The most innovative iPhone app was Workflow and the iPad App of the year went to the Robot Factory. LiquidText won for most innovative iPad app.
With well over a million apps in the App Store, the fight for attention and user downloads is fierce. The editors’ picks are closely watched because they give the chosen apps a significant boost. In the best-of lists, Apple didn’t disclose what criteria its editors use to make their picks.
“We certainly never expected to receive such high honors as this,” Periscope wrote in a blog post after Apple unveiled its list. “We certainly hoped people would like what we had built, and would find value in using it. But we never expected our idea would be supported this much, or grow this fast.” Periscope is owned by Twitter.
App developers create the content that help attract consumers to keep coming back to Apple’s devices, and apps are a huge business. Apple’s services segment, which includes revenue from the iTunes Store, the App Store, the Mac App Store, the iBooks Store and Apple Music, as well as Apple Care and Apple Pay, generated nearly $20 billion in net sales in 2015, up 10 percent from 2014. Net sales are sales after the cut given to other people on the platform, like the app developer, is taken out.
Services contributed to 9 percent of Apple’s overall $233 billion in net sales and the segment’s 2015 growth was driven by the App Store, where net sales grew by 29 percent, according to the company’s most recent annual financial filing.
Apple’s editors also highlighted their favorite books, movies, movies and podcasts.
The award for best new artist went to Bryson Tiller. Drake won for best artist and the Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face” won for best song. Several films were highlighted, including “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “Inside Out,” “Whiplash” and “Birdman.” “Mystery Show” won for best new podcast and “WTF With Marc Maron” was named best classic podcast.