What were the 2017 Apps of the Year on the App Store?

In Photo: Calm by Calm.com and Enlight Videoleap by Lightricks Ltd.

WHAT would many of us do without apps? From Netflix, Hooq and iFlix, to Grab and Uber, to Tinder and Grindr, apps are part of our lives. In an way, they’re like family. You can’t live without them, but you’re sometimes annoyed with them.

There are probably thousands of apps available for your iPhone and other iOS gadgets. To find out which were the top ones for 2017 and what they were about, we looked at the ones chosen by the Apple App Store editors. They include:

Affinity Photo for iPad by Serif Labs. Described as an alternative for Photoshop, Affinity Photo for iPad is the first full blown and truly “professional photo-editing tool to make its way onto the Apple tablet.” It has been named 2017 App of the Year on iPad by App Stores worldwide. It also has a desktop version but for this column, we’re talking about the iPad app. The goal of Serif Labs in creating a version for iPad is to make “real” editing possible on a mobile gadget. Reviews have called Affinity Photo “life after Photoshop” and “a bold ambition no other publisher has attempted.” By the way, the app supports the Apple Pencil. Affinity Photo for iPad is compatible with the iPad Air 2, iPad 2017 and all three sizes of iPad Pro—9.7-inch, 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch. It is not compatible with older iPads. It is priced at P749.

Enlight Videoleap by Lightricks Ltd. This free app was selected 2017 App of the Year on iPhone in 76 App Stores worldwode, including the Philippines. Enlight Videoleap is a video editor that has received rave reviews from users. Lightricks, by the way, also developed the very popular app Facetune. The company said Enlight Videoleap is “poised to revolutionize the creation and editing of today’s digital video content.” Reviewers have said that the app was easy to use, even for beginners.

n Tastemade for Apple TV by Tastemade Inc. Named 2017 App of the Year on Apple TV in Australia, Japan and New Zealand, Tastemade teaches you how to make your own food and travel reviews. Users have described the Tastemade app as “clever” and “as much about creating as sharing.” You can use the app not only to share videos via several social-media platforms but also view videos of other people. Tastemade is available for free. There are no ads or in-app purchases.

Ekibo by Matthew Fargo. Ekibo, which won 2017 App of the Year for iPhone in Japan, allows you to create your character based on your everyday experiences riding the trains, eating and doing other mundane things. According to the App Store description, “every time you ride a train or visit a location, your Ekibo learns and grows from the experience.” A description that made me believe Ekibo would be popular in the Philippines was “it can turn your dreary commute into an adventure.”

Calm by Calm.com. Calm, 2017 App of the Year on iPhone in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom, is for mindfulness and meditation. There are guided meditations for beginners and advanced learners in lenghths of three, five, 10, 15, 20 and 25 minutes. Calm also has breathing exercises and Sleeping Stories. Users felt “refreshed” and “relaxed” after using this free app.

iTranslate Converse by iTranslate. iTranslate Converse is the 2017 App of the Year on Apple Watch in Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the US. It is a translation app that, quite truthfully, hasn’t received good reviews. Users in the Philippines did not like that they had to use the app with the phone upside down. “It wasn’t user friendly,” they said.

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