Apple just named these 14 apps and games as the best of 2024

Apple Design Awards 2024
(Image credit: Future)

WWDC 2024 doesn’t officially begin until June 10, but Apple is letting some news out a few days in advance, including its 2024 Apple Design Award winners, celebrating 14 apps and games that excel in design, innovation, and technical achievement. 

The 14 titles were chosen from 42 finalists across seven categories: Delight and Fun, Inclusivity, Innovation, Interaction, Social Impact, Visuals, Graphics, and Spatial Computing – as you might imagine, that last category, which was a new addition for 2024, highlights an app for Apple Vision Pro. Each category highlights one app and one game as a winner.

Scoring an Apple Design Award is a high honor for developers, and the list of winners – and indeed the list of finalists – is a great place to start if you want to find new apps  to try on your iPhone, iPad, MacBook or Mac, Apple Watch, or Vision Pro. 

Delight and Fun winners

Within the Delight and Fun category, two winners delivering engaging and satisfying experiences beat out the seven finalists. First is Bears Gratitude, a journaling app focusing on self-reflection through daily prompts and routine building.

Second is an unsurprising winner, considering the highly active fanbase that plays Wordle. NYT Games is home to many addictive puzzles and word games, including the classic crossword and Connections, all designed to keep you coming back every day.

Inclusivity winners

Apple Design Award Winner 2024, Crayola Adventures

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has selected two Inclusivity category winners. Oko uses the onboard camera to help pedestrians with low to no vision navigate by indicating the signal of lights and other traffic signals through haptic and audio alerts. It’s even built using Apple’s VoiceOver and Dynamic Type technologies. 

Crayola Adventures is the other winner in the category and is designed for all ages with the ability to create and solve puzzles. You can adjust skin tone, body types, pronouns, and abilities within the character creation steps and get a full game narration. 

Innovation winners

A look at Apple Design Award trophy.

(Image credit: Apple)

Recently featured during Apple’s May 7, 2024, iPad-focused event, Procreate Dreams is walking away with an Apple Design Award. Described as a "marvelously designed tool" by Apple, it lets creatives design 2D animations from freehand, built-in templates, or even the Apple Pencil. Procreate even supports some of the more advanced features introduced with the Apple Pencil Pro, including haptic feedback and squeeze functionality. 

Lost in Play is an exciting and visually impressive graphic novel-style adventure game for the iPhone. The graphics are all hand-drawn, and the gameplay focuses primarily on discovery through point-and-tap. 

Interaction winners

As you might suspect, Interaction is all about a compelling, intuitive interface and application controls. Crouton is an app for recipe curation; it makes it easier to complete recipes by providing an ingredient list and step-by-step directions. 

Rytmos is a puzzle game controlled through drag gestures, with each level upping the challenge. It also pairs it with vibrant, impressive visuals that get more complex based on the level. 

Social Impact winners

Like the rest of the categories, the Social Impact category has two winners: Gentler Streak Fitness Tracker and The Wreck. The former is a fitness tracker designed for everyone, regardless of lifestyle or how much one might work out. It pairs physical fitness and mental wellbeing into one app and integrates with Apple Health. You can see TechRadar's report on Gentler Streak here.

The Wreck is a visual novel with a story focused on navigating and reflecting on stressful situations.

Visuals and Graphics winners

Visuals and Graphics had many terrific titles, including some AAA games, in the finalists, and Apple narrowed it down to two winners. Rooms lets you play in a 3D space with immersive and highly detailed visuals throughout the experience. You start with a blank space or room and can add from there and view other users' work.

Lies of P for the Mac is a highly immersive, well-reviewed game that plays on the idea of imagination. You play as the robot Geppetto on a quest to find the marker. Developer NEOWIZ utilized MetalFX for great visuals across a range of Mac models.

Spatial Computing winners

Apple Design Award Winner 2024, Djay Pro

(Image credit: Apple)

Last but not least is the newest addition to Apple’s Design Awards, which spotlights the $3,500 (starting) Vision Pro. Spatial Computing first highlights djay pro, which places a DJ turntable directly in front of you in your reality or a highly immersive environment. I’ve used this one, and you can reach out to adjust volume levels, scratch the discs, adjust speed, and even mix two tracks together. 

Second in Spatial Computing is Blackbox, a puzzle game that overlays the world around you. Puzzles of various elements and even words will appear all around you. It’s a fun experience.

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Jacob Krol
US Managing Editor News

Jacob Krol is the US Managing Editor, News for TechRadar. He’s been writing about technology since he was 14 when he started his own tech blog. Since then Jacob has worked for a plethora of publications including CNN Underscored, TheStreet, Parade, Men’s Journal, Mashable, CNET, and CNBC among others. 

He specializes in covering companies like Apple, Samsung, and Google and going hands-on with mobile devices, smart home gadgets, TVs, and wearables. In his spare time, you can find Jacob listening to Bruce Springsteen, building a Lego set, or binge-watching the latest from Disney, Marvel, or Star Wars.