Each year, Apple honours the achievements of some of its most creative and talented developers at its Worldwide Developers Conference. This year’s Apple Design Awards comprise a variety of games that use the company’s hardware and rendering technologies in unique ways. It also showcased productivity apps with impeccable UX design that work across Apple’s other products.
Previous winners include Affinity Designer; touted as a strong rival to Adobe Photoshop. Others winners include Ulysses, a document management and writing app, and game app Monument Valley. However, 12 apps have made the cut this year across categories including productivity, photography, and lifestyle.
Of those 12 Apple Design Awards winners is Splitter Critters, a puzzle title originally built in just 72 hours with a revolutionary gameplay mechanic. In it, your goal is to help wandering aliens back to their space ship. You do this by slicing and dragging the level around until they reach it.
Apple also honoured Drinkbox Studios, the developers of action-adventure game, Severed. The judges were impressed by the title’s intuitive touch controls for sword swinging, critically-acclaimed soundtrack, and the vibrant graphical presentation optimized for iOS through Apple’s Metal API.
Apple suggests you check out Things 3, the latest release of the long-running task management app. Things 3 integrates with iOS and iCloud services like Calendars and Reminders, and supports a wide range of gestures to accelerate certain actions.
Below you’ll find three noteworthy apps, which fall in the aforementioned categories; they might be just what your creative juices need.
Airmail 3 – Productivity
Tame your inbox with Airmail 3. This powerful and efficient mail client is specially designed by the duo at Bloop, for iOS, macOS, and watchOS.
The latest version adds a long list of features and improvements, including smart folders for sorting out your email easier, VIP support for marking specific contacts, and much more. Gmail and Exchange users can now enjoy a new send later option when composing new emails, and Gmail users also gain Primary Inbox support. Manage emails with Airmail 3’s three column layout, minimalistic aesthetics, and clever interactive features.
Click here to discover its full list of features.
Enlight – Photography
Even though Enlight was crowned 2015 App of the Year by the App Store in the UK, Australia, Germany, Canada, France, and Russia, it shows no signs of slowing down.
Enlight is a powerful iPhone photo editor for enhancing and manipulating your images. From basic exposure adjustments to creative masterpieces, Enlight combines a huge range of editing tools into a single app. Dubbed by Apple as “The best all-in-one photo editor, [which] provides powerful tools that are easy to use”. Version three of Enlight is available for the iPhone and iPad.
Lake – Lifestyle
De-stress with art colouring app Lake. It boasts creativity-enhancing tools, customized colour palettes, and beautiful illustrations by local and renowned artists. Lake may be one of several apps that jumped on the adult colouring book trend, but it’s also one of the best out there. It’s well-designed, easy-to-use, and doesn’t have any unnecessary features.
Start colouring now with Lake.
There were many more apps recognized at this year’s Apple Design Awards; for the full results, check out Apple’s Design Awards site.
Daniel is an Art Director and Graphic Designer with over a decade of experience in advertising and marketing in the Greater Toronto Area.