It's been another big year for app developers, and 2019 has seen some brilliant new additions to both the Google Play Store and the App Store. There's been some impressive new updates to older favourites too, and our list of top 2019 apps features the very best of the best, from stunning games and intelligent photo editors to all-new AR apps.
Whether you're an Android or iPhone user, we're sure there's an app you'll be itching to download below.
Available on: iOS only
Crowned by Apple as the iPhone App of the Year, Spectre is an AI-powered app that's designed to help you nail long exposure shots. If you're into your smartphone photography, you'll know just how difficult capturing the perfect long exposure shot can be - from nailing the lighting to keeping the device steady, there's a lot that can go wrong.
Spectre uses artificial intelligence to combat all of these issues. As well as refining your photos to get rid of motion blur, adjusting exposure levels and enhancing colours, it has the ability to remove crowds from the background (perfect if you're in a busy tourist spot), photograph moving water beautifully and even snap cityscapes at night in amazing detail.
This is an iPhone exclusive, and it's available on the App Store for just £2.99.
Glitch Video Effects
Available on: Android only
Price: Free with in-app purchases
Android users might not be able to download Spectre, but they can get their hands-on Glitch Video Effects. Winner of the Google Play award, User's Choice App of 2019, Glitch makes it easy to edit videos directly on your smartphone.
Starting with the basic but essential features, Glitch will let you trim and cut your videos, adjust the aspect ratio and export videos in high resolution so they're ready to be shared on any social media platform you'd like.
There are also more than 100 video effects and filters to choose from, helping you to transform your homemade movie or Instagram video in a matter of seconds. From vintage or retro filters to noise and mirror effects, you're sure to find what you're looking for in the app. You can even shoot directly from the app, adding a real-time VHS effect over the top.
With over 70,000 reviews, Glitch is a must for any aspiring smartphone videographer with an Android handset.
Sky: Children of the Light
Available on: iOS, Android pre-register available
Winner of Apple's iPhone Game of the Year, and coming soon on Android (you can pre-register your interest now via the Google Play Store), Sky: Children of the Light is one of the most exciting, smartphone games of 2019.
Launched in July by Thatgamecompany, one of the first things you'll notice about Sky: Children of the Light is its breath-taking graphics. The artwork on this game is incredible, helping you to really immerse yourself in an enchanting mobile world.
An adventure game at its core, your main quest as a player is to help the wandering spirits in the game. You'll be rewarded in various ways for encountering these spirits, and when you find fallen stars. Fallen stars give each player something known as 'winged light', and when you've collected enough winged light your cape will level up, meaning you can fly further in the game.
There are seven different realms in Sky, each reflecting a different stage of life. The game itself doesn't have a strict storyline, and this freedom helps you to truly explore at your leisure, meeting others along the way.
Sayonara Wild Hearts
Available on: Apple Arcade
Price: Apple Arcade subscription required - £4.99 per month
Sayonara Wild Hearts is available on some of the biggest gaming platforms out there, including PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. For 2019, it also made its debut on iOS, via Apple Arcade.
Described by makers at Simogo as a “pop album video game”, music plays a huge role in Sayonara Wild Hearts. It's been praised numerous times for its killer soundtrack, and there's a number of rhythm-focused tasks to complete throughout.
This arcade-style game begins by introducing you to the heroine - a girl who has emerged from a shard of a broken heart. While dreaming, she follows a butterfly to a highway in the sky and takes on her masked alter ego, known as The Fool. You'll be tasked with controlling The Fool through multiple levels, each of which is accompanied by unique songs that complement gameplay. You'll ride motorbikes through city streets, fly through the air, ride deer through mystical forests and so much more.
Big Bang AR
Available on: iOS and Android
Another award winner, Big Bang AR was named as one of the Best Hidden Gems of 2019 by Google Play. Available on iOS too, Big Bang AR brings the universe to life through augmented reality, and will take you back 13.8 billion years to teach you how space and time were created in an interactive, captivating way.
A collaboration between Google Arts & Culture and CERN scientists, Big Bang AR requires access to your location, camera and photos to be able to work effectively. Permissions granted, you'll be able to see the universe form quite literally in the palm of your hand. From atoms to stars and nebula, through AR this app will guide you step-by-step through the formation of the universe, from the first atoms to the largest nebula. Even better, the whole thing is narrated by Tilda Swinton.
Scripts by Drops
Available on: iOS and Android
Price: Free with in-app purchases available
Continuing with the educational theme, our last must-have app for 2019 is Scripts by Drops. If you've always wanted to learn a new language, but you’re keen to try one that uses a completely new alphabet, then Scripts by Drops is here to help.
Designed to make learning characters less daunting and more manageable, this app uses various techniques to teach in a fun way, that’s easy to digest. Fast-paced mini games help you to get to grips with new characters and letters quickly, and it'll take just five minutes a day.
You can choose to learn one of the seven following languages on Scripts by Drops: Russian Cyrillic, English Alphabet, ASL Alphabet, Hindi Devanagari, Japanese Kana, Chinese Hanzi and Korean Hangul.
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