Minecraft is building an empire - brick by brick.

The "pocket edition" of the game which grips youngsters for hours on end as they create their own world - adapted from the computer version - is the most popular paid-for app on iPhones and iPads, according to a best of the year round-up by iTunes.

The most downloaded free app for both devices was the game Candy Crush Saga which features an array of puzzles involving sweets.

The language-learning aid Duolingo was chosen as the iPhone app of the year, while Disney Animated, which allows users to learn the secrets of creating cartoons and bringing illustrations to life, has been named as the iPad app of the year.

Here are the year's top choices from iTunes:

iPhone App of the Year - Duolingo
iPad App of the Year - Disney Animated
iPhone Game of the Year - Ridiculous Fishing
iPad Game of the Year - Badland

Top 10 iPhone Apps (Free)

  1. Candy Crush Saga
  2. Snapchat
  3. Temple Run 2
  4. 4 Pics 1 Word
  5. YouTube
  6. Google Maps
  7. Facebook
  8. Instagram
  9. Despicable Me
  10. Minion Rush
  11. Skype for iPhone

Top 10 iPhone Apps (Paid)

  1. Minecraft - Pocket Edition
  2. Angry Birds Star Wars
  3. Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock
  4. Temple Run: Oz
  5. The Chase
  6. Facetune
  7. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
  8. Plague Inc.
  9. Angry Birds Star Wars II
  10. 7 Minute Workout Challenge

Top 10 iPad Apps (Free)

  1. Candy Crush Saga
  2. YouTube
  3. Skype for iPad
  4. Temple Run 2
  5. BBC iPlayer
  6. ITV Player
  7. eBay for iPad
  8. Despicable Me: Minion Rush
  9. 4 Pics 1 Word
  10. Calculator for iPad Free

Top 10 iPad Apps (Paid)

  1. Minecraft - Pocket Edition
  2. Wreck-it Ralph
  3. Angry Birds Star Wars HD
  4. The Chase
  5. Temple Run: Oz
  6. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
  7. Angry Birds Star Wars II
  8. Peppa Pig's Holiday
  9. Plants vs. Zombies HD
  10. Scrabble for iPad
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  • iPad Air

    The new iPad Air from Apple is an incredible new upgrade to the tablet you know and love. It's far lighter and thinner, has an upgraded processor, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/11/05/ipad-air-review-4g_n_4217913.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-tech" target="_blank">and in our review we called it nothing short of a "masterpiece"</a>. If you have more than £399 to spend on a tablet, spend it on this.

  • Google Nexus 7 (2013)

    The new Nexus 7 has a higher resolution display (at 323 pixels per inch), a quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor and a thinner bezel on both sides of the screen. It's also the first device to run the new version of Android, 4.3 Jelly Bean, and a 5-megapixel screen at the same bargain-basement price.

  • iPad Mini With Retina Display

    At £319, the iPad Mini with Retina display isn't cheap. But on the other hand, it has the same screen resolution, processor and other internals as the larger iPad Air, but it's also smaller, lighter and cheaper by £80. It's a stunning tablet, and though it's pricier than other 7-inch devices it's got the benefit of Apple's amazing apps selection.

  • Samsung Note 8.0

    <a href="http://gdgt.com/samsung/galaxy/note/8-0/">The Samsung Note 8.0</a> is faintly ridiculous, in that it's technically a phone, and can be used as such when bought in the UK, but you'll look absolutely ridiculous if you try that in public. On the other hand, it's also a quite beautiful and cost-effective device, with a sharp screen, a good processor, a nice suite of S-Pen enabled drawing and note-taking apps. Yes, it's more expensive than an iPad Mini - and it also suffers on battery life. But for the right customer, it's a good choice.

  • Kindle Fire HDX

    The new Kindle Fire HDX tablet comes in both a 7- and 8.9 inch version, and both are tasty upgrades. The 7-inch has a 1920 x 1200 display, a quad-core processor, LTE, all the Amazon services you'd expect plus a new 'Mayday' support service for new users. It starts at £199. The 8.9-inch is pricer at £329, but has an even more impressive 2560x1600 display - and still comes in lighter than an iPad Air.

  • Nexus 10

    The<a href="http://gdgt.com/samsung/nexus/10/" target="_blank"> Samsung-built Nexus 10</a> has an excellent display, runs the latest version of stock Android (which has never been better for tablets) and is less expensive than the iPad - while also being quite a bit lighter. With Google Play's ever improving list of tablet-enabled apps and the availability of many options for watching and consuming media, there is nothing you want to do on a tablet you can't do with this. That said, it suffers from a less-developed app ecosystem, and the design of the machine is far clunkier than you might hope with a thick bezel being a noticeable downside.

  • Microsoft Surface Pro 2

    Microsoft's new Surface Pro runs a full version of Windows 8.1, has an improved kickstand and an excellent display and can do pretty much everything your tablet AND your laptop can do. You're going to pay for it - the device is £719 and up, plus the great keyboard cover is not included in the price. It's also heavy and there's no LTE option. But it's a lovely piece of kit for the right user.

  • Tesco Hudl

    Tesco's Hudl tablet is a budget affair, but it looks as though in terms of the fundamentals - particularly media playback - it's not a terrible choice. <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2013/10/27/tesco-hudl-review/">In a recent review Engadget said</a>: "Despite all of its failings, this meagre slate became our go-to piece of hardware for responding to emails and browsing Twitter. We had it playing movies on Netflix while we worked, and we rocked out to a playlist while cooking dinner. While its original purpose was to coax technophobes into the future, the Hudl is easy to use and, dare we say it, charming."