Apple just named its favorite apps and games of the year

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Tim CookJustin Edmonds/Getty ImagesApple CEO Tim Cook.

  • Apple announced its apps of the year on Thursday.
  • The picks include two puzzle games and a meditation app.
  • These choices are based at least in part on the merits of the apps, rather than exclusively on downloads.

Meditation, photo editing and puzzles were the themes of the best apps of the year, as determined by Apple employees.

The company on Thursday released its year-end list of top US apps for iPhones and iPads. In addition to publishing the list of the most-downloaded apps and games, Apple also chose an "app of the year" and a "game of the year" for both the iPhone and the iPad.

Apple's iPhone app of the year is Calm, a health-and-fitness app that provides soundtracks and guides for meditation, including routines to help you sleep. It's free but many of its features are only available through in-app purchases or a subscription. 

triptico_1512665003278iTunesA screen shot of Calm, the top iPhone app.

Apple's iPhone game of the year is Splitter Critters, a creative and cute puzzler in which players navigate the game's two dimensional world by ripping it apart and pasting it back together. The $2.99 game features a new augmented-reality mode. 

triptico_1512664924793iTunesA screen shot of Splitter Critters.

The company's iPad app of the year is Affinity Photo, a professional-level photo editing suite that can handle uncompressed RAW files and allows you to create an unlimited number of layers. It costs $19.99.

Apple's iPad game of the year is The Witness, a beautiful single-person puzzle game. It's $9.99. 

Company employees determine Apple's apps of the year. Their picks are supposed to be based at least in part on the merits of the apps themselves, rather than on how many downloads the apps have had or other business criteria.

The company determines its top apps on a per-country basis, and picked different ones in other countries. You can see the full US list here.

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