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Apple and Google Announce the Best Apps of 2021

Best apps of the year 2021 featured

With millions of apps on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, it can be hard to know which ones are actually worth downloading. To make things easy, Apple and Google both release curated lists of their favorite apps every year. Here are the best iPhone and Android apps of 2021, according to the App Store Awards and Google Play Best of Awards.

Toca Life World: Apple’s Best iPhone App of the Year

Toca Life World Apples Best iPhone App of the Year
(Image Source: Apple)
  • Price: Free (with in-app purchases)

Apple awarded the best app of the year to Toca Life World, which combines all the previous Toca Life apps into one. However, this isn’t your typical game. There aren’t any points, goals, or bosses. Instead, there are over 500 characters that you can dress up in different outfits and decorate their homes. Then you can use your characters to act out a skit and record a video. That’s it.

Also, the game locks many of the characters, outfits, furniture, and other items behind paywalls, with some packs costing up to $100. So, it’s hard to know who the target demographic for this game is. While you might enjoy the game, it doesn’t feel like it deserves to be awarded as the best app of the year.

Download: Apple App Store, Google Play Store

Balance: Google’s Best Android App of the Year

Balance best google app of the year 2
  • Price: $69.99 a year (after a one-year free trial)

This has been a stressful year. Maybe that’s why Google awarded the best app of 2021 to Balance. This mediation app has thousands of audio files designed to help you reduce stress, fall asleep, concentrate, quit smoking, and more. When you start, Balance will ask you questions about your mood and goals. Then it will assemble personalized meditations to help you feel better and achieve your goals.

The mediation coaches are real people with calming voices, but sometimes they will stop speaking and let you do your breathing exercises in silence, which is actually pretty nice. Overall, this seems like a mediation app for adults who actually want to deal with stress in their lives.

Download: Google Play Store, Apple App Store

LumaFusion: Apple’s Best iPad App of the Year

(Image Source: LumaTouch)
  • Price: $29.99

Apple’s iPad app of the year, LumaFusion, can turn your tablet into a mobile editing station. This app has a familiar editing layout, with a viewer, a clip browser, and a huge timeline. There are 6 video and audio tracks, so you can layer your clips and still see all of them.

There are lots of advanced features that let you insert transitions, add markers, use special effects, lock tracks or overwrite them, and more. You can even edit 4K content on your iPad right from a USB-C hard drive. It is available for iPhone users as well, but it doesn’t give you nearly as much space as the tablet version.

Download: Apple App Store

Read more: Best photo editing apps for iPhone and Android

Pokémon Unite: Google’s Best Game of the Year

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(Image Source: Google Play Store)
  • Price: Free (with in-app purchases)

Google’s best game of 2021 is Pokémon Unite, a 5-on-5 strategic MOBA (multiplayer online battle area) game. That means you can battle against other players in real-time or team up with your friends and level up your characters together.

The action is fast-paced, the controls are easy to use, and there are enough flashing lights and bright colors to entertain kids for hours. However, there are in-app purchases that are designed to make the game easier, and they can cost up to $100. This game is also available on the Nintendo Switch, and it offers cross-platform support with the smartphone app.

Download: Google Play Store, Apple App Store

League of Legends: Wild Rift: Apple’s Best iPhone Game of the Year

(Image Source: Google Play Store)
  • Price: Free (with in-app purchases)

Last year, Apple and Google both awarded the game of the year to Genshin Impact. And while the two tech giants did choose different games this year, League of Legends is almost identical to Pokémon Unite. Both games are 5-on-5 MOBAs with similar controls and gameplay, and they both come with in-app purchases.

However, one thing that sets League of Legends apart is that it is also one of the most popular computer games with esports communities in the world. In fact, there are professional tournaments and even some colleges that offer scholarships for this game.

Download: Apple App Store, Google Play Store

Myst: Apple’s Best Mac Game of the Year

Myst best game of the year
(Image Source Cyan)
  • Price: $29.99

Myst was first released 28 years ago, and it quickly became one of the most iconic puzzle games of all time. Cyan, the indie studio that created the original Myst, says this version of the game has been “completely re-imagined.” But, while it does contain new music and the graphics have been improved, the new remake has basically the same storyline and puzzles as the original.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s the same game. The new Myst gives you much more freedom to walk around and explore the island. In fact, Myst 2021 was originally created for VR, and it uses ambient sound effects, so you can have a truly immersive 3D experience.

Download: Apple App Store, Microsoft/Xbox, Steam

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