Apple knows a thing or two about design. The famously sleek tech company revealed the 2017 winners of its prestigious Design Awards in a small ceremony at its annual conference last Wednesday.
The Apple Design Awards celebrate the talent, artistry, and creativity of developers who set the standard for ideal app design. Now in its 20th year, the Awards recognise excellence in design, innovation, and technology in apps and games across iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV.
The 2017 honorees represent eight countries around the world: Austria, Canada, Germany, Israel, Italy, Singapore, Slovenia, and the United States. Though the thirteen winners – five games and seven apps – may not be famous yet, their fortunes could soon change. The Apple Design Awards are highly prestigious, and Apple has even been known to buy the companies behind the winning apps.
Get to know this year’s winners below.
Think you’re clever? Blackbox’s 50+ unique puzzles may make you reconsider. Use visual cues to expand your creative thinking and solve puzzles by turning, shouting, clicking, snapping, and travelling while discovering secrets along the way. With ample satisfying “a-ha!” moments and puzzles as artful and clever as they are challenging, Blackbox is as delightful to play as it is to look at and hold. Think outside the box. Turn on all the lights.
Split the world with a swipe of your finger, then rearrange it to guide critters back to their spaceship. Explore colourful planets full of danger, challenging puzzles, and innovative mechanics that will make you think in new ways. The immersive soundscapes of each world, best experienced with headphones, set the tone for your Splitter Critters journey.
As life struggles to gain a foothold in a devastated world, a new lifeform emerges from the rubble. Mold yourself into any form by destroying your cells, and traverse a devastated landscape filled with brain-twisting puzzles and bizarre mutations. Mushroom 11’s eerily beautiful visuals are complemented by the ethereal music of electronica legend The Future Sound of London. Are you ready to break the mold?
Old Man’s Journey
Old Man’s Journey describes itself as “a story game about life’s precious moments, broken dreams, and changed plans.” Immerse yourself in a visual narrative as you uncover stories of the old man’s life told through beautiful vignettes of his memories. Interact with the serene, whimsical environment as you solve playful puzzles and shape the landscape around you, growing the hills to create the old man’s path forward.
Take control of a one-armed warrior named Sasha, who wields a living sword on her journey through a nightmare world in search of her family. Players use swipe-based touch controls to solve puzzles, find secrets, and do battle with a host of disturbing monsters, including giant floating skull wizards and beasts made of crows. During the journey, players unlock new abilities, ascend an RPG-style upgrade tree, and uncover the mysteries of the dark fantasy universe Sasha finds herself in.
De-stress with a vibrant collection of colouring books from Instagram artists, offered exclusively on Lake. The app’s colouring books come with 12 beautiful drawings that you can colour over and over, plus a custom colour palette. Choose from a wide variety of illustrations that spark your creativity, including calming mandalas, cute florals, quirky beings, whimsical patterns, beautiful European cities, friendly animals, and more. Lake is a unique opportunity to release your inner happy while supporting artists.
Bear is a beautiful, flexible writing app for crafting notes, prose, code, and sketches. Bear’s simple tools take the effort out of writing, whether you need to hit specific word counts and reading times, or you need to convert your writing into PDF and Word docs. With Bear’s custom markup shortcuts, you can add style and links with just a tap or keystroke. A focus mode helps you concentrate, and advanced Markdown and other markup options are an online writer’s best friend. Full in-line image support brings your writing to life, and keep yourself on task by adding to-dos to individual notes.
Kitchen Stories aims to shape the digital food space with leading technology and content. The app brings the whole world of cooking to your pocket with easy to follow step-by-step photo instructions, recipe videos, and clever how-to videos – all available free of charge. Learn how to cook with executive chefs and expand your cooking wisdom by trying out new, mouth-watering dishes every week.
Things 3 is a complete rethinking of the original, award-winning task manager – with a perfect balance between simplicity and power, new features, delightful interactions, and a timeless new design. Start by collecting your thoughts and organising your goals into projects. Plan your timing using an events calendar and to-do lists, and start each day right with the Today list. Use tags to categorise your to-dos or add context to customise your workflow.
Elk is the fastest way to convert currencies. The app knows where you are and automatically picks the right currency for your location, eliminating the need for cumbersome keypad entry. On the iPhone, Elk is a handy and interactive rates table. It picks a suitable starting value, and converts the next ten values to your home currency. Swipe left to increase these values; swipe right to decrease them. Tap on a value for more accuracy.
An addictive and creative photographic experience, Enlight is the only all-in-one iPhoneography app for creating masterpieces. Filters allow you to choose stylised presets inspired by classic camera and film, or experiment with light leaks and vignetting for a retro feel. Add trendy decals, apply painterly effects, and master the pro editing options for ultimate control. And that’s just the beginning of what you can do with this incredibly comprehensive app.
AirMail 3 is a new mail client designed with performance and intuitive interaction in mind, optimised for macOS Sierra. AirMail was designed from the ground up provide a quick, modern, and easy-to-use user experience for both single and multiple accounts. Switch between accounts like a breeze and quick reply to incoming messages within seconds. Striking, clean design allows you to get to your emails without interruption, taking usability and function to the next level. Email has never been so easy and productive.