Best Apple iTunes apps of the year are brain trainer, number puzzler

Apple has named Elevate, a set of brain training games, and Threes!, an addictive numbers game, as its top 2014 app and game, respectively.

Apple has named Elevate, a set of brain training games, and Threes!, an addictive numbers game, as its top 2014 app and game, respectively.

Elevate is a free (with in-app purchases) brain training program from Elevate Labs that the app maker says was "designed in collaboration with experts in neuroscience and cognitive learning." The iPhone/iPad app is built to improve users' "focus, speaking skills, processing speed, memory, math skills and more." You need to use it at least 4 times a week to see real results, the software maker says.

Apple says, "We're so hooked on its fascinating stats, colorful visuals and personalized workouts, it's become a daily ritual."

Threes!, a "tiny puzzle that grows on you" from developer Sirvo that caught on almost as soon as it was released in February, involves sliding numbered tiles on a grid until you no longer can and then tabulating your score. The app costs $2.99 on iTunes, though is also available for Xbox and Android devices.

Apple touts its "Immensely thoughtful design," which makes it "instantly appealing and nearly impossible to put down."

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Apple's runners-up for best app and best game are free time-lapse video tool Hyperlapse from Instagram and $2.99 platform adventure game Leo's Fortune (from 1337 & Senri LLC).

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