What makes an app catch your eye?
We think the most beautiful apps of the year use colour creatively, simplify otherwise annoying experiences, spark our imaginations with fantastic game environments, and incorporate images cleverly to keep us coming back for more.
These are the most beautiful apps of 2014.
Waterlogue lets you watch as it paints over your photos to create a beautiful watercolor version. There's 14 different styles, and you can create the perfect picture by tweaking wetness, pen outlines, and colours.
Manual lets you open up the hood of your iPhone's camera, giving you full independent control of advanced settings like shutter, ISO, white balance, focus, and exposure compensation. When you're done editing, all of your photos save directly to your iPhone's Camera Roll.
Price: $US1.99 (iOS)
Vesper is a note-taking app that takes a lot of the hassle out of organising your thoughts. You can easily tag each entry so you can search for a specific thought by keyword later, and all your notes will be synced to your Vesper account, free of charge. Reorganising your notes is made simple with a hold-and-drag motion, and if you want to prevent a cluttered collection, a simple swipe archives your entry.
Price: $US2.99 (iOS)
Designed to be easy to grasp but extremely difficult to master, Bicolor gets the tiny details right with incredible audio, challenging puzzles, and a beautiful design that only features two colours at once.
Price: $US0.99 (iOS)
Level Money links to your bank account to help you know how much you can spend today, meaning you never have to manually input your purchases. It takes into account your income, monthly spending habits, and how much you're trying to save. If you spend more than you should on a given day, the app will adjust and tell you to spend less the following day.
Litely is powerful photo app that gives your photos a film-like tone. You can tap the screen with two fingers to see what your photo looked like before adding any presets, and the app's non-destructive editing features means you never have to worry about losing your original.
Price: Free (iOS)
Storehouse makes it easy to snap pictures and format them into a beautiful and smart layout that lets you tell a story. The Storehouse Newsfeed also features great curated content, and it's a great place to discover picture-based narratives from talented photographers.
Price: Free (iOS)
Broken Age is a hand-painted adventure game that features voice acting from Elijah Wood and Jack Black. There's a full orchestral soundtrack, gorgeous graphics, and a lovely coming-of-age story that tells the tale of teenagers Vella and Shay who live in different worlds. As you follow their stories, you can switch between their worlds and characters.
Price: $US9.99 (iPad only)
Paper features an incredible attention to detail, getting rid of the clutter of your Facebook Newsfeed and instead focusing on the pictures and words of each post. You can post directly to Facebook from within the app, or customise the topics you'll see with a nifty carousel that lets you mix culture, science, news, and whatever other topics are up your alley.
Price: Free (iOS)
Device6 is a narrative experience that combines puzzles, thrillers, and literature to create one of the most experimental apps we've ever seen. This text-based mystery lets you play detective as you sift through audio clips, entries, and pictures to uncover new clues.
Price: $US3.99 (iOS)
Leo's Fortune puts you in control of Leo as he bounces, slides, and soars through luscious hand-crafted levels in pursuit of his stolen gold. Leo's Fortune's gameplay is intuitive and downright fun, and the app won an Apple Design Award this year for its stellar overall design.
Reddit, the so-called 'front page of the internet,' is an ever-changing ecosystem of interesting articles, pictures, and discussions, but it's notoriously messy to browse on your smartphone. Alien Blue fixes that, wrapping Reddit's content into an eye-catching design that brings to focus the essentials information like photos, post titles, and comments.
The Room Two continues the tone of the original with another dark and eerie set of objects and rooms to explore. To solve the mystery of why you're trapped, The Room Two has you tinker and physically explore the objects around you. The game's atmosphere and soundtrack only add to the realism of the experience, making it a great game to play with headphones.
Minecraft is a game that's all about building your own world, using blocks. You can build detailed recreations of your favourite fictional environment, check out other people's creations, or just try to create something completely new. The pocket edition randomly generates worlds and also has an expansive multiplayer mode so you can play with friends.
Humin is an app that remembers all the tiny details about how and where you met someone, so you can focus on the moment instead of remembering. All you need is someone's number, and Humin will do the rest. You'll then be able to search through your contacts using familiar phrases like 'met last week' or 'lives in Brooklyn.'
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