Each year, Apple picks its favorite iPhone app to be crowned the "Best iPhone App of 2014."
This year's winner is Elevate, an app designed to train your brain and increase your memory, focus, reading comprehension, and a host of other skills that are worth improving.
Elevate sets out to accomplish this goal with 25 beautifully designed mini games meant to make training your cognitive skills a little bit more fun.
With plenty of other brain training apps out there, this is probably where Elevate stands out the most. Each game features a polished design and plenty of attention to detail, but most importantly, Elevate strikes a good balance between challenging and fun, a vital requirement to get you to return for more training the next day.
Elevate encourages you to complete at least three challenges a day. When you first open up the app, you're greeted with a little quiz that acts as a measurement so Elevate has a general idea of your intelligence.
Once you're set up, you can dive right into your daily challenges, which will serve you up some mini games based on three areas you need to improve, such as focus, memory, and brevity.
If you're the kind of person who needs a nudge to remember to hit the mental gym, you can set up Elevate to remind you to train with a daily notification.
Once you finish each challenge, you can see an updated breakdown of your progress for that particular skill, as well as a taste of what's to come. The more you train, the further you advance.
If you finish up your daily challenge early, you can always dive into any of Elevate's games directly.
You won't have access to every game immediately unless you upgrade to the Pro version of Elevate — one month of Elevate Pro costs $4.99, or you can pay $44.99 for one year. But you can replay any game you've unlocked through your challenges, meaning the more days you complete your Elevate challenge, the more games you'll have access to. While that can be a tad annoying, it also keeps you coming back.
It's hard to find any faults in Elevate, and it makes sense that Apple would choose it as its app of the year. Yes, there's plenty of games out there to increase your mental agility, but Elevate is probably the most professional and polished-looking of them all thanks to its incredible design.
Elevate's games also fail to feel childish, yet they still maintain a good sense of fun while cleverly teaching your brain how to quickly and efficiently solve the next puzzle.
If you're someone who has trouble remembering names or just want to keep your brain active, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better option.