Apple’s Best Of App Store 2012 Rewards Creativity, Google; Skype And Rovio Take Top App Spots

Apple has released its annual “Best Of” feature for the iTunes and App Stores, and this year there are some apps at the top of the list that indicate Apple is interested in rewarding apps that foster creativity on its iOS devices. The iPhone app of the year is Action Movie FX (from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Interactive studio) and the iPad app of the year is Paper, the amazing drawing and notebook app from FiftyThree.

Apple always chooses both top apps of the year, and top games, determined separately from which simply performs best based on downloads or sales. The best games as determined by the iPhone maker are Rayman Jungle Run on the iPhone, from major games studio Ubisoft, and The Room, a puzzle game with a mystery element that captivated audiences this year.

Runners up for apps included Propellerhead on the iPhone, software aimed at music creation, and Green Kitchen on the iPad, an app featuring recipes for vegetarians and healthy eaters. Letterpress, the game from ex-Twitter mobile developer Loren Brichter, took runner up among iPhone games, and Walking Mars came in second on the iPad.

Apple also offered up some top picks based on a number of different groupings of similar apps, including free-to-play games, apps with unique touch interfaces (Clear scored a top mention) and apps that do unique things with videos and music (Vyclone got feature here). In a category for discovery apps, Apple also hailed Snapguide, an interactive guide creation app we wrote about over the weekend as a rumored Apple acquisition target (wink wink, nudge nudge).

Ranked only by downloads and sales, YouTube took the top free iPhone spot for 2012 (and Apple featured the Google Maps app under its navigation apps section, too), and Angry Birds Space won in the paid category. iPad top apps for the year were Skype, and again, Angry Birds space, making it doubly glorious for Rovio.

On the music and movies side, Frank Ocean took Best Artist, Grizzly Bear got best album, fun won best song (We Are Young, of course), and The Lumineers got a rightly-deserved nod for “Breakthrough Album.” The Avengers won best Blockbuster, and Wes Anderson took best director for Moonrise Kingdom. For more, be sure to check out the iTunes store either on the desktop or your mobile device.