Apple just honored these 12 apps with its ultimate award – download them now

An Apple Design Awards 2023 logo
(Image credit: Apple)

Not everything at WWDC 2023 is new, as Apple has also taken the opportunity to honor some of the best existing apps and games on the App Store, with its 2023 Apple Design Awards.

Twelve downloads have been honored in all, with an even split between apps and games, and Apple has further divided the winners into categories. First up, there’s ‘Inclusivity’, with winners in this category supporting “people from a diversity of backgrounds, abilities, and languages.”

The app winner here is UniverseWebsite Builder by Universe Exploration Company, which takes the complexity out of website building, so it’s accessible to everyone. The winning game meanwhile is stitch from Lykke Studios, which is a casual embroidery-based puzzle game, with cross-generational appeal.

The next category is ‘Delight and Fun’, which is fairly self-explanatory, but Apple has focused on experiences that are “enhanced by Apple technologies.”

The winning app here probably needs no introduction – it’s Duolingo. This is a language learning app that has been around for a long time, and seemingly almost everyone has at least dabbled in it.

The winning game is Afterplace by Evan Kice, which is an indie role-playing game with intuitive one-handed controls, making it ideal for playing on mobile.

Next we come to the ‘Interaction’ category, which awards things that “deliver intuitive interfaces and effortless controls that are perfectly tailored to their platform.”

The winning app here is Flighty by Flighty LLC. This provides flight maps, airport navigation, and delay forecasting, and it integrates Apple Maps, Siri Shortcuts, and Live Activities.

The winning game is Railbound by Afterburn. This is a puzzle game that requires you to organize train tracks, and Apple notes that it has a very simple onboarding process.

The next category is ‘Social Impact’, which is another fairly self-explanatory one. The winning app here is Headspace, which has long been a leader in the meditation app space.

The winning game is Endling by HandyGames, and this is a side-scroller that sees you guide a fox through an environment scarred by human influences and environmental disasters.

Next up is ‘Visuals and Graphics’, for which Apple honored the app Any Distance, by a developer of the same name. This is a fitness-focused social network and activity tracker, complete with in-app collectable medals.

The winning game here is Resident Evil Village from Capcom, which is a Mac horror game (as well as being available on Windows and consoles).

Finally, we come to the ‘Innovation’ category, which finds winners in SwingVision: A.I. Tennis App by SwingVision – a tennis coaching app with video tracking capabilities – and Marvel Snap by Second Dinner – a simple yet surprisingly deep collectible card game.

There’s a wealth of high-quality apps and games available on iPhone, iPad, and Mac, so these winners faced stiff competition and are likely all worth downloading if they sound appealing. But for more great options check out our guides to the best iPhone apps, the best iPhone games, the best iPad apps, and the best iPad games.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.