This Week's Sponsor:


Ensure that if a device isn’t secure it can’t access your apps.  It’s Device Trust for Okta.

Apple Design Awards 2019 Winners Announced

Topping off a jam-packed day full of exciting software announcements, Apple hosted the 2019 Apple Design Awards at WWDC last night.

The Apple Design Awards are a way for Apple to recognize, before a large crowd of developers in attendance, which apps represent the best the App Store has to offer. This may mean implementing certain APIs or frameworks in an innovative way, building a unique game mechanic, or simply designing an app that, in one way or another, exudes excellence. Winners of Apple Design Awards are highlighted by Apple as examples for the developer community to follow. They can also be a telling indicator of a platform’s health – for example, in the last four years, out of the 43 apps honored only 7 were available on the Mac. Next year that should change thanks to Project Catalyst, née Marzipan.

Here are the winners of the 2019 awards, consisting of both apps and games.

App Winners

Game Winners

Federico was able to spend time with two of the people on teams receiving these awards. Here’s what they had to say about their teams’ respective apps.

Jake Underwood, Marketing at Moleskine Digital Studio (and MacStories alumn)

Federico: “What does it mean for your team to create a great iOS app?”

Jake: “With Flow, the Moleskine team really tried to integrate design and functionality, which meant enhancing creativity in our users, bringing out something special in our users that we believed was there to begin with. So making a great iOS app wasn’t about doing all the work ourselves, but empowering the users to do the work. We have a collaborative environment at Moleskine.”

Federico: “What kind of technologies are you using?”

Jake: “A big technology we use for Flow is Metal. The drawing engine is all built with Metal, and of course it was really built for iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, though it supports iPhone as well. We tried to make it as close to a real drawing experience as possible.”

Matt de Jonge, Head of Product at Butterfly iQ, makers of Butterfly iQ — Ultrasound

Matt: “What we really tried to do is take advantage of the contexts our users already have about how to use iPhone applications. In many ways we’re a camera app – we’re just a camera that looks into your body. So we took a lot of cues on the design side from the iPhone camera app, and the basic gestural controls and interfaces, the paradigms of direct manipulation that users understood already. That’s where a lot of work on the design side was focused. Then there was a lot of work on the compute side just to get it running at clinical frame rates. So there is a tremendous iOS engineering team behind this, in addition to a lot of custom integrated circuit designers, mechanical engineers, AI scientists, cloud engineers, low-level-software engineers – you name it. It really took a village.”

You can also follow all of our WWDC coverage through our WWDC 2019 hub, or subscribe to the dedicated WWDC 2019 RSS feed.

Our WWDC coverage is brought to you exclusively by:

Things: where ideas take shape – one step at a time.

Unlock More with Club MacStories

Founded in 2015, Club MacStories has delivered exclusive content every week for over six years.

In that time, members have enjoyed nearly 400 weekly and monthly newsletters packed with more of your favorite MacStories writing as well as Club-only podcasts, eBooks, discounts on apps, icons, and services. Join today, and you’ll get everything new that we publish every week, plus access to our entire archive of back issues and downloadable perks.

The Club expanded in 2021 with Club MacStories+ and Club Premier. Club MacStories+ members enjoy even more exclusive stories, a vibrant Discord community, a rotating roster of app discounts, and more. And, with Club Premier, you get everything we offer at every Club level plus an extended, ad-free version of our podcast AppStories that is delivered early each week in high-bitrate audio.

Choose the Club plan that’s right for you:

  • Club MacStories: Weekly and monthly newsletters via email and the web that are brimming with app collections, tips, automation workflows, longform writing, a Club-only podcast, periodic giveaways, and more;
  • Club MacStories+: Everything that Club MacStories offers, plus exclusive content like Federico’s Automation Academy and John’s Macintosh Desktop Experience, a powerful web app for searching and exploring over 6 years of content and creating custom RSS feeds of Club content, an active Discord community, and a rotating collection of discounts, and more;
  • Club Premier: Everything in from our other plans and AppStories+, an extended version of our flagship podcast that’s delivered early, ad-free, and in high-bitrate audio.