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A Trail of Surprise: Apple and Google's App of the Year Choices

November 29, 2023

The Unexpected Winners

So, Apple and Google made their grand announcement of the best apps and games of 2023. Apple, in a totally expected move, chose AllTrails, a hiking and biking companion, as their iPhone App of the Year. Meanwhile, Google, showing off their flair for the educational, picked Imprint: Learn Visually as the best app on Google Play. And for the game of the year, both giants agreed on Honkai: Star Rail. Because clearly, when you think of 2023, you think of hiking, learning visually, and whatever Honkai: Star Rail is.

The Reasoning Behind the Choices

Now, these year-end lists are not just there to make us download more apps. They also show what's hot and what's not in the app world, and what these tech giants wanted to put in the spotlight. Apple, in a shocking twist, decided not to focus on new or innovative tech. Instead, they went for the classics like Duolingo and Flighty, alongside AllTrails. Because who needs innovation when you've got good old reliability?

The AI Snub

In a totally non-surprising move, neither Apple nor Google chose an AI app for their app of the year. Yes, despite ChatGPT being, oh, just the fastest-growing consumer app in history. But hey, why acknowledge the elephant in the room when you can focus on hiking trails and visual learning?

Other Honorable Mentions

But wait, there's more! Apple also crowned winners in other categories, like the iPad App of the Year going to Prêt-à-Makeup and the Mac App of the Year to Photomator. Apple's CEO Tim Cook said, “This year’s winners represent the limitless potential of developers." He's right; who knew that makeup and photo editing apps were the pinnacle of human achievement in app development?

The Cultural Impact (Or Lack Thereof)

Apple also avoided naming an AI app among its Cultural Impact winners. Instead, they chose apps like Pok Pok and Too Good To Go. Because, let's face it, preventing food waste and children's games are definitely more culturally impactful than AI, which only creates art, music, and disrupts entire industries.

A Nod to AI

But Apple couldn't completely ignore AI. So, they threw a bone by naming generative AI the “Trend of the Year.” It's like saying, "We see you, AI, but let's just be friends."

Google's Unique Choices

Google, not to be outdone, highlighted “multi-device” apps, like Spotify for its best multi-device app. Because when you think of innovation, Spotify definitely comes to mind first, right?

The People's Choice

And in a twist that no one saw coming, ChatGPT won Google's User’s Choice App of the Year. It seems the people have spoken, even if the tech giants haven't listened.

Google's Honorable Mentions

Google also had its list of individual accolades, including Best App for Fun, Best for Personal Growth, and Best with AI, going to various apps that you've probably never heard of. But hey, at least they acknowledged AI, sort of.


In conclusion, Apple and Google's app of the year choices were as predictable as a plot in a soap opera. While they ignored the roaring AI elephant in the room, they did manage to highlight some apps that remind us of the simpler things in life: like hiking, makeup, and children's games. After all, who needs groundbreaking technology when you have all that?

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