Apple’s annual Best of iTunes list is the least controversial year-end retrospective, but that’s OK: This year’s winning apps, songs, TV shows and movies are sure to please every friend and relative who finds an iTunes gift card from you in their stocking or mail box for the holidays.
Not surprisingly, Apple named blockbuster hit Threes! the top game of the year. Macworld staffers were just as obsessed with Threes! as Apple. Leo’s Fortune was Apple’s runner-up in the category. Monument Valley, Hitman GO, XCOM: Enemy Within, Rules!, Farmville 2: Country Escape, Micromon and Crazy Taxi City Rush also made the list of best games of the year.
The best iTunes apps were a little more unusual. Apple crowned Elevate, which helps people improve their memories with games, the iPhone App of the Year. We recently included the app in a round-up of other brain-training apps, so if you find Elevate a little too simple, here are some other options. The runner-up is Hyperlapse, an app from Instagram that lets you shoot time-lapse videos to share on the social network. With iOS 8, iPhone cameras can now shoot their own time-lapse videos, but Apple obviously doesn’t mind a little competition. The company also included Cinematic, Star Walk 2, Quip, BuzzFeed, GoodReader and 1Password in its round-up of the year’s best apps.
If you’re on the hunt for amazing new iPad apps, look no further: One of our favourite image-editing Mac apps, Pixelmator, released a tablet version in November and was promptly named this year’s best tablet app. Monument Valley is 2014’s best iPad game.
Sia dominated music this year, so it’s fitting that she was named the year’s Best Artist on iTunes while Chet Faker’s Built On Glass was Best Album. Sam Smith’s Stay With Me was the song of the year and 5 Seconds of Summer were given best new artist honours.
Everyone’s favourite superhero film this year, Guardians of the Galaxy, is the iTunes Blockbuster of the Year. Breakout hit Fargo is the year’s best TV show.