On Monday, Apple announced the winners of its annual Apple Design Awards during the 2023 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) this week. The awards, which celebrated 12 best-in-class applications and games, are aimed at honoring “excellence in innovation, ingenuity, and technical achievement in app and game design”, according to the tech giant.
Each year, Apple technology company recognizes winners across six different categories: Inclusivity, Delight and Fun, Interaction, Social Impact, Visuals and Graphics, and Innovation. This year’s winners were chosen from 36 finalists, spanning development teams from around the world, “all of which demonstrate outstanding technical achievement”.
The winners were announced on Apple’s official developers’ website which listed two winners: one app and one game, in each category.
While recognizing the winners, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations Susan Prescott said in a press release:
“Apps and games are integral to how we live, work, and play. At Apple, we love to recognize outstanding developers whose apps reflect incredible creativity and design excellence. We want to celebrate each of this year’s Apple Design Awards winners for crafting thoughtful app experiences and compelling gameplay, empowering and entertaining users everywhere.”
Apple Design Awards Winners Per Category
Winners of the inclusivity category were chosen because their apps provide great experiences for all by supporting people from diverse backgrounds, languages and with different abilities.
The app that took the award in this category is Brooklyn-based Universe, a website builder that lets users choose a domain and set up shop in minutes. It was developed by the Universe Exploration company in the United States.
The game that won this category is Stitch, which was developed by Thailand-based Lykke Studio and according to Apple, “brings the calming, meditative art of embroidery to its users.”
The app supports multiple languages and provides custom accessibility options for those with color blindness, low vision, and motion sensitivities, allowing everyone to join in on the fun.
Delight and Fun
The app that won in the delight and fun category was the popular learning app Duolingo. The app has expanded to include new courses for endangered, indigenous, and fictional languages. It keeps learners engaged through delightful characters and gamified experiences that include challenges, quests and leaderboards.
Afterplace, a vintage pixel adventure and an unforgettable indie role-playing game with a modern edge, balancing nostalgia, dry humor, and exploration, took the top award for the game section of this category. The game was created by U.S.-based developer Evan Kice.
Winners in this category are awarded for providing memorable, engaging, and satisfying experiences that are enhanced by Apple technologies.
The Apple Design Awards winners in the interactive category were chosen for delivering “intuitive interfaces and effortless controls that are perfectly tailored to their platform.”
Flighty, an application that provides users with detailed flight maps, airport navigation, and delay forecasting through a beautifully designed user interface, won the app section in this category. Flighty provides users with key information where they need it most, an intuitive interface, and comprehensive live maps, making navigating travel seamless.
According to Cupertino, California-based tech giant, the game emerged as a winner because it delights users with simplicity, including an onboarding experience that noticeably leaves out words, points, and navigating through menus.
Visual and Graphics
To win in this category, developers must feature apps with stunning imagery, skillfully drawn interfaces, and high-quality animations that lend to a distinctive and cohesive theme.
According to Apple Design Awards, Resident Evil Village stood out from the rest because of its masterful visual detail powered by Apple silicon, ProMotion, Metal 3, and extended dynamic range. The graphics in the game’s creepy castle and its decrepit factories are “among the most realistic and atmospheric delivered on Mac”, said Apple.
To win in the Social Impact category, developers’ apps must improve people’s lives in a meaningful way and shed light on key issues in society. Popular mindfulness app Headspace won the app section in this category, while Germany’s side-scroller game Ending took the award for the best game in this category.
Winners in the Innovation category were chosen for providing world-class “experience through novel use of Apple technologies that set them apart in their genre.” SwingVision: A.I. Tennis App, an AI-powered tennis coach, was the winning app in this category. Its advanced video-tracking capabilities help users to brilliantly evaluate form, highlight strengths, and suggest areas of improvement.
Finally, carrying the day in the gaming section of the Innovation category was Marvel Snap, a game featuring fantastic animations and delightful haptics that perfectly channel the personalities of each multiverse character. Apple applauded the Chinese developer Second Dinner for designing its innovative “snap” mechanic that introduces whole new layers of strategy to the game.
There is no doubt this year’s Appel Design Awards presented a wealth of high-quality apps and games available on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Since these winners faced stiff competition from a pool of apps by quality developers around the world, they are all worth downloading if they sound appealing to you.
More information on the Apple Design Awards, the winners, and finalists can be found on the awards’ official website.
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