The Apple Design Awards 2020 winners feature four creative tools to aid your process

…and four beautifully designed games to abet your proscrastination.

2 July 2020


Apple has revealed the winners of its annual design awards, celebrating the developers behind eight apps and games for their creative artistry and technical achievement. These apps, the brand says, reflect the best in design, innovation and tech on Apple platforms. This includes an iPad app for hand-drawn animation made by director Eran Hilleli, and others for CAD drawing, photo editing and music notation; plus four very different but nonetheless visually stunning games for killing non-work time.

Among the winners are four creative tools:

Looom by director Eran Hilleli and is an animation app for the iPad that boasts accessibility and ease of use for professionals and hobbyists alike. You can sketch with your finger or stylus, then swipe up to create a new cel, but your previous drawings are still visible with reduced opacity. Apple praises its “low intimidation factor with toy-like gears” for frame rate and other functions.

Shapr 3D allows for CAD drawing on the iPad, whereas most CAD software requires desktop processing power. It is compatible with all major CAD formats and allows for export for 3D printing. Apple says the UX is “incredibly tactile,” saying users will feel like they’re “manipulating virtual objects in the real world”.

Darkroom by Bergen Co. is a photo editing app for iPhone and iPad packed with features, such as the Curves editor which allows for fine-tuning of light and colour in an “intuitive and artful way,” Apple says. You can also batch-edit images, open Raw files and create custom filters.

StaffPad allows musicians to write out music notation by hand on the iPad, then it instantly transforms it into professionally formatted sheet music. You can scribble down all notations, notes and articulations, with a finger or stylus, then the app tidies it into a vector drawing. The app also allows you to hear your composition in progress performed by a full ensemble of virtual orchestral instruments.



There’s also four games: Song of Bloom by popular games designer Philipp Stollenmayer is a puzzle game with some unusual solutions – for example, one puzzle requires you to plug in your charger cable to solve it. Sayonara Wild Hearts by Simogo/Annapurna is described as “part-80s music video, part-classic arcade game. Where Cards Fell by The Game Band/Snowman is another puzzler where you build houses of cards to leap and climb on to different levels. And Sky: Children of the Light by Thatgamecompany poses different missions and puzzles that reward teamwork and generosity – not a common theme in many online games. All four games are available on iPhone or iPad, and some on Mac and AppleTV.

Find out more about all the winning apps and games here.

GalleryApple Design Awards 2020 winners




Shapr 3D


Sayonara Wild Hearts


Sky: Children of the Light


Where Cards Fall


Song of Bloom


Song of Bloom


Song of Bloom


Song of Bloom

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About the Author

Jenny Brewer

After five years as It’s Nice That’s news editor, Jenny became online editor in June 2021, overseeing the website’s daily editorial output.

Jenny is currently on maternity leave.

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