Check Out This Year’s Apple Design Award-Winning Apps

Apple Design Award Winners 2024
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While the highlight for most of us at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conferences (WWDC) is the company’s announcement of its latest big software updates for the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and more, Apple also uses the occasion to recognize the best apps and games.

The Apple Design Awards are typically held following each year’s WWDC Keynote. The finalists are often known a few weeks in advance, but the company doesn’t reveal the winners until the event. However, it’s doing things a bit differently this year.

With WWDC set to kick off in four days, Apple has decided to pre-announce this year’s winners of the 2024 Apple Design Awards, giving us an early look at what the company considers the 14 best apps of the year. The developers will still be formally recognized at a WWDC24 awards gala, but now the company is giving us an early sneak peek.

The 14 apps were selected for “their stellar design, technical achievement, and innovation” and broken into seven categories, with one winning app and one winning game selected in each.

It’s inspiring to see how developers are using our technology to create exceptional apps and games that enhance the lives of users. This year’s winners have demonstrated how apps can create powerful and moving experiences — and we’re excited to celebrate their hard work and ingenuity at WWDC this year.Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations

2024 Apple Design Award Winners

This year’s categories ran the gamut from simply fun and delightful apps to those that boasted great visuals and graphics or made a social impact. Here are all seven categories as Apple describes them:

  1. Delight and Fun: Winners in this category provide memorable, engaging, and satisfying experiences that are enhanced by Apple technologies.
  2. Inclusivity: Winners in this category provide a great experience for all by supporting people from a diversity of backgrounds, abilities, and languages.
  3. Innovation: Winners in this category provide a state-of-the-art experience through novel use of Apple technologies that sets them apart in their genre.
  4. Interaction: Winners in this category deliver intuitive interfaces and effortless controls that are perfectly tailored to their platform.
  5. Social Impact: Winners in this category improve lives in a meaningful way and shine a light on crucial issues.
  6. Visuals and Graphics: Winners in this category feature stunning imagery, skillfully drawn interfaces, and high-quality animations that lend to a distinctive and cohesive theme.
  7. Spatial Computing: Winners in this category bring extraordinary craftsmanship to their exceptional spatial experiences.

The Spatial Computing category is new and focuses on apps developed specifically for Apple’s Vision Pro. While there’s not a large selection of apps to choose from right now, it’s still a pretty high bar to deliver experiences that truly make Apple’s $3,500 headset shine.

The inaugural winners in that new category are algoriddim’s djay pro, which Apple calls “an entirely new way to interact with music in a spatial environment,” and Blackbox, which “challenges users to think about every corner of the spatial canvas.” The finalists in this category were Loóna: Cozy Puzzle Games, NBA, Sky Guide, and Synth Riders.

In the Delight and Fun category, Bears Gratitude was the top app, with Apple recognizing its “thoughtfully crafted characters” that “create a sense of warmth and routine to support users in building happiness, one day at a time.” The winning game was NYT Games, which offers a “compelling mix of titles” that are “calibrated for maximum replay value.” Finalists were Dudel Draw, Hello Kitty Island Adventure, Rooms, and What The Car?.

However, Rooms took the top spot in the Visuals and Graphics category for its “delightful detail” and “interactions, sounds, and visuals [that] strike the balance between quirky and compelling.” The top game in that category was Lies of P, “an imaginative adventure that reimagines a classic tale” with visuals that “showcase a world of beautiful textures, detailed lighting, and stunning effects.” Finalists included Death Stranding Director’s Cut, Honkai: Star Rail, Meditate, and Sunlitt: Sun Position and Path.

For Inclusivity, Apple tagged oko for its use of Apple technologies like VoiceOver and Dynamic Type to alert pedestrians to “the state of signal lights through haptic and audio feedback,” making it “immediately impactful” to the visually impaired. The most inclusive game was Crayola Adventures, which “brings to life character choices that include different skin tones, abilities, body types, pronouns, and full game narration.” Finalists were Complete Anatomy 2024, quadline, Tiimo, and Unpacking.

In the Innovation category, Procreate Dreams was selected for its “powerful animated effects, audio, and video to bring users’ creations and artwork to life,” and Lost in Play for “thoughtfully crafted puzzles” and “compelling gameplay that ignites a childlike sense of discovery throughout.”Finalists were Call of Duty: Warzone MobileCopilot MoneySmartGym, and Wavelength.

The winners in the Interaction category were Crouton, a recipe and cooking app that provides “a clean interface” and an “effortless series of interactions” to help users “keep their focus on the counter rather than the screen,” and Rytmos, which “challenges players to solve puzzles by creating pathways using simple drag gestures,” that are “simple and fun, even when the game starts delivering more complexity.”

When it came to Social Impact, Apple selected Gentler Streak Fitness Tracker. While that seems like an unusual choice in this category, the company pointed to its ability to “improve everyone’s lifestyles, no matter who or where they are,” with a “focus on individual progression rather than comparison against others.” The top game for social impact was The Wreck, an “eloquently written” game that offers “deep and intimate narratives that reflect stressful situations” and “a nuanced and powerful gameplay experience.” Finalists here included Ahead: Emotions Coach, Cityscapes: Sim Builder, How We Feel, and The Bear.

More information on this year’s 2024 Apple Design Award Winners can be found on the Apple Design Awards page.

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