Apple's 'Best of 2014' Free and Paid Apps

PHOTO: Apps on an Apple iPhone 5S, Jan. 22, 2014 in Washington.Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images
Apps on an Apple iPhone 5S, Jan. 22, 2014 in Washington.

Apple's "Best of 2014" apps show the sweet allure of Candy Crush is still alive, and Microsoft got its money's worth buying the company behind Minecraft for billions.

The Cupertino, California-based Apple has posted in its App Store the year's top paid and free apps for the iPhone and iPad, plus the top grossing ones.

The list of top apps weren't specifically ranked, but in addition to the "Best of 2014" lists, the App Store recognized "Game of the Year" Threes ($1.99), a numbers puzzle game; and "App of the Year" Elevate, a free app that purports to improve focus, memory and math skills.

Here's a list of what your family and friends have been squinting over for the last year, according to Apple:

Top Paid iPhone Apps:

1. Heads Up!: 99 cents

This game from Warner Bros., Ellen DeGeneres' app is a guessing game that can be played with two people or more.

2. Minecraft Pocket Edition: $6.99

Microsoft bought Mojang, the company behind video game Minecraft, for $2.5 billion in September. This iPhone game is described as the "biggest" update to Minecraft so far.

3. Afterlight: 99 cents

Under the App Store's category of "photo and video," this image editing app has 59 filters and 66 textures.

4. Plague Inc.: 99 cents

This game instructs users to "bring about the end of the world of human history by evolving a deadly, global Plague whilst adapting against everything humanity can do to defend itself." Cheery.

5. Sleep Cycle alarm clock: 99 cents

This app is described as an "intelligent alarm clock that analyzes your sleep and wakes you up in the lightest sleep phase."

PHOTO: The top apps of 2014.Apple
The top apps of 2014.

Top Free iPhone Apps:

1. Facebook Messenger

Though many people with iPhones begrudged Facebook's move to shift users to a separate app for messaging, tons of people obliged and downloaded the Facebook Messenger app, at least according to Apple's rankings.

2. Snapchat

The photo and video messaging app is available in 15 languages including Bokmål, a written form of the Norwegian language.

3. YouTube

The video sharing service owned by Google offers music recommendations based on your favorite music videos.

4. Facebook

More and more people are using Facebook on their mobile devices, which explains why this app is a top download of 2014.

5. Instagram

Owned by Facebook, the Instagram photo-sharing app has over 300 million users.

Top Grossing iPhone Apps

1. Clash of Clans

Though there was a short period when Kim Kardashian's app was neck and neck with Clash of Clans as the top downloaded app, the year-end tally may show that the free battle game grossed more with its in-app purchases.

2. Candy Crush Saga

After raising $500 million last March in an IPO, shares of Candy Crush maker King may have soured but people are still buying treats.

3. Game of War: Fire Age

A few weeks ago, model Kate Upton began promoting "Game of War: Fire Age" in a television ad as the goddess Athena. Though the theatrics in the ad are noteworthy, the app was already a top hit this year.

4. Pandora Music

This music app is free but a paid Pandora One subscription provides ad-free listening.

5. Big Fish Casino

The free casino app of course allows in-app purchases.

Top Paid iPad Apps

1. Minecraft Pocket Edition: $6.99

Mojang's app is designed for both iPhone and iPad.

2. Cut the Rope 2: $2.99

The first Cut the Rope game wasn't enough for fans, so Cut the Rope 2 allows users to collect candy and play with new characters.

3. Heads Up!: 99 cents

The popular game app is designed for the iPhone and iPad.

4. The Room Two: 99 cents

The Room Two is another successful sequel to a puzzle game by British-based Fireproof Games.

5. Survivalcraft: $3.99

This exploration and survival game allows you to tailor clothes and hunt animals.

Top Free iPad Apps

1. YouTube

YouTube used to previously come with Apple's iOS system, but now users must download it from the App Store.

2. Netflix

Users who have paid for Netflix streaming subscriptions, starting at $7.99 a month, can binge away.

3. Calculator for iPad Free

If you can stomach advertisements while using a calculator, you can access scientific calculator functions in this app.

4. Skype for iPad

Use Skype to talk to your loved ones in Antarctica.

5. Microsoft Word

View, create and edit Word documents for free, but a paid Office 365 subscription provides access to more functionality.

Top Grossing iPad Apps

1. Clash of Clans

2. Game of War -- Fire Age

3. DoubleDown Casino

Free slots, video poker, blackjack, and more, of course, with in-app purchases.

4. Candy Crush Saga

5. Candy Crush Soda Saga

The free app is "Sodalicious." In-app purchases range from $0.99 to as high as $39.99