Best Apps of 2021

December 3rd, 2021

Best Apps of 2021
David Bell

by David Bell

CEO at Gummicube, Inc.

This week Apple and Google announced the top apps of the year for 2021. Apple’s “App Store Award” and Google Play’s “Best of 2021” showcase great examples of what drives success in the mobile app market. The best apps still benefit from App Store Optimization, so let’s take a look at this year’s winners and see how ASO has helped them reach the top of the chart.

iPhone App of the Year

Toca Life World

Apple’s App of the Year is “Toca Life World” from Toca Boca, a fun and engaging children’s app that lets kids play creatively. In “Toca Life World” your kid can explore all the great Toca Life apps — like City, Vacation, Hospital, and more — that Toca Boca has to offer, all in one place.

The Toca Life World app is ranking in the top 10 for over 560 keywords, with popular search terms such as “world game”, “build a world,” and competitors “Roblox” and “Kiddopia” all ranking in the top 5.

Toca Life World also benefits from incorporating ASO best practices in screenshots. Screenshots feature high-quality in-app images and bold callout text in each screenshot, which helps communicate the app’s features and value propositions to prospective users.

iPhone Game of the Year

LoL: Wild Rift

Apple’s iPhone Game of the Year this year is “League of Legends: Wild Rift”. This mobile game is based off of the very popular 5v5 multiplayer online battle arena game “League of Legends”.

The game ranks in the top 5 for heavy hitting terms like “moba games” and “5v5 game,” It also ranks in the top 10 for competitor terms like “Heroes Arena,” “Arcane Legends,” “Runeterra” and “Vainglory,”.

“League of Legends: Wild Rift” has creative assets that help catch the eye of mobile gamers as well. Screenshots feature quality in-app images that have the champions leaping from the images, with text callouts that could draw in seasoned League players.

Google’s Best App of 2021


Google’s Best App of 2021 is “Balance,” a personalized meditation app that allows users to customize a meditation routine to fit their lifestyle. Using a unique process that combines quizzes with an extensive library of unique sounds, “Balance” builds meditation routines that are unique to each user.

“Balance” is ranking highly for a number of terms tied to meditation and sleep apps, with 53 terms ranking in the top 10. While the app has room for improvement in keyword footprint it has a solid start to work up from.

“Balance” has a visually appealing set of screenshots that effectively communicate relaxation. Each screenshot has a different pale-pastel background color and the screenshot text is prominently displayed above high quality, simple in-app images.

Pokemon Unite

Google’s Best Game of 2021

Finally, Google’s Best Game of 2021 is a new mobile Pokémon game that brings the best of the Pokémon universe to the popular MOBA game genre. “Pokémon UNITE” allows players to compete with trainers across the world in 5v5 battles.

“Pokémon UNITE” is ranking in the top 10 for nearly 100 keywords, with many of those terms being built around the Pokémon brand. In the top 5, “Pokémon UNITE” is ranking for terms like “pokemon battle games” and “pokemon arena”.

“Pokémon UNITE” has screenshots that are action packed and colorful, appealing to users who are fans of the franchise. The screenshots also have large callouts that seem to jump from the screen, making it hard for users to miss the key features being called out.


Each year Apple and Google highlight the top apps and games based on several factors that help make these apps stand out from the crowd. These top apps usually have unique features that cannot be found elsewhere or impacts on the world that drive a net positive.

No matter how good an app is, it still needs a good App Store Optimization strategy so users can discover it. ASO tools help discover ways to bring an app’s unique values and features in front of more users, translating to more opportunities to be discovered. Even the best apps can benefit from the help of an ASO agency, which can turn an undiscovered gem into the “App of the Year 2022.”

Want to learn more about App Store Optimization? Contact Gummicube and we’ll help get your strategy started.

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