The 11 Most Beautiful Apps, According To Apple

Apple Design Awards

Photo: Apple

Design has always been a critical competitive advantage for Apple.

At this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference, as Daring Fireball’s Josh Gruber noted, Apple moved its annual Design Awards from its usual Wednesday evening time slot, towards the end of the conference, to Monday afternoon.

That strikes us as a pretty deliberate move to highlight the importance of design.

Apple is also running hands-on labs where developers can show their apps to Apple user-interface experts for a face-to-face critique. We heard from some developers at the show who were pretty pumped to get this kind of feedback—it’s a rare opportunity.

So who did Apple pick as the winners?

Bobo Explores Light is an educational iPad app. It makes use of the tablet's high-resolution Retina Display.

DaWindci, a student winner, has innovative multitouch gameplay.

DM1 turns your iPad into a vintage drum machine.

Jetpack Joyride, from the makers of Fruit Ninja, has won countless awards.

Little Star, an interactive book, was another student entry.

National Geographic scored big with its National Parks app.

Paper is a beautiful way to make art on your iPad.

Sketch is a more sophisticated app targeted at graphic designers.

We're not sure if Swampy the Alligator is the next Mickey Mouse, but Disney clearly knows how to build apps.

Here's how one of the winners got a cult following.

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