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Apple named its favorite iPhone and iPad apps and games of the year on Thursday.
There are just four. CNBC downloaded each one, and here's a look at what they're all about.
Calm, as its name implies, tries to help you relax. You open to a serene lake with birds chirping and can then choose any number of free exercises to help with anxiety, mindfulness, sleep and more. I like the breathing exercise that walks you through deep breathing, in and out, and the calming chimes it played as I followed along. I'm not sure I'm in for the $59.99 yearly fee for every feature, but I'm ok starting with the free "21 days of calm" program — it promises to help me focus on mindfulness to help fight anxiety.
Calm is a free app with in-app purchases ranging from $9.99 to $59.99 for access to various subscriptions and premium exercises.
Splitter Critters is a game where you swipe across the screen at a particular angle to split it so the critters on the screen have a path to a spaceship. I'd never heard of it until today but it's actually pretty fun. Levels take just a few seconds each in the beginning but quickly heat up in complexity as more critters are added. Eventually, you must split multiple times to get them to the ship.
It's a fun time-sink for the bus or train commute and costs $2.99 for 18 levels.
Affinity Photo is a full-fledged photo editing tool — you can think of it like Photoshop for the iPad if you haven't used it before — that works really well. Apple used demos of it when it was showing the media the capabilities of its new 10.5-inch iPad Pro.
I bought it and liked that I could import photos from the Files app on my iPad or from Photos. It's more than I need from a photo app, with support for all sorts of layers, tools, RAW images and more, but I was able to quickly crop and improve the exposure, contrast, saturation on an image I snapped at a wedding last weekend. Photo editors will find it much more valuable.
Affinity Photo is $9.99.
The Witness made the list, so I downloaded it for my iPad. It comes with no instructions; you just start in a dark metal tunnel and are told: "tap to move, swipe to look." So I walked forward towards a door at the end of the hallway. I opened two doors, each with a simple puzzle, before I walked into a beautiful landscape where the puzzles continue. It's now up to you (and me) to figure out what the heck we're doing and how we ended up here. I have a feeling I'll be sinking more than just a few hours into this one, since there are more than 500 puzzles included.
The Witness costs $9.99.