Apple Design Awards highlight 2021’s best iPhone and iPad apps

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Apple Design Awards highlight 2021’s best iOS apps
The Apple Design Awards celebrate the best iOS and iPad apps in a range of categories.
Photo: Apple

The annual Apple Design Awards honor excellence in innovation, ingenuity, and technical achievement in iOS and iPadOS application and game design. A dozen winners were named Thursday in categories ranging from outstanding Interaction to apps that are just fun.


The winners were announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2021, a virtual event going on all week.

Apple Design Awards 2021

The design awards bring recognition to the developers. And give iPhone and iPad users suggestions for applications they might want.

The winners in the Delight and Fun category “provide memorable, engaging, and satisfying experiences.” There’s Little Orpheus from The Chinese Room. This is a platform game that Apple says offers excellent storytelling and console-quality entertainment. And Pok Pok Playroom “provides endless hours of fun for kids of all ages, while rewarding creativity and experimentation, according to Apple.

The apps that took the top prize in the Inclusivity category are usable for everyone while also supporting people from a diversity of backgrounds, abilities, and languages. HoloVista by Aconite is an augmented-reality found-object game. And Voice Dream Reader is a best-in-class text-to-speech app. It can read from just about any digital source, like web pages and PDF, and supports more than two dozen languages.

‘League of Legends: Wild Rift’ won a 2021 Apple Design Award
League of Legends: Wild Rift is a console-quality game available for iPhone and iPad.
Photo: Riot Games

Apps in the Innovation category challenge every iPhone app to be better. League of Legends: Wild Rift by Riot Games takes a PC game and delivers its full experience on mobile, even though that took reimagining it from the ground up. And NaadSadhana by Sandeep Ranade is a studio-quality music app. It supports seven different genres of music, and can use AI to generate a backing track to an improvised vocal line… in real time.

Winners in the Interaction category show other applications what great user interfaces look like. Bird Alone from George Batchelor lets users become friends with the loneliest bird in the world. It offers gestures, haptics, parallax and dynamic sound effects for additional realism. And Carrot Weather from Brian Mueller and Grailr LLC is well known for its funny forecasts. But it’s UI was recently upgraded with impressive features.

Winners in the Social Impact category seek to improve users lives. Alba: A Wildlife Adventure from ustwo games lets players join a little girl as she wanders a Mediterranean island rescuing animals. And Be My Eyes enables people who are blind and low-vision to identify objects by pairing them with volunteers from around the world. There are over 300,000 users and more than 4.5 million volunteers.

The Visuals and Graphics category of the Apple Design Awards highlights applications with stunning imagery. Genshin Impact from miHoYo included heart-pounding battle scenes and far-reaching landscapes that push the limits of mobile gaming. On the opposite end of the emotional scale is Loóna, which offers animated sleepscape sessions crafted create a soothing, calming experience.

Source: Apple