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Apple has published its best-of and most-downloaded lists for 2014, and it turns out it was a good year to be smart and creative in the App Store. The company's own favorite apps of the year were the mind-sharpening (or so they say) Elevate: Brain Training on iPhone and powerful image editor Pixelmator on iPad. In games, minimalist puzzler Threes takes the honors for iPhone, while perspective-bending platformer Monument Valley won on the iPad.

Of course, the Apple nod doesn't mean they're automatically the best selling. Minecraft and Ellen Degeneres favorite Heads Up were in the top three most paid for on both iPad and iPhone, along with Cut the Rope 2 and photo tweaking app Afterlight. As for the most-downloaded free apps, well, it's mostly what you'd expect: YouTube, Netflix, Snapchat and the recently mandatory Facebook Messenger. You can browse the rest of the lists, including top artists, songs, and movies, by opening up the App Store yourself on your Apple device.



—Devin Coldewey