Apple incorporated the announcement of this year’s Apple Design Award winners into its virtual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) online event instead of waiting for the event to be packed, like last year. Prior to WWDC, Apple previewed the finalists, whose apps and games showed a combination of technical performance, design and ingenuity. Tonight, Apple announced the winners across six new award categories.
In each category, Apple selected an app and a game as the winner.
In the Inclusion category, the winners supported people from a variety of backgrounds, abilities, and languages.
This year, the winners included US-based Aconites̵
Another winner, Voice Dream Reader, is a text-to-speech app that supports more than two dozen languages and offers adaptive features and a high level of customizable settings.
In the category Joy and Fun, the winners offer memorable and engaging experiences enhanced by Apple technologies. Belgium’s Pok Pok Playroom, a children’s entertainment app spun out of Snowman (Altos Adventure series), won for its thoughtful design and use of subtle haptics, sound effects and interactions. (Our coverage)
Another winner included the UK’s Little Orpheus, a platform game that combines storytelling, surprises and fun and offers a console-like experience in a casual game.
Interaction category winners show apps that offer intuitive interfaces and effortless control, Apple says.
The US-based snarky weather app CARROT Weather won for its humorous forecasts, unique images and entertaining experience, which are also available as Apple Watch faces and widgets.
Canada’s Bird Alone game combines gestures, haptics, parallax and dynamic sound effects in clever ways to bring its world to life.
A Social Impact category awarded prizes to Denmark’s Be My Eyes, which makes it possible for people who are blind and partially sighted to identify objects by pairing them with volunteers from all over the world using their camera. Today, it supports more than 300,000 users, assisted by over 4.5 million volunteers. (Our coverage)
Britain’s ustwo game won in this category for Alba, a game that learns to respect the environment when players save wildlife, repair a bridge, clear debris and more. The game also plants a tree for each download.
The winners of Visuals and Graphics have “amazing images, skillfully drawn interfaces, and high-quality animations,” says Apple.
Belarus-based Loóna offers sleepscape sessions that combine relaxing activities and atmospheric sounds with storytelling to help people relax at night. The app was recently named Google’s best app ‘in 2020.
China’s Genshin Impact won to push the visual frontier into play, as motion blur, shadow quality and frame rate can be reconfigured on the go. The game had previously made Apple’s Best of 2020 list and was Google’s best game of 2020.
Innovation winners included India’s NaadSadhana, an all-in-one studio-quality music app that helps artists perform and publish. The app uses AI and Core ML to listen and provide feedback on the accuracy of the notes and generates a backing track that fits.
Riot Games’ League of Legends: Wild Rift (US) won for taking a complex PC classic and delivering a complete mobile experience that includes touch screen control, an automatic targeting system for newcomers and a mobile-exclusive camera setting.
This year’s winners will receive a prize package that includes hardware and the prize itself.
A video with the winners is here on Apple’s developer website.
“This year’s winners of the Apple Design Award have redefined what we expect from a great app experience, and we congratulate them on a well-deserved victory,” said Susan Prescott, Apple’s Vice President of Worldwide Developer Relations, in a statement. “The work of these developers incorporates the important role that apps and games play in our daily lives, and serve as perfect examples of our six new price categories.”