instagram-logoIf you made plans for your weekend, you might want to kiss them goodbye.  Apple yesterday released its iTunes Rewind 2011 list, with the 40 top  iPhone and iPad apps of the year. The iTunes store now has more than 500,000 apps in it, but  this year’s top apps list shows that fun is the dominant theme. Games and social networking tools dominated, and photo sharing tool Instagram was chosen as the No. 1  app of the year.

People can’t get enough of Instagram. Since launching in October of 2010, the app has acquired over 13 million users. On the iTunes Store, the app has been rated by more than 207,000 people who give it 3.75 stars out of four.

Apple’s top apps list still has many other fun services and games to choose from. Some you know and love, others might be new. Don’t be surprised if your Saturday and Sunday disappear as you check out a few of the games you might have missed out on earlier in the year. It definitely happened to me over Thanksgiving weekend when I downloaded Tiny Wings for the iPhone. And now the list, without further ado:

Top Paid iPhone Apps

1. Angry Birds
2. Fruit Ninja
3. Angry Birds Seasons
4. Cut the Rope
5. Tiny Wings
6. Angry Birds Rio
7. Words With Friends
8. Camera+
9. Doodle Jump
10. Plants vs. Zombies

The top 10 paid iPhone apps were all games, with the exception of Camera+, a photo app with tons of cool filters. Angry Birds claimed the top spot, and it’s no surprise. 2o11 was the year Angry birds went from a niche meme to a full on cultural phenomenon. Making an unlikely appearance on the Top 10 list is Doodle Jump, a basic but “insanely addictive” platformer that first appeared on the iPhone nearly two years ago.

Top Free iPhone Apps:

1. Facebook
2. Pandora Radio
3. Words with Friends Free
4. Angry Birds Free
5. Skype
6. Netflix
7. Angry Birds Rio Free
8. Groupon
9. Fruit Ninja Lite
10. Twitter

The top free apps were dominated by games and social networking services. Facebook took the top slot, and it has has been the most popular iOS app for some time by a comfortable margin. More than 350 million people access Facebook through a mobile device, and it is the most popular  iPhone app of all time. Pandora is another heavy favorite for iPhone users, and Twitter, which was integrated into iOS 5, is an app that has become part of the mobile phone experience. No real surprises here.

Top Paid iPad Apps:

1. Angry Birds HD
2. Pages
3. Angry Birds Seasons
4. GarageBand
5. Angry Birds Rio HD
6. Penultimate
7. Fruit Ninja HD
8. Cut the Rope HD
9. SCRABBLE for iPad
10. Keynote

The top iPad apps showed a little more bias towards productivity and work, with Apple’s publishing tool Pages, and presentation designer Keynote making their way to the top 10. Overall, iPad owners still love their games. Cut The Rope HD and Fruit Ninja were still in the running, capturing people’s imagination on both the iPad and the iPhone.

Top Free iPad Apps

1. Angry Birds HD Free
2. The Weather Channel for iPad
3. Netflix
4. CNN App for iPad
5. Angry Birds Rio HD Free
6. Kindle
7. Skype for iPad
8. Calculator for iPad Free
9. Pandora Radio
10. Calculator Pro for iPad Free

The free iPad apps category shows the most diversity, with a mixture of games, such as Angry Birds Rio, a calculator app, and even the app designed for the Weather Channel. Pandora, Kindle and Netflix are all on the list, showing that people love their iOS devices for play and media, even when they can help get a lot of work done.

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