Winners are recognized for outstanding app design, innovation, ingenuity, and technical achievement
The Apple Design Award trophy, created by the Apple Design team, is a symbol of achievement and excellence.
Apple today named eight app and game developers receiving an Apple Design Award, each one selected for being thoughtful and creative. Apple Design Award winners bring distinctive new ideas to life and demonstrate deep masteryof Apple technology. The apps spring up from developers large and small, in every part of the world, and provide users with new ways of working, creating, and playing.
“Every year, app and game developers demonstrate exceptional craftsmanship and we’re honoring the best of the best,” said Ron Okamoto, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations. “Receiving an Apple Design Award is a special and laudable accomplishment. Past honorees have made some of the most noteworthy apps and games of all time. Through their vision, determination, and exacting standards, the winning developers inspire not only their peers in the Apple developer community, but all of us at Apple, too.”
Apple Design Award Winners: Apps
Darkroom, from Bergen Co., is a powerful photo and video editor whose interface is as beautiful as it is easy to use. It delivers great performance with super-intuitive controls and a layout that both casual and pro photographers can truly appreciate. With Apple technologies including photo and camera APIs, Home Screen quick actions, contextual menus, and haptics, Darkroom is a shining example of a high-end mobile editing tool.
Darkroom, from Bergen Co., based in Los Angeles.
Looom, developed by iorama.studio, is an animation playground that takes inspiration from music creation tools. Looping hand-drawn stop-motion animation in this playfully creative interface is designed for pros and consumers alike. The app’s deep functionality and intuitive interface are complemented by novel custom controls. Made for iPadOS, Looom uses Apple technologies including Apple Pencil and Dark Mode to their fullest.
Looom, developed by iorama.studio, with locations in Tel Aviv, Israel, and Stockholm.
Shapr3D, from Shapr3D Zartkoruen Mukodo Reszvenytarsasag, is a powerful CAD app for iPad that has the potential to drastically transform the architectural and technical drawing workflow. There’s no need for a desk, so inspiration can hit anytime, anywhere. Using only an iPad and Apple Pencil, technical designers have access to a robust modeling toolset to easily create complex 3D models. Designed exclusively for iPad, Shapr3D takes advantage of ARKit and drag and drop. Later this year, the app will use the LiDAR Scanner to automatically generate an accurate 2D floor plan and 3D model of a room, which can be used as the basis to design remodels or room additions. The new design can then be previewed in real-world scale using AR right in the room scanned.
Shapr3D, from Shapr3D Zartkoruen Mukodo Reszvenytarsasag, based in Budapest, Hungary.
StaffPad, from StaffPad Ltd., brilliantly converts handwritten musical notations into digital sheet music. Designed for composers who want an easy solution for writing and composing music digitally, the app uses Apple technologies such as Apple Pencil, drag and drop, and Core ML to transform each bar into beautifully typeset music notation that can be edited using intuitive touch or Apple Pencil tools.
StaffPad, from StaffPad Ltd., based in London.
Apple Design Award Winners: Games
“Sayonara Wild Hearts,” from developer Simogo and publisher Annapurna Interactive, has been lauded for outstanding design since its launch. A pop album video game that is hopeful, gorgeous, and unique, “Sayonara Wild Hearts” gets players’ adrenaline pumping and makes their spirit soar. The game delivers vibrant and surreal landscapes, mesmerizing visuals and motion, and thrilling and kinetic gameplay. It makes extensive use of Apple technologies including Metal, Game Center, spatial audio, and game controllers.
“Sayonara Wild Hearts,” from developer Simogo, based in Malmö, Sweden, and publisher Annapurna Interactive, based in Los Angeles.
“Sky: Children of the Light,” from thatgamecompany, has players flying across sweeping landscapes in a magical kingdom to help celestial beings find their way back to the heavens. With its clever multiplayer integration and adventurous graphical showcase, “Sky: Children of the Light” is a groundbreaking social quest. The team used Apple technologies including a custom Metal engine, haptics, Game Center, and spatial audio.
“Sky: Children of the Light,” from thatgamecompany, based in Los Angeles.
“Song of Bloom,” from indie developer Philipp Stollenmayer, is a unique game with a nonlinear tale packed with clever puzzles. Players explore a story told in rapidly changing art styles as they progress though the game. “Song of Bloom” delivers an innovative, handcrafted gameplay experience with great design.
“Song of Bloom,” from indie developer Philipp Stollenmayer, based in Riedstadt, Germany.
“Where Cards Fall,” from developer The Game Band and publisher Snowman, is a slice-of-life adventure game in which players build houses of cards to bring formative memories to life. The game takes advantage of Apple technologies, including Metal, haptics, Game Center, and iCloud, to bring to life its dreamlike spatial puzzles, immersive audio, and unique miniature-art style.
“Where Cards Fall,” from developer The Game Band, based in Los Angeles, and publisher Snowman, based in Toronto.
More than 250 developers have been recognized with Apple Design Awards over the past 20 years. The recognition has proven to be an accelerant for developers who are pioneering innovative designs within their individual apps and influencing entire categories. Previous winners such as Pixelmator, djay, Complete Anatomy, HomeCourt, “Florence,” and “Crossy Road” have set the standard in areas such as storytelling, interface design, and use of Apple tools and technologies.
A daily roundup of developer sessions, demos, and more from WWDC20
On Monday, Apple kicked off its all-online Worldwide Developers Conference in Cupertino, California, with millions of developers joining from around the world. Tuesday, we dropped 46 engineering-led sessions that covered topics from exploring WidgetKit to designing more dynamic, responsive interfaces on iPad, as well as integrating more accessibility elements into apps.
Developers are diving deep into the newest capabilities coming to macOS Big Sur, iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14, and engaging with more than 1,000 Apple engineers via the all-new Developer Forums and one-on-one Developer Labs.
This week, we’re showcasing the biggest moments from WWDC20, including highlights from developer sessions, the most talked-about demos, the newest design features and capabilities across Apple platforms, and conversations with Apple executives. Check back here daily for what to Watch, Listen, Learn, and Play. And for a complete rundown of the Developer Forums, Labs, and 100+ engineering sessions, visit the the Apple Developer app.
Listen: WWDC20 Playlist Collection
Discover the power of music in Apple’s developer community with this in-depth look at how music has inspired WWDC20 artists, developers, and Swift Student Challenge winners. Read the Apple Music feature in the Apple Developer app, and check out one of the specially curated WWDC20.
Learn: Build Trust Through Better Privacy
Developers learn about Apple’s privacy pillars and its approach to privacy. In this session, they discover how to adopt the latest privacy features across Apple platforms that can help create more personal experiences while giving users greater transparency about tracking and permissions, when their app is using the microphone or camera to record, control over location with approximate location, and much more. Visit developer.apple.com to learn more about the latest privacy features coming to all Apple platforms.
Users can now choose to share their approximate location with app developers, rather than their precise location when granting an app location access in iOS 14.
Learn: WWDC20 Coding and Design Starter Kit
Developers of all ages try their hand at building an app in SwiftUI from scratch, creating widgets for the new Home Screen on iPhone, and solving coding problems with accessibility and music in mind. Sessions will be held all week. For more information on the WWDC20 Coding and Design Starter Kit collection, visit developer.apple.com.
Jordyn Castor shares the latest accessibility features in SwiftUI, including VoiceOver.
Play: Detect Body and Hand Pose with Vision
Developers take the new Vision framework, which enables apps to detect body and hand poses in photos and video, for a test drive at Apple Park. To see the session, visit developer.apple.com.
New APIs in the Vision app enable body and hand pose detection.
Here’s how developers reacted to the beautifully redesigned macOS Big Sur and new features coming to iPhone with iOS 14.
Highlights of Monday’s biggest news across iOS 14, iPadOS 14, macOS Big Sur, watchOS 7 and tvOS 14 from WWDC20.
Craig Federighi kicks off WWDC20 with a preview of the beautiful redesigns to the Home Screen in iOS 14.
Watch: Platforms State of the Union
Join Apple’s engineering leaders as they unveil the latest innovations and design features of macOS Big Sur, iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14 during the Platforms State of the Union. For more information, visit developer.apple.com.
Andreas Wendker unpacks the newest developer tools announced at WWDC20 during the Platforms State of the Union.
Learn: Tim Cook Surprises Swift Student Challenge Winners
During the Swift Student Challenge winner meetup, Tim Cook and Esther Hare dropped by for a 15-minute Q&A session. To learn more about some of the WWDC20 Swift Student Challenge winners, visit apple.com/newsroom.
Tim Cook and Esther Hare said a digital hello to WWDC20 Swift Student Challenge winners from nine countries around the world.
Here’s how developers reacted to the groundbreaking features in iOS 14, iPadOS 14, macOS Big Sur, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14.
One of my favorite sessions from WWDC each year is the “What’s New in Apple Device Management” session that details the upcoming enhancements to Apple’s MDM APIs and other features that system administrators can use to more efficiently manage Apple devices in the enterprise. So what’s new for 2020 with Apple device management? Let’s take a look.
Lights Out Management for Mac Pro
For folks who manage data centers, new functionality for the Mac Pro will be a welcome addition. Lights Out Management for Mac Pro will allow you to remotely start up, shut down, and reboot your Mac Pro. It will require macOS Big Sur and the new Lights Out Management payload from your MDM vendor.
Your MDM server will send a command to a LOM controller on the same subnet, which will then talk to your LOM-enabled devices. For data center managers, this functionality will speed up a lot of processes, and I hope to see it extended to the Mac Mini in the future.
Mac Supervision changes
Now, any Mac enrolled in a user-approved MDM enrollment will now have the same capabilities as a Mac enrolled via the device enrollment program. For BYOD environments, this change will significantly assist IT departments.
Admins have the same special abilities, such as controlling activation lock and leveraging bootstrap tokens, just as they do if the device was enrolled using automated device enrollment. You can query and list local users and choose to delete them, as well as replace or remove profiles and install supervised restrictions using MDM commands and schedule software updates.
Managed Software Updates
With macOS Big Sur, Apple is also adding changes to how software update works. You can now force client Macs to accept updates and then reboot. Major releases of macOS and non-OS updates can now be deferred for up to 90 days (similar to iOS). Apple is also removing the software update catalog and the Ignore Flag for managed devices.
Content caching is a great way to speed up downloads of apps, books, and other content across your network. Instead of each user downloading them from Apple, it’s downloaded a single time and shared across the local network. Apple is adding new metrics around content caching using a new Content Caching Information MDM command. This command will help you determine if content caching is turned on, working, and improving your devices download content faster. Content caching now supports Internet Recovery for faster deployment devices after being wiped.
The initial boot image isn’t included, but the full 6-gigabyte recovery image is cached, which will restore Macs on your network faster than ever.
Wrap-up on what’s new with managing Apple devices
I am excited to see the enhancements that Apple has brought, particularly to macOS, this year. Software update enhancements have been at the top of a lot of IT departments’ wish lists, so these will be welcome additions as the speed of Apple’s software releases isn’t slowing down. I encourage you to watch the entire video and read the transcript, as these are just some of the high points, and additional items are coming around Apple Configurator.
Palash Taneja, Devin Green, and Sofia Ongele are all WWDC20 Swift Student Challenge winners.
When the Apple 2020 Worldwide Developers Conference kicks off on June 22 in a new virtual format, a global community of 23 million developers will have the opportunity to join from around the world for free through the Apple Developer app and the Apple Developer website. Now in its 31st year, WWDC20 will bring together the largest group of innovators and entrepreneurs ever assembled to connect, share, and create.
Among them will be 350 Swift Student Challenge winners from 41 different countries and regions. The students were chosen based on their original Swift playground submission, part of Apple’s annual WWDC student challenge, which recognizes and celebrates the next generation of coders and creators.
They include Sofia Ongele, Palash Taneja, and Devin Green. These teens share a life goal best summed up by Ongele: “Make some tech and do a whole lot of good along the way.” All three view challenges in the world as opportunities to effect change. Every problem is a call to action — and they are answering, loud and clear.
Sofia Ongele hopes to one day be a judge or run for political office.
For Sofia Ongele, 19, who just finished her sophomore year at New York’s Fordham University, her focus for change lies at the intersection of tech and social justice. ReDawn, her first iOS app, is a powerful example. After one of her college friends was sexually assaulted during her freshman year, Ongele created ReDawn to help survivors access resources in a safe, easy, and sensitive way.
“I wanted to make something that makes this process less isolating,” says Ongele, who has been approached by organizations that want to partner with her on the app. But the most important feedback she has received came from the friend who was assaulted. “She thinks it has the potential to impact people, and that’s what matters most to me.”
Ongele was introduced to coding in 2016 when she attended a Kode With Klossy boot camp, a free coding course for girls ages 13 to 18. Ongele says that learning to code transformed her world.
“There was a 180-degree paradigm shift within my brain — I was like, this is what I want to do,” says Ongele, who went on to teach with the program. “I’m so passionate about passing on that knowledge to more women, and women of color, so that they wouldn’t feel that this is a field that’s too out of reach for them to pursue.”
Ongele counts Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as heroes, and is trying to decide between law school or politics — or both. Regardless of the path she chooses, she knows that her coding skills will be part of the journey: “At the end of the day, I just want to be able to use tech for social good.”
Sofia Ongele’s app ReDawn helps sexual assault survivors access resources.
Palash Taneja, 19, grew up in New Delhi, India. Four years ago, he contracted a severe case of dengue fever, a mosquito-borne virus that left him hospitalized.
“That whole experience of two to three months of suffering — I think that really inspired me to learn programming and to use it as a problem-solving tool,” says Taneja, who just finished his freshman year at the University of Texas at Austin.
Palash Taneja drew on his own experience with illness to help others.
He went on to create a web-based tool that uses machine learning to predict how mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever would spread. And for his Swift Student Challenge submission this year, created against the backdrop of COVID-19, Taneja designed a Swift playground that teaches coding while simulating how a pandemic moves through a population, showing how precautions such as social distancing and masks can help slow infection rates. He created it to help educate young people, after he saw others not taking warnings seriously.
Taneja is also passionate about education. In India, while still a teenager himself, he volunteered teaching English and math at a school for students whose families couldn’t afford to pay tuition. Before he left for college in the US, he created a program that translates popular online education videos into roughly 40 languages, so that children who don’t have physical access to quality education can learn on the web.
“I really enjoy working with children, and I think education is one of the things that can create the biggest impact in someone’s life,” says Taneja, “especially someone in a developing country.”
Devin Green loves solving problems with technology and looks to his surroundings for inspiration. While finishing his senior year of high school at home due to COVID-19, he used his bedroom in Castro Valley, California, as a laboratory.
Devin Green’s apps and inventions are inspired by the world around him.
The 18-year-old, who will start his freshman year at Stanford in the fall, was having trouble waking up in the mornings, so he designed a program using a pressure mat under his bed. If weight is still on the mat after he’s supposed to be up, an alarm goes off and won’t stop until he uses his phone to scan a QR code.
“There are 12 different QR codes around my house, and it’s randomized every morning,” says Green. “So I never know exactly where I have to go to shut the alarm off.”
This same spirit of innovation permeates everything that Green creates. His winning Swift Student Challenge playground features an artificial-intelligence robot named Stanny that can recognize and respond to 63 different comments and questions.
Green also has two apps on the App Store, the first of which he built when he was 13. The second, called Slight Work, is a homework app that uses the Pomodoro Technique to maximize work time with structured breaks. He and his high-school classmates used it throughout their senior year, as did friends in college.
When Green thinks about the future, he hopes to use his problem-solving skills to effect change on a much larger scale.
“Social justice and politics are areas I really want to contribute to,” says Green. “Giving people access to the materials they need to stay educated about current social matters or access to voter registration or basic citizenship rights — solving those problems is really important to me.”
Devin Green’s app Slight Work helps students manage their time using a special formula.
Apple is proud to support and nurture the next generation of developers through its annual WWDC student program — and it’s just one of the many ways that WWDC20 is recognizing and celebrating coders and innovators of all ages and backgrounds. For the first time ever, there will be a special collection of curated sessions perfect for budding coders and designers, and daily Swift Playgrounds challenges that anyone can participate in and enjoy.