While Apple spent the first morning of its Worldwide Developers Conference showing off its new iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite operating systems, the company ended the day by announcing the winners of its annual Apple Design Awards
Apple describes the recipients as apps that "raise the bar in design, technology and innovation." Developers of the winning apps haul in a load of Apple hardware, including several Macs and iOS devices, as well as an ADA trophy-cube. Here are this year's winners.
Created by grad students from Columbia University, Addimal Adventure (free, iTunes Store link) is a game for kids who are learning single-digit addition. You must save the city of El Sumado by solving math problems that exercise different math strategies.
A platform game for iOS, Leo's Fortune ($5, iTunes Store link) has you looking for the thief that stole your gold. The game has 25 levels filled with lush environments, active backgrounds, and challenging obstacles. The judges liked this game for its integration of graphics, gameplay, and easy controls.
Bloom Built's Day One for Mac ($10, Mac App Store link) app makes it easy, even fun, to keep a journal. You can integrate text, video, and photos into entries, and a calendar and support for tags and hashtags helps you organize it all. The developer does make an iOS version, but Apple gave the award to the Mac version.
The point of this game is to draw lines that then animate to knock out dots that appear on the screen. Blek ($3, iTunes Store link) sounds easy enough, but it gets more complicated as you figure out the right gestures and avoid obstacles. While it's also simple in its presentation, it's a good example of how you can make a great game without being complex.
Yahoo News Digest
A former Macworld Staff Pick, Yahoo News Digest is a free iOS app that provides curated, high-quality content on top news topics. The app is updated twice daily and provides a good balance between quick news summaries and in-depth articles.
A favorite among Macworld editors, Threes ($2) is a tile-matching game that's challenging and nicely designed. Apple judges called out Three particularly for its "personality," expressed in the game through whimsical visuals and comical sounds.
A professional graphics tool for creating "flixels" — combinations of video and photo. Cinemagraph Pro ($25) can let you quickly make animated GIFs from video clips, apply filters to videos, fix blemishes, mask a specific area for animation while the rest of the image remains still, and a lot more.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.