Apple's annual list of the most popular free, freemium and premium iPhone and iPad apps in the US is dominated by social media, messaging and gaming titles.
As well as highlighting that freemium -- ie titles that are free to download but then offer in-app purchases -- is the way to go for developers looking to make money from iPhone and iPad owners, the lists also demonstrate the different roles smartphone and tablets are starting to play in consumers' lives.
While the iPhone's top 10 lists for the US are awash with messaging, social media, music and utility titles -- as well as Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, Instagram, Google Maps and Spotify all make the list -- the iPad's top 10 show that the device really is becoming a media consumption and digital productivity tool.
The most popular free app on the iPad in 2014 is YouTube. Netflix is the second most popular title based on downloads and Calculator for iPad rounds out the top three.
Facebook Messenger (6th place) and Facebook (7th place) do make the top 10 but Skype (4th place) and Microsoft Word (5th) were more popular. However social media is more popular than gaming on tablets -- in terms of free titles, anyway -- with "Candy Crush Saga" in 8th place being the highest-ranking gaming app, above "Clash of Clans" in 10th place behind the iPad version of the Google Chrome browser.
Despite languishing in 10th place on the iPad list and not making the iPhone list, "Clash of Clans" is officially the highest grossing app of 2014 on both Apple's smartphones and its tablets and the list it tops is made up almost completely of freemium gaming titles. "Candy Crush Saga" is second, "Game of War - Fire Ages" is third and the only non-gaming title, Pandora Radio, is fourth, just ahead of "Big Fish Casino" in fifth. Perhaps the only surprising entry in the list is "Kim Kardashian: Hollywood," which has managed to nab 10th place for 2014.
This year's list also highlights the growing trend fo the quantified self and for consumers to look towards their smarthpones in helping them enhance their life, improve well-being or just stay in shape. The most popular premium apps (ie paid for at the point of download), though packed full of gaming titles -- "Heads Up" is in first place and "Minecraft - Pocket Edition" in second -- also include the Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock (in 5th place) and the 7-Minute Workout Challenge (10th place).
Top 10 free iPhone apps of 2014
Top 10 free iPad apps of 2014
Calculator for iPad Free
Skype for iPad
Candy Crush Saga
Clash of Clans