The winners of this year's App Store Awards for apps and games have been announced, with 16 titles singled out for their excellence and cultural impact.
Each year the App Store's editorial teams from around the world jointly spotlight a series of apps and games that particularly stand out. Always divided across Apple's platforms, and also split into apps and games, the 2022 awards include a new Cultural Impact category.
"This year's App Store Award winners reimagined our experiences with apps that delivered fresh, thoughtful, and genuine perspectives," Tim Cook said in a statement. "From self-taught solo creators to international teams spanning the globe, these entrepreneurs are making a meaningful impact and represent the ways in which apps and games influence our communities and lives."
Some of the apps celebrated are new, but others are mainstays of the Apple ecosystem, such as GoodNotes 5. Now named iPad App of the Year 2022, founder Steven Chan says it was originally launched in 2011.
"[However,] the moment for us really came when Apple Pencil was announced in 2015," he told AppleInsider. "Because it made handwriting on the iPad is a viable alternative to pen and paper thanks to its accuracy and low latency."
"That was a turning point for us, it turned GoodNotes from a niche product to a mainstream one," he continued. "So almost immediately after Apple Pencil was announced, I started hiring because I had so many ideas but I couldn't do everything on my own."
"Thanks to Apple Pencil and iPad, our company has been growing very quickly since then," said Chan.
By contrast, Apple Arcade Game of the Year, Wylde Flowers, was brand new to the App Store in 2022. Studio Drydock began work on the immersive farming sim game in 2019, and it has already won an Apple Design Award.
"'Wylde Flowers' is our very first game," Amanda Schofield, the co-founder, creative director and managing director of indie developer Studio Drydock, told AppleInsider. "What we wanted was to make a game that represented people who had not seen themselves in games before."
"We knew we had to build a team that was just as diverse as the game that we wanted to make," she continued, "so we are based in Melbourne, but we have people in the US, Costa Rica, Canada, and New Zealand."
"We're passionate about diversity," said Schofield, "whether that's in Studio Drydock or in our games."
App Winners 2022
Games Winners 2022
Alongside the regular awards for apps and games across Apple's platform, this year the App Store editors chose to spotlight five more apps that have had a significant impact. Apple says that they each have made a "lasting impact on people's lives and influenced culture."
How We Feel, for instance, is an app from Ben Silbermann, co-founder of Pinterest, which is made in conjunction with a scientific team led by Dr. Marc Brackett at the Yale University Center for Emotional Intelligence.
"We describe 'How We Feel' as a journal for emotional wellbeing," Silbermann told AppleInsider. "We have things to track our steps if you want to get fit, we have things to track what we eat if you are dieting, but there aren't a lot of tools to track and understand your emotions."
"The app is all about is checking in with your feelings," Dr. Brackett told AppleInsider, "so there's a little button that says Check In and you tap that."
Then the app prompts users to enter first broad, then more specific details about how they are feeling. The app tracks feelings over time and helps people see patterns about their mental wellbeing.
Cultural Impact winners
Recipients of the App Store Awards each receive a trophy in the form of the App Store icon rendered in aluminum.
Apple has not revealed when the winners will get their awards, but in previous years they've started arriving around a week after the announcement.