Every year at the World Wide Developers Conference Apple awards a select group of outstandingly designed apps. These apps stand above the constant flow of releases that year. As Apple puts it:
“The developers of these exceptional apps combined design and technology in creative, compelling, and powerful ways.”
Not only are the developers rewarded with this prestigious recognition, but we the users are clued into apps that Apple thinks should grace our screens. Let’s take a look at the 2014 Apple Design Award winners.
Sky Guide brings an intuitive, creative, and detailed approach to exploring the world above us. In addition to powerful search, tracking, and simulation functions that accurately portray the past, present, and future of the sky, this app also provides exclusive content on countless celestial bodies. Hundreds of handcrafted illustrations, custom articles, detailed historical information, original sound design, unique high resolution photography, and advanced features make for an unforgettable app. Users can use filters to investigate the sky with invisible wavelengths of light and view hidden wonders like supernova remnants, black holes, and the cosmic microwave background. Sky Guide is accessible to star gazers of all levels, with every feature available even without a Wi-Fi, data, or GPS signal. It’s also localized in 10 different languages. – Apple Summary. Our picks of the Coolest Entertainment Apps.
Storehouse – Visual Storytelling’s stunning, intuitive, customizable layouts let users tell their stories with grace and share them quickly through social media. Fully optimized for iOS, the app has a powerful gestural interface and a seamless method for quickly importing media from Camera Roll. Users can also discover and comment on stories from around the world by exploring the Storehouse global community. Storehouse is 64-bit and thoroughly modern, using UIView Snapshotting, TextKit, UIMotion Effects, Interactive View Controller Transitioning, NSURL Session, and NSProgress. – Apple Summary. Our picks of the Coolest Photography Apps.
Monument Valley is non-traditional game experience composed of a small number of consistently delightful chapters. Equally accessible and engaging to gamers of all levels, the start-to-finish experience is akin to a walk through a museum or listening to a music album. While Monument Valley is intuitive enough to play without instructions, the game has aesthetic and functional depth because each screen works not only as an interactive puzzle, but also as a proper architectural structure and a finely-crafted composition within the frame. Monument Valley was inspired by the impossible illustrations of M.C. Escher and was further informed by Indian architecture, typography posters, the music of Brian Eno, and more. This fresh experience is powered by iCloud, Camera, Share Sheets, OpenGL Frame Capture, and Localizations. – Apple Summary. Our picks of the Coolest Puzzle Games.
This challenging yet simple tile and grid number matching game is intuitive, charming, broadly appealing, and bewitchingly addictive. With careful attention to UI details, numbered tiles become characters that exhibit attitude and emotion such as encouragement, impatience, and unbridled enthusiasm. Adding further polish are cClever sound effects and a catchy music score add further polish. iCloud Integration, Game Center, and Share Sheets complete the app to provide a delightful and enduring user experience. – Apple Summary. Our picks of the Coolest Puzzle Games.
In DEVICE 6, form follows narrative and goes beyond the usual constructs of games, books, and apps. Mesmerizing and immersive with exquisite design and high production value, this 1960s thriller-inspired app defies definition. It plays with the conventions of games and literature, entwines story with geography, and blends puzzle and novella to draw players into a mystery of technology and neuroscience. This innovative app was developed with Unity and extensively tuned for iOS. From the cinematic opening title sequence to the final chapter, DEVICE 6 is to be experienced. – Apple Summary. Our picks of the Coolest Adventure Games.
Blek creatively integrates art, movement, imagination, and personality into a satisfying puzzler. Challenging both the right and left hemispheres of the brain, there are no specific moves to master and countless solutions exist in each level. Simply shape a line that collects all the colored circles while avoiding the black holes. With meticulously minimalist design akin to modern art, Blek is a perfect representation of touch-screen play with modern touches from iOS, such as Game Center and iCloud. – Apple Summary. Our picks of the Coolest Puzzle Games.
Intricate and nuanced, this game brings the best attributes of the console game platform to mobile. Players use simple yet creative controls to move through a beautifully drawn fantasy world, expanding or shrinking the character for varying effects in movement. From a mossy forest to a pirate city, this 64-bit app shows meticulous details and stunning visual effects by leveraging OpenGL ES and Texture Streaming. In addition to support for Apple device game controllers, Background Fetch, OpenAL, Localizations, Game Center, and iCloud are also supported. – Apple Summary. Our picks of the Coolest Adventure Games.
Comprehensive and well organized, Yahoo! News Digest informs users across all verticals and interests in a unique and effective way. Each story is created from multiple sources to present the most essential pieces of information, known as “Atoms.” Atoms include key quotes, images, videos, stock tickers, maps, infographs, and Wikipedia excerpts, and more. The concept of efficient utility permeates all layers of the app. Background fetch, Silent Notification, Dynamic Binding and NSURLSessionDownloadTask all work in concert. Custom UIViewController, Core Animation, and CATransaction are leveraged to present content in a modern minimalist UI based on simplified modular elements. – Apple Summary. Our picks of the Coolest News Apps.
That’s it for this years winners. If you’d like to browse the 2013 Apple Design Award winners click here.