Apple held an event to announce the winners of its prestigious Apple Design Awards.
Apple’s Design Awards are handed out each year and highlight a selection of the year’s best apps available on iOS and Mac, honoring all kinds of apps from utilities to games.
Apple created its design awards to recognize high-quality apps that combine design and technology in creative, compelling, and powerful ways. Along with significant recognition and a trophy, Apple gives its Design Award winners a selection of Apple products each year.
Vainglory is an intense, real-time mobile multiplayer online battle arena, perfected for touch on iPad and iPhone. Vainglory is selected as an Apple Design Award winner because it delivers beautiful, high-fidelity graphics and animations, offers an incredibly polished and immersive experience, and enables a fast-paced, endless multiplayer experience on iOS that’s all about the highs, lows, excitement, anticipation, friendships, and competition.
Vainglory is a state-of-the-art game that sets a new standard for performance by utilizing Metal and the A8 chip to enable 60 frame per second rendering, sub 30ms control response, and 1.3 million polygon drawing capacity. It offers an incredibly rich environment and lighting effects, and more than 100 fully animated characters.
Pacemaker is a well-executed personal music mixing app. Designed for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, Pacemaker has a creative, minimalist visual design style optimized for each device type, compelling color scheme, and realistic, charming animations that are evocative of the selected mix effect. Pacemaker has novel interactions for adjusting tempo, volume, and effects like reverb, echo, hi-pass / lo-pass, as well as auto-pilot mode for error-free mixes.
The Pacemaker Apple Watch app lets you add effects and skip tracks right from your wrist. Pacemaker integrates with Spotify and iTunes and is localized in English, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, and Traditional Chinese.
Does Not Commute is an addictive, strategic driving game for iOS with surprising depth, and great balance of story, characters, and action. Does Not Commute is a time traveller’s paradox where players race themselves and try to complete challenges by avoiding themselves, and mistakes send a ripple effect through the game. It’s carelessly easy at first, but progresses nicely toward increased complexity. What starts out as a relaxing commute in a small town quickly devolves into chaos.
Does Not Commute wins an Apple Design Award for its highly stylize and beautiful late 1960s aesthetic, which is carried throughout every detail of the game. Each driver has a unique character, back story, and motivation. Does Not Commute uses a custom-built graphics engine optimized for iOS. It supports iCloud for game state synchronization, Game Center for challenges and achievements, and In-App Purchase for premium game play. The on-boarding experience makes it easy to pick up the game. Does Not Commute debuted on iOS, is available for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, and is localized in English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Spanish.
Metamorphabet is an animated alphabet for all ages that brings letters alive with an incredibly playful and interactive learning experience designed for touch. Metamorphabet wins an Apple Design Award for its outstanding creativity, convincing physics, smooth animations, and exploratory design that will have students coming back again and again.
Available on iPhone, iPad, and Mac, Metamorphabet delivers a magical experience with its bright, cheerful, and refined color palette, delightful sound effects, and excellent sound design.
Exclusive to iOS, Shadowmatic is an ornately crafted and imaginative puzzle game in which abstract objects are rotated to find recognizable silhouettes in projected shadows. Selected as an Apple Design Award winner for its attention to detail, high-fidelity rendering, excellent execution, and perfect representation of Multi-touch game play, Shadowmatic challenges your spatial thinking with more than 80 puzzles in gorgeous atmospheric environments rendered with highly realistic textures and shadows.
Set to a beautiful soundtrack, each Shadowmatic scene is tuned and optimized for each iOS device, from iPhone 3GS to the newest iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, iPad Mini Retina, and iPad Air 2. Shadowmatic uses Metal on iOS to produce stunning visuals with shadows, bloom, and reflective surfaces, and supports device motion to enable a clever motion-based 3D parallax experience that makes it seem as if you’re viewing each scene through a window. It’s also localized in French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish.
Workflow is a powerful automation tool, available exclusively for iPhone and Apple Watch, that connect apps and actions together to automate things you do every day. Selected as an Apple Design Award winner for its outstanding use of iOS accessibility features, Workflow delivers an excellent implementation for VoiceOver with clearly labeled items, thoughtful hints, and drag/drop announcements, all of which make the app usable and quickly accessible to those who are blind or low-vision. The creators of Workflow understand that true accessibility is not just a technical task, it also requires design and usability consideration. Apple devices come standard with award-winning accessibility features and iOS offers unmatched accessibility support.
Crossy Road is an incredibly addictive, endless arcade hopper with countless surprises. Full of whimsy and fun lo-fi artwork, Crossy Road fuses art, commerce, design, and marketing into a game with heart and personality that’s deserving of an Apple Design Award. Crossy Road is a new take on a classic game style with viral and exciting gameplay, beautiful, 8-bit isometric graphics, expressive characters, hilarious collision animations, and excellent sound design. It employs In-App Purchase to add variety, not just to help players progress.
Crossy Road is localized in English, Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chines, Spanish, and Traditional Chinese. This game debuted on iOS and is available for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch.
Fantastical 2 is a meticulously designed, full-featured calendaring app designed exclusively for OS X Yosemite. It wins an Apple Design Award for its clean design, rich functionality, speed, responsiveness, support for popular localizations, and deep integration with OS X. Fantastical 2 sports a robust, innovative, localized, natural language parser allowing the quick creation of events and complex recurring events with conversational requests. Location-aware calendar sets help manage schedules for people on the go and the mini window is a thoughtful companion to a potentially busy desktop. Fantastical 2 supports Handoff to easily move from Mac to iPhone and iPad, and back. Tuned for OS X, Fantastical 2 quickly scrolls thru appointments, as well as weeks, months, and years. It also offers Action and Share extensions, and a valuable Today widget.
Adaptable calendar views help users see exactly what they want, and deep time-zone support provides accurate and flexible scheduling options. Fantastical 2 supports MapKit, Core Location, Geo-fencing, Applescript, and iCloud reminders, and works with all major calendaring services that offer native CalDAV, iCloud, Google, Yahoo, and other calendaring services support. It’s localized in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Japanese and is only available on Mac, iPhone, and iPad.
Affinity Designer is a smooth, precise, high-performance graphics design app for creative professionals that’s available on the Mac. Although primarily a vector design app, Affinity Designer also has the ability to edit pixel-based images. This is an excellent example of what a state-of-the-art Mac app should be. It takes full advantage of OS X technologies like OpenGL, Grand Central Dispatch, Core Graphics, is fully optimized for 64-bit and multi-core processors, and supports the Force Touch trackpad to let you draw and paint with pressure sensitivity.
Affinity Designer is optimized for Retina Display and OS X Yosemite, and has a flexible and intuitive user interface that’s highly contextual, offering you the tools you need when you need them. It offers live panning and zooming at 60fps, supports non-destructive editing, allows over 1 million percent zoom so you can work on the finest detail without a loss in quality, and much more. Affinity Designer is localized in German, Spanish, French, and English, and is a modern, well-designed, highly capable, and extremely responsive design tool that’s a perfect match for today’s latest generation Mac hardware.
Available on iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch, Robinhood is a compelling stock trading app with an innovative approach to social investing, built for a new generation of investors. Designed to be the best mobile stock-tracking tool on iOS, Robinhood distinguishes itself with a clean, content-centric design and beautiful typography that nicely balances app branding and iOS design conventions. Robinhood removes common barriers for amateur traders with a fantastic on-boarding experience that lets people try out a simulated stock trade before they sign up. Its innovative crowdsourced approach helps users gain confidence by getting trading insights from others, sharing their stock predictions, and building their reputation.
Robinhood cleverly uses geolocation to pinpoint your location and share relevant stocks nearby, keeps you up to date with thoughtful notifications and a Notification center widget, and ensures a secure experience by using Touch ID for authentication and fully encrypting data with SSL. The Apple Watch app is extremely well designed and visually consistent with its peers on iPhone and iPad, and lets you execute trades and check your portfolio performance from your wrist.
Selected as a Student winner, Elementary Minute is a simple, fast-paced quiz game designed and developed for iPhone and Apple Watch. Elementary Minute has a clean, legible, and consistent design with a very simple game play in which swiping up or down indicates if an answer is correct or incorrect. Localized into English and German, and with support for Game Center, Elementary Minute has a one minute long Classic mode or 5 second Rush mode which both allow you brush up on your knowledge of important subjects.
Selected as a Student winner, jump-O is a fun, hand-drawn, minimalist puzzle game, exclusive to iPhone and iPad. It was developed by Gabriel Mathias Rocha and Victor Lappas Giménez who both learned to program on iOS while they were students at the Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná. Jump-O supports Game Center and puts circle players into a square world in which they must struggle to survive by jumping and moving to avoid spikes and bullets.