It’s a good time to be Instagram. A day after the popular retro iPhone photography app announced it was coming to Android devices, Instagram was named 2011’s top iPhone app by Apple. The app, which launched in October of 2010, allows users to take pictures using different filters on the iPhone and easily share them on various social networks. The app has over 15 million members and is hoping to double that number with its launch on Android phones, according to CNET. Instagram takes the Apple crown from Hipstamatic, another photo effects app, which won this award in 2010. VidRhythm, a creator for music video mashups, and Band of the Day, which recommends a new indie band each day and plays their songs, were the runners-up this year.
On the iPad side of things, photos continued to rule the awards. Snapseed, a photo editor which costs $4.99 on the iPad, took the best of the year award. The app offers advanced yet simple editing techniques, like Auto Correct, which fixes photos in a single tap. Djay, a professional-grade DJ app with a turntable interface and beat and tempo matching, was one of the runners up, along with Jamie’s Recipes, which featured step by step recipes to different dishes from renowned chef Jamie Oliver. For gamers, Tiny Tower won the iPhone game of the year, in which players grow empires by building towers. Dead Space, a fighting survival game that takes place in a space station, won the award for best iPad game.
When it came to the top sellers, more traditional titles took the prizes, and once again, games and photography apps reaped the benefits. For iPhone, Angry Birds games dominated the list of most popular paid apps, with Angry Birds being the top seller and three versions of it in the top 10. In fact, games were by far the most popular paid apps for iPhone. The only non-game to place in the top ten was Camera+, another photo enhancement app. For free apps, the top downloads were more traditionally well-known services like Facebook, Netflix, Skype and Twitter. Free versions of Angry Birds and Words with Friends also made the top ten. For iPad, similar games ruled for the paid apps, and the news apps for CNN and ABC were popular in the free category.
With the Top App wins by Hipstamatic and Instagram in consecutive years, photography has proven to be a top iPhone function. With these phones, people have a great camera at their fingertips at all times, and they want to use it to its highest capabilities. These apps have figured out how these cameras work, and have made them as easy to use and advanced as possible. With so many games proving to be top sellers in 2011, Apple users are taking advantage of the impressive video graphics that iPhones and iPads provide in order to play games that can rival those on video game consoles, like the complicated Dead Space. With the iPhone 4S available and the iPhone 5 and iPad 3 rumored to be released in 2012, these trends shouldn’t be changing any time soon.