2023 is almost done. Here’s all the top apps and games for iPhone and iPad direct from the horse’s mouth (Apple). The list includes both free and paid apps and games, and we have all the trends analyzed.

As we approach the end of 2023, it is once again time for Apple to list out all the most popular apps and games (based on downloads) from inside its App Store. 

As you will see below, there’s some obvious ones: TikTok, Instagram, Roblox, and NBA 2K23 Arcade Edition. But there’s also plenty of lesser known (at least to me) titles like Procreate, AnkiMobile Flashcards, and Shadowrocket. 

Here’s the complete list, broken up section by section, per Apple’s official press release.

Stick around until the end too because we’ve got some analysis of these top apps which makes for some pretty interesting reading. 

The Best Selling Apps & Games [According To Apple]

Apple Confirms 2023’s Top Apps & Games [FREE & PAID]Pin

Top Free iPhone Apps

  1. Temu: Shop Like a Billionaire
  2. CapCut – Video Editor
  3. Max: Stream HBO, TV, & Movies
  4. Threads, an Instagram app
  5. TikTok
  6. Instagram
  7. Google
  8. YouTube: Watch, Listen, Stream
  9. WhatsApp Messenger
  10. Gmail – Email by Google

Top Paid iPhone Apps

  1. Shadowrocket
  2. HotSchedules
  3. Procreate Pocket
  4. The Wonder Weeks
  5. 75 Hard
  6. AutoSleep Track Sleep on Watch
  7. Goblin Tools
  8. TonalEnergy Tuner & Metronome
  9. SkyView
  10. AnkiMobile Flashcards

Top Free iPhone Games 

  2. Roblox
  3. Royal Match
  4. Subway Surfers
  5. Gardenscapes
  6. Call of Duty: Mobile
  7. Block Blast!
  8. Makeover Studio: Makeup Games
  9. Parking Jam 3D
  10. Survivor!.io

Top Paid iPhone Games

  1. Minecraft
  2. Heads Up!
  3. Geometry Dash
  4. Bloons TD 6
  6. Papa’s Freezeria To Go!
  7. Plague Inc.
  8. Red’s First Flight
  9. Five Nights at Freddy’s
  10. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Top Free iPad Apps

  1. Max: Stream HBO, TV, & Movies
  2. YouTube: Watch, Listen, Stream
  3. Netflix
  4. Google Chrome
  5. Disney+
  6. Goodnotes 6
  7. TikTok
  8. Amazon Prime Video
  9. Temu: Shop Like a Billionaire
  10. Peacock TV: Stream TV & Movies

Top Paid iPad Apps

  1. Procreate
  2. Shadowrocket
  3. Nomad Sculpt
  4. forScore
  5. Toca Life: Hospital
  6. Bluebeam Revu for iPad
  7. Teach Your Monster to Read
  8. AnkiMobile Flashcards
  9. Endless Paper
  10. ToonSquid

Top Free iPad Games

  1. Roblox
  2. Magic Tiles 3: Piano Game
  3. Subway Surfers
  4. Royal Match
  5. Among Us!
  6. Duet Cats: Cute Cat Games
  7. Stumble Guys
  9. Bridge Race
  10. Gardenscapes

Top Paid iPad Games

  1. Minecraft
  2. Geometry Dash
  3. Bloons TD 6
  4. Stardew Valley
  6. Five Nights at Freddy’s
  7. Red’s First Flight
  8. Poppy Playtime Chapter 1
  9. Plague Inc.
  10. Garten of Banban 2

Top Apple Arcade Games

  1. NBA 2K23 Arcade Edition
  2. Cooking Mama: Cuisine!
  3. Bloons TD 6+
  4. Angry Birds Reloaded
  5. Sneaky Sasquatch
  6. Warped Kart Racers
  7. Hello Kitty Island Adventure
  8. Snake.io+
  9. Fruit Ninja Classic+
  10. Solitaire by MobilityWare+

Apple Confirms 2023’s Top Apps & Games [FREE & PAID]Pin

Lists are useful in their own right but I like to dig into the details a little more in order to see if I can spot some trends. 

What’s the order of the day here? 

As 2023 wraps, there has been a huge influx in specialised tools – apps like Shadowrocket and Procreate Pocket. Also, Canva remains massively popular with creators, both on desktop and on iPhone. 

The dominance of streaming and social media apps underscores the continued shift towards digital consumption, while the popularity of specialized tools and games indicates a diversified use of mobile devices for both professional and personal purposes.

Here’s the rest of my findings.

Top Free iPhone Apps Analysis

  1. Diverse Functionality: The list includes a mix of shopping (Temu), video editing (CapCut), streaming services (Max), social media (Instagram, TikTok), and utility apps (Google, Gmail).
  2. Social Media Dominance: Apps like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube continue to dominate, indicating a steady preference for social media platforms.
  3. Rise of Video Content: With apps like CapCut and YouTube, there’s a clear indication of the increasing popularity of video content.
  4. Communication Essentials: WhatsApp Messenger and Gmail reflect the ongoing need for effective communication tools.

Top Paid iPhone Apps Analysis

  1. Specialized Tools: Apps like Shadowrocket and Procreate Pocket suggest a demand for specialized, professional-grade tools.
  2. Lifestyle and Productivity: Apps like HotSchedules, 75 Hard, and AutoSleep highlight a focus on lifestyle management and personal productivity.
  3. Educational and Creative Tools: The Wonder Weeks, AnkiMobile Flashcards, and TonalEnergy Tuner & Metronome point towards a preference for educational and creative aids.

Top Free iPhone Games Analysis

  1. Diverse Gaming Experiences: From classics like MONOPOLY GO! to modern hits like Roblox, the variety shows a broad range of interests.
  2. Casual Gaming Popularity: Games like Subway Surfers and Gardenscapes suggest the popularity of casual, easy-to-play games.
  3. Action and Strategy: Titles like Call of Duty: Mobile reflect a consistent interest in action and strategy games.

Top Paid iPhone Games Analysis

  1. Classic and Nostalgic Titles: Minecraft, Geometry Dash, and MONOPOLY highlight the lasting appeal of classic games.
  2. Diverse Genres: The list features a variety of genres from adventure (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas) to strategy (Plague Inc.).
  3. Engaging Gameplay: Games like Five Nights at Freddy’s and Papa’s Freezeria To Go! offer engaging and immersive gameplay experiences.

Top Free iPad Apps Analysis

  1. Streaming and Entertainment: Dominated by streaming services like Netflix and Disney+, indicating a trend towards consuming media on larger screens.
  2. Educational and Productive Tools: Goodnotes 6 and Google Chrome suggest a focus on productivity and learning.

Top Paid iPad Apps Analysis

  1. Creative Tools: Procreate and Nomad Sculpt indicate a demand for high-quality creative apps.
  2. Educational Focus: Apps like Toca Life: Hospital and Teach Your Monster to Read highlight an emphasis on educational content.

Top Free iPad Games Analysis

  1. Casual and Interactive: Games like Roblox and Among Us! showcase a preference for interactive, community-driven gaming experiences.
  2. Family-Friendly Titles: Games such as Duet Cats: Cute Cat Games cater to a younger audience or family settings.

Top Paid iPad Games Analysis

  1. Versatile Gaming Options: The presence of diverse games like Stardew Valley and Garten of Banban 2 reflects a wide range of interests among iPad users.
  2. Engaging Storylines: Titles like Poppy Playtime Chapter 1 offer narrative-driven experiences.

Top Apple Arcade Games Analysis

  1. Popular Franchises: NBA 2K23 Arcade Edition and Angry Birds Reloaded show the popularity of established franchises.
  2. Family-Oriented Gaming: Titles like Cooking Mama: Cuisine! and Hello Kitty Island Adventure cater to a family audience.

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