Apple Reveals 2014’s Best Apps, Music, Movies, and More
With only a few weeks left before the end of the year, Apple has unveiled its Best of 2014 list for the iTunes Store. The annual feature highlights some of the company’s favorite and most popular apps, music, movies, TV shows, and e-books. This curated list is different from iTunes Charts, which only lists the top sellers in each category of content. While Apple also names winners in various subcategories, here are the top-level prizes in each of the primary categories for the Best of 2014 iTunes awards.
Apps and games
iPhone App of the Year: Elevate – Brain Training
This educational app is “a brain training program designed to improve focus, speaking skills, processing speed, memory, math skills, and more,” according to the iTunes app description. The app features 25 games that are designed to improve “critical cognitive skills” through a personalized training program. Elevate – Brain Training was previously selected as the Best App of May and was honored as an Editor’s Choice app.
iPhone Game of the Year: Threes!
This numbers game is described by its makers as a “tiny puzzle that grows on you” and was also an Apple Design Award 2014 Winner.
iPad App of the Year: Pixelmator
According to the description for this photo- and video-editing app, “Pixelmator takes full advantage of the latest iOS technologies, giving you speedy and powerful tools that let you touch up and enhance images, draw or paint, apply dazzling effects, or create advanced composition amazingly simple.”
iPad Game of the Year: Monument Valley
This Apple Design Award 2014 winner “is a surreal exploration through fantastical architecture and impossible geometry,” per the app’s description.
Best Artist: Beyoncé
Best Album: Taylor Swift, 1989
Best Song: Iggy Azalea, “Fancy” (feat. Charli XCX)
Best New Artist: Sam Smith
Best Blockbuster: Guardians of the Galaxy
Not surprisingly, the top-grossing film of 2014 — with more than $332.2 million in total domestic gross, according to Box Office Mojo — was also Apple’s pick for Best Blockbuster of the year. Guardians of the Galaxy stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, and Bradley Cooper and is expected to be released on iTunes on December 9.
Best Family Movie: The LEGO Movie
Like Guardians of the Galaxy, this computer-animated adventure-comedy also features Chris Pratt, along with Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, Charlie Day, Liam Neeson, and Morgan Freeman. The LEGO Movie was the third-highest grossing movie of 2014, according to Box Office Mojo.
Best Director: Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Director Richard Linklater garnered Best Director honors from Apple for this critically acclaimed film that used the same cast over a period of 12 years. Boyhood currently has a 99% Certified Fresh approval rating from the critics at Rotten Tomatoes.
Best Discovery: Obvious Child
Writer/director Gillian Robespierre’s romantic comedy about a young comedian’s unexpected pregnancy was called “a deeply promising debut” by the critics at Rotten Tomatoes, who gave the film an 88% Certified Fresh approval rating.
TV Show of the Year: Fargo
This Coen brothers-produced television series, inspired by the Academy Award-winning film of the same name, stars Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Colin Hanks, and Allison Tolman.
Best Performances: True Detective, Season 1
Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson star in this critically acclaimed HBO crime drama about the hunt for a serial killer.
Best Discovery: The Honorable Woman
This political thriller stars Maggie Gyllenhaal as an Anglo-Israeli businesswoman caught up in the Middle East peace process.
Best Breakthrough: Key & Peele, Vol. 4
This comedy sketch show stars Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele.
Best Fiction: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
This National Book Award finalist is about “a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II,” according to the description provided on iTunes.
Best Nonfiction: The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs
Author Jeff Hobbs documents the heartbreaking story of his friend and Yale University roommate Robert Peace.
Follow Nathanael on Twitter @ArnoldEtan_WSCS