As part of its annual 2020 conference, Apple has announced the winners of its best design award, highlighting those who the technology company says have proposed “new and creative ideas” in addition to demonstrating a mastery of the technology developed by the company.

The Apple Design Awards have become a benchmark for the developer and designer community, as they showcase what will work in the company’s store throughout the year. For example, last year the company awarded applications that showed the use of Apple Pencil, CoreML and Metal 2 among other Apple technologies that were widely used in devices during 2019.

This year, Apple has again focused on several applications designed for the iPad, particularly photo editors and other design tools that showcase the tablet as a tool for creatives. Meanwhile, some of the game development winners were selected for their use of spatial audio, as well as their use of other cutting-edge technologies and fantastic designs. Not coincidentally, Apple at the WWDC20 conference said it was updating its AirPods Pro with space audio support.

Bergen Co.’s Darkroom  photo and video editor, which has been described as easy enough for casual and professional users to use, was one of this year’s application winners. Developers also took advantage of Apple technologies such as the photo and camera API, home screen quick actions, context menus and tactics.

The animation application Looom, developed by, won for its playful and creative interface, innovative custom controls, and support for Apple technologies such as Apple Pencil and Dark Mode.

The Shapr3D CAD editor, by Shapr3D Zartkoruen Mukodo Reszvenytarsasag, runs on the iPad and works with Apple Pencil to allow technical designers to create 3D models. The application uses ARKit and drag and drop, and will soon add support for the LiDAR scanner to generate 2D floor plans from 3D photos.

StaffPad, from StaffPad Ltd., converts handwritten music annotations into digital scores using Apple Pencil, drag and drop and Core ML.

Sayonara Wild Hearts,  from developer Simogo and publisher Annapurna Interactive, had already been rated by Apple as one of the best games of 2019. The game won a design award for its vibrant landscapes, images and movement, as well as its extensive use of Apple technologies, including Metal, Game Center, Space Audio and game controllers.

Sky: Children of the Light, from thatgamecompany, was also on Apple’s “best” list last year, and has returned to win the Design Award for the multiplayer social search game featuring Apple technologies including a custom Metal engine, haptics, Game Center and spatial audio.

Song of Bloom” by independent developer Philipp Stollenmayer, is a non-linear puzzle with stories told in rapidly changing art styles. Apple selected this title, which runs on the iPad, for its handcrafted design and gameplay.

Where Cards Fall”, by developer The Game Band and publisher Snowman, is an adventure game where players build card houses to bring memories to life. The game uses Metal, haptics, Game Center, iCloud and other technologies.

This year’s winners will receive the Apple Design Award Trophy, created by the Apple Design Team, plus a 27″ iMac Pro, 16″ MacBook Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPad Pro 12.9, iPad Pro Magic Keyboard, 2nd Generation Apple Pencil, Apple TV 4K, Apple Watch Series 5, 44 mm. and AirPods Pro.

“Every year, application and game developers demonstrate exceptional craftsmanship and we are honoring the best of the best,” said Ron Okamoto, Apple’s vice president of worldwide developer relations, in an announcement. “Receiving an Apple Design Award is a special and commendable achievement. Past recipients have created some of the most remarkable applications and games of all time. Through their vision, determination and exacting standards, winning developers inspire not only their peers in the Apple developer community, but all of us”.

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