One of the events at every WWDC is the Apple Design Awards for “excellence in iOS and Mac OS X app design and development.” Introduced in 1997 as the “Human Interface Design Excellence,” it was thankfully Apple changed to the current name a year later. The winners get promotion on Apple’s developer site, a cube-shaped award that glows when picked up (see screenshot to the right), a MacBook Air, iPad 2, and an iPod Touch.
Apple has three primary categories to determine which apps are the best:
- Design: Well-designed apps are delightful, elegant, intuitive, engaging, exciting, compelling, and reliable.
- Innovation: Innovative apps are revolutionary, inspirational, unique, and do things in completely new and exciting ways.
- Technical excellence: Technically advanced apps have excellent performance and make extensive use of the latest Apple technologies to deliver innovative, platform differentiating, and advanced features.
The winners are chosen for Student, iPhone, iPad, and Mac categories from apps available for sale in the iTunes App Store and the Mac App Store (app links below are to the respective App Store). The 2011 ADA winners are:
- Grades 2 by Tapity – a GPA calculator
- Pennant by Vargatron – an interactive history of baseball
- Pulse News by Alphonso Labs – an innovative and beautiful news reader
- Cut the Rope by chillingo – a physics-based puzzle game
- Golfscape GPS Rangefinder by Shotzoom – an augmented reality rangefinder for 35,000+ golf courses
- Infinity Blade by Chair Entertainment Group – a sword-fighting action game
- Osmos for iPad by Hemisphere Games – a physics-based game of survival
- Our Choice by Push Pop Press – an interactive book platform featuring Al Gore’s latest publication on the environment
- Djay by algoriddim – DJ software for your iPod library
- Capo by SuperMegaUltraGroovy – a learning tool for musicians
- Pixelmator by Pixelmator Team – an outstanding image editor
- Anomaly Warzone Earth by 11 bit studios – a highly rated game with a “mixture of action and strategy in a tower offense formula”
See Appletell’s complete WWDC 2011 coverage.