In 2021, Apple’s services helped deliver innovative apps, powerful content, and transformative experiences that enrich users’ lives around the world in more ways than ever before.
Apple Fitness+ coached users to stretch, lift, lunge, and meditate their way to healthier days; Apple News kept them informed of pivotal developments in the news and culture; and users started to re-explore the world using the beautiful new Apple Maps. Dozens of groundbreaking originals from Apple TV+ were streamed with family and friends near and afar using SharePlay; hundreds of fun, new and classic games were played on Apple Arcade; and millions of apps were downloaded from the App Store, unlocking powerful ways to communicate, collaborate, and connect. Podcasts like “The Midnight Miracle” and “We Can Do Hard Things” uplifted listeners, books like “The Least of Us” and “The Love Hypothesis” moved readers, and when the sun set at the end of each week, and the Work Focus switched off, it was time to celebrate with the Apple Music Award-winning… “ladies and gentlemen, The Weeknd.”
“Apple’s world-class portfolio of services proved essential in 2021, as people worldwide sought new ways to keep entertained, informed, connected, and inspired,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Services. “With over 745 million paid subscriptions, Apple continues to connect the world’s developers, artists, and storytellers with users across more than a billion devices, delivering powerful tools, content, and experiences that enrich their lives in profound ways every day.”
Now it’s time to reflect on the best of 2021 and look ahead to some of the great new games, music, movies, TV shows, workouts, stories, podcasts, books, guides, and other experiences that await customers in 2022.
Apps and games have become the essential source for the world’s most innovative and timely entertainment. The efforts, innovation, and creativity of the developers who leverage Apple technology to build these incredible experiences, coupled with the power of the App Store’s global platform to connect businesses of all sizes with over 600 million people each week across 175 countries, has led to developers selling digital goods and services earning more than $260 billion since the App Store launched in 2008. This significant number sets a new yearly record for App Store developer earnings while representing just a small fraction of the overall commerce the App Store facilitates, serving as one meaningful marker of how the ecosystem continues to create opportunities and drive economic expansion for entrepreneurs around the world. This holiday season alone, App Store customers spent more than ever before between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, driving double-digit growth from last year.
2021 brought a slate of blockbuster launches to the App Store, with the world’s leading entertainment companies choosing to premiere marquee movies like “Black Widow” from Disney+ and “Space Jam: A New Legacy” from HBO Max in-app on the same day as their theatrical release. And in October, the App Store launched In-App Events, timely events within apps and games such as game competitions, movie premieres, livestreamed experiences, and more. Standout moments from just the last few months included in-game events like “The Champions Have Arrived!” in “Clash Royale,” “Space Tour” in “Mario Kart Tour,” and “Pokémon GO Halloween Mischief” in “Pokémon GO,” while popular events such as TikTok’s “Stranger Things Watch Party” and ESPN’s “Man in the Arena: Tom Brady” drew in-app crowds.
Whether through games that exploded onto the scene to become global sensations like “Royal Match” from Istanbul’s Dream Games, or social apps like Clubhouse, which opened up fascinating conversations to everyone this summer, many of the year’s most popular apps and games found new and creative ways to bring people everywhere together. Apps like Bumble and EatOkra were recently honored among the 2021 App Store Awards winners for delivering best-in-class app experiences, embodying the year’s trend of connection.
Last year, Apple Arcade’s award-winning library of games saw its biggest expansion yet, now offering players of all ages over 200 premium, family-friendly games, including brand new releases from the world’s best developers, award-winning titles, and beloved favorites from the App Store — all without ads or in-app purchases.
Now, subscribers can enjoy original games like “Sneaky Sasquatch,” “NBA 2K22 Arcade Edition,” “The Oregon Trail,” and the recently released “LEGO Star Wars: Castaways” and “Disney Melee Mania.” Players can also jump into award-winning titles like “Monument Valley,” “Mini Metro,” and “Galaga Wars,” and revisit timeless classics such as “Solitaire by MobilityWare” and “Good Sudoku by Zach Gage.”
Apple Arcade games support Apple’s high user privacy standards, and can be shared with up to five family members using Family Sharing with just one all-inclusive subscription. This year, players can look forward to the release of new, highly anticipated games, including “Nickelodeon Extreme Tennis,” and enjoy new content updates added weekly.