Apple successfully hosted its first-ever all-virtual Worldwide Developers Conference last week. While some considered it a disappointment due to the fact that there was no product reveals, the feedback was mostly positive. Many praised how the production team was able to overcome the limitations brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Traditionally, the company follows up with a special segment wherein it highlights some of the best software for its platforms. The 2020 Apple Design Awards features a mix of apps and games that managed to outshine the rest.

Recently, it was criticised by tech industry pundits for its alleged unfair practices when it comes to the regulation of its App Store. Based on an article from the Independent, Apple was able to discuss the changes it plans to implement moving forward. This will allow developers to voice their concerns when it comes to the regulatory actions imposed by the moderators. It would hopefully assure that communication is not a one-sided affair.

The 2020 Apple Design Awards recognised apps were able to take advantage of the various technology and functionalities available for its software and hardware ecosystem. According to the tech group's president of worldwide developer relations, Ron Okamoto, "every year, app and game developers demonstrate exceptional craftsmanship and we're honouring the best of the best."

He followed up with "receiving an Apple Design Award is a special and laudable accomplishment. Past honourees 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."

Sky: Children of the Light

Developed by Thatgamecompany, this is a game that encourages players to work together and solve puzzles and discover secrets with an open world presentation. The graphics are simple yet the gameplay is engaging.

Song of Bloom

There is no shortage of unique puzzle games for mobile devices and this one from Philipp Stollenmayer stands out for its non-linear approach. The soundtrack and imagery deliver a unique experience for both newcomers and veterans of the genre.

Shapr 3D

This is a productivity app designed for those who rely on CAD and want a portable and capable alternative on their iPad. The software is optimised to take advantage of the Apple Pencil and is compatible with most CAD file formats.


Those who rely on post-processing to work on their digital photographs will enjoy the photo editing features of this app from Bergen Co. The user-friendly interface and comprehensive functions make it an ideal on-the-go option for photographers.


Fledgeling and veteran animators will find that the app is deceptively simple, but can be used by pros to work on advanced projects. The developer makes it accessible for anyone to pick up and perhaps jumpstart their future career in animation.

Where Cards Fall

It is another puzzle game that is presented in a 3/4 top-down view with beautiful environments. As the title implies, players will use a deck of cards to build structures that will help the protagonist traverse environmental challenges.


Musicians now have an app that can read hand-drawn notations into sheet music. It is also compatible with the Apple Pencil. The app can be used to compose and arrange pieces with a collection of virtual orchestral instruments.

Sayonara Wild Hearts

Gamers who love rhythm-based arcade titles will find it all here. The fast-paced action and entrancing beats should keep people on their toes to guide the hero their goal. This is developed by Annapurna Interactive – a studio responsible for critically acclaimed titles such as "Journey" and "What Remains of Edith Finch."

A visitor uses his iPhone X to take photos of the stage at the Apple Worldwide Developer conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California, U.S., June 4, 2018. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage

Overall, this year's Apple Design Awards appear focused on games featured in Apple Arcade. Nevertheless, the addition of productivity, animation, and music apps shows enough variety. With WWDC 2020 out of the way, the company can now focus on its upcoming hardware refresh a few months from now.