Apple’s 2022 App Store Awards put the focus on ‘cultural impact’


BeReal, the new social media app that exploded in popularity over the past few months, is one of the biggest winners for this year’s Apple’s App Store Awards. It won iPhone App of the Year for giving people an authentic glimpse into their friend’s and family’s every day lives, the tech giant said in its announcement. In all, Apple highlighted 16 apps and games for 2022 that delivered “exceptional experiences and [made] a profound cultural impact.”

In BeReal’s case, the fact that other social media apps had introduced or are testing features similar to what it does is a clear testament to the “impact” it’s had on the space. BeReal users can share a selfie of themselves with a photo of their environment during a two-minute window that the app randomly selects for them every day. A reverse engineer found an experimental feature that’s basically identical to that within Instagram back in August, while TikTok unveiled its own take on the format in September. 

Another big winner is GoodNotes 5, which was named the iPad App of the Year for taking digital notes “to the next level with best-in-class Apple Pencil support.” Users can treat their iPads like any book or notebook with the app, since it allows them to jot down notes on the margin and highlight important text, among other things. 

MacFamilyTree 10 won Mac App of the year for its ability to create virtually stunning family trees and giving users the capability to collaborate with relatives around the world, while ViX, the Spanish-language streaming service by TelevisaUnivision, won Apple TV App of the Year. Yet another winner is fitness tracker Gentler Streak, which took home the Apple Watch App of the Year award.  

For games, Apex Legends Mobile bested all the other titles for the iPhone, while puzzle game Moncage and card battler Inscryption won best games for the iPad and the Mac, respectively. The Wild West stealth game El Hijo won best game for Apple TV for looking exceptional on a big screen. Wylde Flowers, a life sim that combines farming with magic, was named as the best Apple Arcade game. Finally, esports simulator League of Legends Esports Manager won the first China Game of the Year award.

In addition to the main winners, Apple also highlighted five apps for impacting people’s lives and influencing culture. Those apps include How We Feel, which encourages users to record their emotional well-being to help them better vocalize it, and Dot’s Home, a time-traveling story that puts a spotlight on systemic housing injustices. Locket Widget can help forge connections between people by letting users send live photos to their friend’s and family’s home screen, while Waterllama makes keeping hydrated fun. There’s also Inua – A Story in Ice and Time, which takes users on an adventure rich in Inuit folklore and traditions. 

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