Apple Design Awards provided plenty of inspiring moments, celebrating some of the year’s most well-designed, state of the art, and innovative apps, and the developers behind them. Following are this years winners.
1. WWF Together
WWF Together is an exquisite iPad app that lets you experience the world’s most amazing animals by bringing you closer to the stories of giant pandas, tigers, polar bears, and many other fascinating endangered species. With its outstanding attention to detail, beautiful aesthetic, wonderful sound design and music score, engaging writing, high resolution photography, rich typography, and inventive interactions, WWF Together sets the bar higher for iPad app design. Built from the ground up and tailored for iPad, WWF Together takes advantage of all of the capabilities of Multi-touch, gestures, device motion, Core Location, and OpenGL ES.
Procreate is a complete art studio at your fingertips, exclusive to iPad. It’s packed with features that artists love — from true-to-life sets of pencils, inks, and brushes, to advanced layer compositing, to unique digital tools. Procreate is a powerhouse of iOS technologies like ARC, Grand Central Dispatch, and OpenGL ES which deliver state-of-the-art performance and responsiveness, 64-bit precision, and smooth 60 fps rendering of canvas sizes up to 4K x 4K. Procreate shares easily with Photoshop, Twitter, Facebook, Weibo, iTunes, Mail, Photos, and Dropbox, lets people preview brushes and other drawing tools before purchasing them with In-App Purchase, and uses Core Bluetooth to connect to accessories. Procreate earns an Apple Design Award for its technical, aesthetic, and creative excellence.
Badland is a luscious, sidescrolling atmospheric action adventure platformer taking place in a seemingly idyllic forest. Badland’s intuitive one-touch controls and immersive sound design complement the balanced, physics-based gameplay as players discover imaginative traps and overcome endless obstacles. In either single- or multi-player mode, the excellent production values and brilliant execution leverage OpenGL ES, Game Center, iCloud, and Retina display. Badland is designed specifically for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
4. Yahoo! Weather
Yahoo! Weather stands apart with its simple, uncluttered, and beautiful visual design. This highly-rated app displays weather details with stunning photography based on time of day, location, and current conditions. Yahoo! Weather has great layout and typography, compelling animations, fast image processing, and clear iconography. This attention to detail means that in a saturated category, an app can rise above the crowd. Yahoo! Weather is available in 30 languages and optimized for all current iOS devices.
Letterpress – Word Game is a deceptively simple, yet highly addictive game by atebits that’s a perfect blend of fun and strategy. It illustrates masterful asynchronous gameplay using Game Center and stands out for its beautifully understated game interface, simple gestures, subtle animations, and restrained sound design. Using OpenGL ES, Game Center, and In-App Purchase extensively, Letterpress – Word Game is only available on iOS.
6. Ridiculous Fishing
Ridiculous Fishing – A Tale of Redemption is a never-ending infinite arcade world about fishing with weapons, chainsaws, and toasters. It delivers hours of unique entertainment in an expertly-crafted, lo-fi, retro video game style. With engaging physics-based gameplay mixed with humor, players follow the main character in his search for redemption. Ridiculous Fishing supports Game Center Leaderboards and Achievements, is optimized for iOS and iPhone 5, and makes extensive use of Multi-touch, device motion, and OpenGL ES.
7. Sky Gamblers: Storm Raiders
Sky Gamblers: Storm Raiders is a World War II arcade-style combat game in which players participate in dogfights, protect fleets of ships, and attack enemy bases. With a wide variety of single and multiplayer options and a large inventory of accurately-rendered aircraft, this app’s impressive, Retina-enabled, AirPlay-enabled, graphics and sound design look awesome on the Mac. Amazing OpenGL based visuals and special effects including specular masks, bump mapping, atmospheric scattering, volumetric clouds, sun glare, day & night transitions, HDR rendering, radial blur, heat haze, refractive raindrops, and much more, with accurately recreated locations, realistic weather and interactive cockpits. Extensive cross-platform Game Center support mean challenges and real-time multi-player missions Mac versus Mac or Mac versus iOS. Sky Gamblers: Storm Raiders is exclusive to OS X and iOS and localized in 10 languages.
Finish was developed by Ryan Orbuch and Michael Hansen while the were sophomores at Boulder High School in Colorado. Inspired by procrastinating students during finals week, the pair developed Finish., a streamlined task manager which uses gestures to help people organize their to-do’s into short, mid, and long-term tasks quickly and easily. It uses numerous iOS technologies, integrates with Facebook and Twitter to share their tasks with other students, and looks great on the Retina Display. It has due date notification for assignments based on their timeframe and optimized for iPhone 5.
Available only on iPhone and iPad, mosaic.io was developed by MIT students Ishaan Gulrajani and Alex List and University of Pittsburgh student Zain Shah. Self-taught iOS developers, the team created mosaic.io as a way to connect two or more iOS devices around a single image, and built the prototype in a weekend. mosaic.io supports Retina Display and magically creates a gorgeous photo mosaic across two or more iOS device screens with a simple swipe of a finger. Core Location is used to determine each device’s relative position to each other and it affects which portion of the image is rendered on each device.