Apple incorporated the announcement of this year’s Apple Design Award winners into its virtual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) online event instead of waiting until the event had wrapped up, as last year. In front of the WWDC, Apple previewed the finalists, whose apps and games showed a combination of technical performance, design and ingenuity. This evening, Apple announced the winners across six new award categories.
In each category, Apple selected one app and one game as the winner.
In the Inclusion category, winners supported people with a variety of backgrounds, abilities and languages.
This year, the winners included US-based Aconite̵
Another winner, Voice Dream Reader, is a text-to-speech app that supports more than two dozen languages and offers adaptive features and a high level of customizable settings.
In the Delight and Fun category, winners offer memorable and engaging experiences enhanced by Apple technologies. Belgium’s Pok Pok Playroom, an entertainment app for children spun out of Snowman (Altos Adventure series), won for its thoughtful design and use of subtle haptics, sound effects and interactions. (Our coverage)
Another winner included the UK’s Little Orpheus, a platformer that combines storytelling, surprises and fun, offering a console-like experience in a casual game.
The winners of the interaction category show apps that offer intuitive interfaces and effortless control, says Apple.
The US-based snarky weather app CARROT Weather won for its humorous forecasts, unique images and entertaining experience, which are also available as Apple Watch faces and widgets.
Canada’s Bird Alone game combines movement, haptics, parallax and dynamic sound effects in clever ways to bring the world to life.
A Social Impact category awarded prizes to Denmark’s Be My Eyes, which makes it possible for blind and partially sighted people to identify objects by pairing them with volunteers from around the world using the camera. Today, it supports more than 300,000 users who receive help from over 4.5 million volunteers. (Our coverage)
The UK’s ustwo game won in this category for Alba, a game that learns to respect the environment when players save wildlife, repair a bridge, clean up rubbish and more. The game also plants a tree for each download.
The winners of Visuals and Graphics have “amazing images, skilled drawing interfaces and high quality animations,” says Apple.
Belarus-based Loóna offers sleepscape sessions, which combine relaxing activities and evocative sounds with storytelling to help people relax at night. The app was recently awarded Google’s “best app” in 2020.
China’s Genshin Impact won to push the visual line into play, as motion blur, shadow quality and frame rate can be reconfigured on the go. The game had previously made Apple’s Best of 2020 list and was Google’s best game in 2020.
Innovation winners included India’s NaadSadhana, an all-in-one studio-quality music app that helps artists perform and publish. The app uses AI and Core ML to listen and provide feedback on the accuracy of the notes, and generates a backing track that fits.
Riot Games’ League of Legends: Wild Rift (US) won to capture a complex PC classic and deliver a full mobile experience that includes touch screen controls, an automatic newcomer targeting system and a mobile-exclusive camera setting.
This year’s winners will receive a prize package that includes hardware and the prize itself.
A video of the winners is here on the Apple Developer website.
“This year’s winners of the Apple Design Award have redefined what we expect from a great app experience, and we congratulate them on a well-deserved victory,” said Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations, in a statement. “The work of these developers embodies the important role that apps and games play in our daily lives, and serve as perfect examples of our six new awards.”