Winners all around!
The 2016 Apple Design Awards were announced Monday night at WWDC, with prizes going to apps that “set a benchmark for excellence” in “usability, excellence in design, excellence in innovation, and excellence in technology adoption.” Here are the winners—congratulations to all!
Student winner: Linum
Linum, (free, iPhone) by Joaquin Vila, is a puzzle game. Your goal is to move Lines, placing Land Nodes on the Landing Points in the fewest moves possible. The app was praised for its smart implementation of touch and simplicity of design.
Student winner: Dividr
Dividr, (free, iPhone) created by students at the Rochester Institute of Technology, is a “simple and compelling” 2D arcade game where you race through the course avoiding blocks and picking up coins. Your goal? Survive as long as possible.
Frame.io (free, iPhone) is a video collaboration platform for teams. Multiple users can drop in video and offer suggestions on editing in a shared workspace that can include the video team as well as clients. The app was praised for “solving a very big problem very elegantly.”
Chameleon Run ($2, iPhone and iPad) got props for being a “super fast-paced and challenging auto-runner with a twist.” You have to switch the runner’s color to match the platform it lands on, a big challenge at the game’s high speeds. Apple’s judges said it’s great on iPhone or iPad, but “fantastic” on Apple TV.
Auxy Music Creation
Auxy Music Creation (free, iPad) is, natch, an app that lets you create and mix loops of beats and instruments to create highly danceable music. Said one Apple exec: “Inside of this app, it’s almost impossible to create something that doesn’t sound great.”
Streaks ($4, iPhone and Apple Watch) was praised as “probably the best app on Apple Watch today” It helps you form good habits by tracking how many days in a row you’ve performed the desired task.
Lara Croft Go
Lara Croft Go ($5, iPhone and iPad) is a turn-based puzzle adventure game takes elements of the franchise and reimagines it as a turn-based puzzle game. More than 100 puzzles, split into six chapters, are all designed to help you uncover the mystery of the Queen of Venom.
3D4Medical Complete Anatomy
3D4Medical Complete Anatomy (free download, $50 to unlock the full version, iPad) is built most especially for the iPad Pro, offering detailed views of the human body’s organs, skeleton, and musculature. You can record audio to create lectures or procedure notes, or use the Apple Pencil on your iPad Pro to “peel back” ligaments on a body and peer underneath. It’s a “world-class eduction tool” that will also be available on the Mac this summer.
Inks ($2, iPhone and iPad) crosses pinball and paintball for a “completely fresh and unique” take on an old game form—your ball rolls through paint splotches, tracking different colors behind it to create beautiful patterns. There are more than 100 unique pinball tables to play.
Zova (freemium, for iPhone, Apple Watch, and Apple TV) is a personal training app that offers motivation and and uses HD videos “that look awesome on Apple TV” to guide your exercise. It also makes pretty handy use of the Siri Remote for your Apple TV.
Ulysses ($25) is a text editor “optimized for writing without distraction” Usable across the iPhone, iPad and Mac, it’s customizable with dark mode and themes, and it syncs using iCloud.
The guys behind djay Pro ($20, iPad) won an Apple Design Award in 2011, but the latest version of the franchise “sets new benchmarks,” particularly for being accessible to the visually impaired. Apple demoed the app by having a blind DJ drop a few beats during the ceremony.