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Apple’s Top Apps of 2013: Design, Language, and Interaction


‘Tis the season for sharing one of the best of the year, and the Apple Retailer have simply launched their absolute best apps of the year roundup.  Whereas a few of their picks are primarily based simply on choice of downloads, others are in keeping with aesthetics, interactivity, and ranges of consumer engagement.  These lists are at all times fascinating to peruse in relation to seeing what used to be trending over the last year, in addition to sit up for what we may are expecting within the New Yr.

App of the Yr: Duolingo

Languages was once slightly pricey to examine; you both had to enroll in a whole route at your area people school or buy an especially pricey software bundle that frequently ended up accumulating mud below your desk. With the arrival of latest tutorial paradigms that purpose to make finding out available to everybody, that is changing into a factor of the earlier. Duolingo, the Apple Retailer’s decide for App of the Yr, makes language studying on hand to everybody at only a click on of the button:

 “Certain, there was once Rosetta Stone, nevertheless it’s a luxurious application (it begins at $274), and the parents who in reality want to research to talk different languages “should not have the cash,” says von Ahn.”They want it to get a greater job.”

So that they put their heads collectively and got here up with Duolingo, which was once launched on the finish of 2012. Twelve months later, Duolingo has viewed 10 million downloads. And now Apple has deemed it the free iPhone App of the 12 months. (The app can also be on hand for Android.)” – USAToday.com

Here’s a video demo of Duolingo and the concept that fueled the creation of this app:

Luis von Ahn, the creator of Duolingo (and, just as an aside, also the creator of CAPTCHA), decided to create Duolingo to not only equip users to learn languages, but also to enable millions of Duolingo users from all over the world to work together to solve large-scale problems; like, for example, translating the Internet. You can watch the talk he gives at TED below about this very issue:

Game of the Year: Ridiculous Fishing

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not a game person; however, I’m sort of drawn in to the Apple Store’s pick for Game of the Year, Ridiculous Fishing. Retro graphics and a compelling story are what keep me and millions of other people around for hours of gameplay.

This somewhat-off-the-beaten-path game was put together by a small independent team of developers out of the Netherlands called Vlambeer, who based this game on their original “Radical Fishing” app: “Follow Billy as he tries to find redemption from his uncertain past. Chase your destiny on the high seas and embark on a heroic quest for glory and gills.” Watch a quick demo of this endearing game below:

The game was recently ported to Android, with the development team writing up a quick summary of their thoughts on the process and how it went, something of interest to other developers who have or who are thinking of doing the same thing with their apps:

“Android (and porting in general) is a particularly tough challenge for a game as precise and meaningful to us as Ridiculous Fishing is, but we’re happy to say we finally reached the point where we felt comfortable releasing the game recently & decided to try something we felt would harken back to our original launch plans. ….This is our first foray into Android, and we’re quite nervous to see how this launch will go.” – A little update regarding Ridiculous Fishing for Android


People aren’t going straight to the social networking apps and games for their app downloads; although obviously these two categories are far and away the leaders for any app store out there, other apps are definitely making their voices heard (as seen in the App of the Year pick). The Apple Store highlighted trends in 2013 that run from easy photo editing to indie games to innovative kids’ apps, as well as a plethora of apps that spotlight the ability to communicate via split-second video (like Vine or Snapchat).

Top Lists

Minecraft topped the list of Top Paid games for 2013; this indie studio game has made its mark in the world of “crafting” games (games where you create your own reality within the game).  Creator Markus Persson and his game were profiled in the New Yorker:

“Since the game’s release, in 2009, Minecraft has sold in excess of twenty million copies, earned armfuls of prestigious awards, and secured merchandising deals with LEGO and other toymakers. … Persson and his game continue to confound the wisdom of video-game critics, consultants, and publishing mavens. For one, Minecraft looks nothing like the multi-million-dollar blockbusters that usually line GameStop’s shelves; its graphics and sound effects are rudimentary. It is also willfully oblique, with no instruction manual and few explicit goals. At first, you are deposited in a unique, procedurally generated world built from a palette of colored one-by-one square building blocks that comprise its mountains, valleys, lakes and clouds. Faced with this canvas, at first your task is mere exploration, charting the terrain around you.”

Topping the list for Top Free and the Top Grossing Games was the phenomenally successful Candy Crush Saga, the game everyone loves to berate but then secretly plays for hours on their phone (speaking hypothetically, of course). Candy Crush Saga became so successful in part because of its social interactivity; user engagement is one of the primary factors in this game:

“Candy Crush tells players “you need to share this because it benefits your friends.”

Players can only play five levels at a time until they run out of ‘hearts’, meaning they must wait before playing again unless they buy more – but during this time they can give hearts to their friends.

“After a while of helping everyone else,” Lovell says: “You think ‘I don’t mind asking them for help now because I’ve shared the love, it’s my turn [to ask for help and be rewarded]’.” – “Freemium app purchases and Candy Crush”, ibtimes.co.uk

It’s virtually altruistic in nature, however it additionally faucets into the ever present want all of us need to keep in touch and interact with these round us – whereas having enjoyable. And on the grounds that in-app purchases are in such small quantities, avid gamers don’t register that they’re giving up the rest of price; quite the opposite, it’s similar to they’re investing in their very own recreation play.

What’s going to we see in 2014?

It’s all the time tough to foretell developments, however judging from these prime apps within the Apple Retailer in addition to what’s occurring within the present technology panorama, apps are uniquely posed to proceed to prepared the ground in how customers have interaction with mobile technology – and vice versa. What do you assume would be the traits for 2014 in apps? Go away your ideas within the feedback.