Apple publishes annual “Best of” music, movies, apps and media lists

In what has become its annual tradition, Apple has published localized listings detailing the most sold and most streamed music, apps, games, podcasts and games sold through its stores.

The company has also revealed what its editorial teams have selected as the most noteworthy content released this year. There are some regional differences between these announcements.

Apple Music

  • The Greatest Showman (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)is the Apple Music top album of 2018 and God’s Plan by Drake is the year’s top song.
  • Drakeis the Apple Music Artist of the Year.
  • Juice WRLD is the Apple Music Breakout Artist of the Year
  • The Apple Music Song of the Year is I Like It – Cardi B featuring Bad Bunny & J. Balvin
  • The Apple Music Album of the Year is Golden Hour – Kacey Musgraves

From the PR:

“Apple Music’s editors have awarded highest honours to the artists who truly represent the very best of 2018. Drake owns the Artist of the Year category while country’s Kasey Musgraves scores Album of the Year for her dynamic Golden Hour. The fiery collaboration between Cardi B, J. Balvin and Bad Bunny made “I Like It” an easy choice for Song of the Year and Breakout Artist Juice WRLD has been giving everyone “Lucid Dreams” all year long. But these all-stars weren’t the only stars: Apple Music’s global year-end charts and editorial playlists are packed with the year’s biggest hits and favourites from all over the world.”

Here are Apple’s Charts

Apps & Games:

US listings

App Trend of the Year – Self-care
Game Trend of the Year – Battle Royale-style gaming
iPhone App of the Year – Procreate Pocket
iPhone Game of the Year – Donut County
iPad App of the Year – Froggipedia
iPad Game of the Year – Gorogoa
Mac App of the Year – Pixelmator Pro
Mac Game of the Year – The Gardens Between
Apple TV App of the Year – Sweat
Apple TV Game of the Year – Alto’s Odyssey
Favorite Watch Apps of the Year

Top Apps Charts
Top Games Charts

App Store Editorial Picks:

  • iPhone App of the year – Procreate Pocket
  • iPhone Game of the year – Donut County
  • iPad App of the year – Froggipedia
  • iPad Game of the year – Gorogoa
  • Mac App of the year – Pixelmator Pro
  • Mac Game of the year – The Gardens Between
  • Apple TV App of the year – Sweat
  • Apple TV Game of the year – Alto’s Odyssey

UK listings

  • The Driving Theory Test 2018 Kit is the number one selling iPhone App of 2018 (paid). Procreate is the top selling iPad App (paid).
  • WhatsApp Messenger is the number one free iPhone App of the year and YouTube is the number one free iPad App of 2018.
  • Fortnite was the year’s most downloaded free game on iPhone and iPad. Top paid game honours go to Heads Up! on iPhone and Minecraft on iPad.

“This year, Battle Royale-style games like Fortnite and PUBG Mobile dominated global gaming culture with exciting, last-player-standing action, while innovative apps like Fabulous, Shine, 10% Happier and Headspace expanded the practice of wellness around the world to make self-care more accessible than ever before.”


There are some fascinating insights into the difference between the US and UK in these lists.

You see, when it comes to podcasts in the UK, TED Talks Daily was the most downloaded podcast and Love Island: The Morning After the most downloaded new podcast.

In the U.S., news, politics and current affairs drove interest:

“Investigative reporting underpinned the immersive storytelling of shows such as American Public Media’s In the DarkThe New York Times’s “Caliphate,” along with historical deep dives like Slate’s “Slow Burn. News and Politics grew as podcast genres in 2018 with The New York Times’s“The Daily” and Crooked Media’s “The Wilderness,” Apple explained.

Here are the Podcast Charts

What about Books?

  • Book of the Year: American Marriage
  • Best Nonfiction: The Library Book
  • Best Mystery: The Witch Elm
  • Best Thriller: Light It Up
  • Best Bio/Memoir: Educated
  • Best Romance: Too Wilde to Wed
  • Best Science Fiction/Fantasy: Spinning Silver
  • Best Feel-Good Fiction: When Life Gives You Lululemons
  • Best Literary Fiction: There There
  • Best Young Reader Book: Harbor Me

In the UK, The Wife Between Us by Sarah Pekkanen and Greer Hendricks was the best selling book in the fiction category while This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kaywas the year’s best selling non-fiction book.

Apple Books – Top Sellers FICTION

  • The Wife Between Us – Sarah Pekkanen, Greer Hendricks
  • The Tattooist of Auschwitz – Heather Morris
  • Now You See Her – Heidi Perks
  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman
  • Love to Hate You – Jo Watson

Apple Books – Top Sellers NON-FICTION

  • This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kay
  • Fire and Fury – Michael Wolff
  • First Man In – Ant Middleton
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k – Sarah Knight
  • Sapiens – Yuval Noah Harari

What’s on at the movies?

““Black Panther” and “Killing Eve” are the top picks of the year; they, along with other notable titles such as “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” “Hereditary” and “Pose,” have been praised by critics and fans alike and fuelled pop culture conversations and die-hard fandom around the world.”

The best movies of 2018 on Apple TV and iTunes are as follows:

  • Annihilation
  • Black Panther
  • Crazy Rich Asians
  • Eighth Grade
  • Green Book*
  • Hereditary
  • Incredibles 2
  • Minding the Gap
  • A Star is Born (Available for pre-order)
  • Won’t You Be My Neighbor

 What have we watched on TV?

Best TV Shows of 2018 on Apple TV App and iTunes:

  • The Americans
  • Atlanta
  • Barry
  • The Expanse
  • The Good Fight
  • The Good Place
  • The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Killing Eve
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
  • Pose


Jonny Evans

Watching Apple since 1999. I don't say what they should do. I say what they might do. They sometimes do.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.