Apple announces 2012 Design Award winners

What were some of the best looking apps made in the past year? Apple's published the winners of its annual Design Awards show.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read

What were the prettiest, or otherwise design-centric apps made on Apple's platforms this year?

The results are in.

Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference continues through the rest of this week, though the annual Apple Design Awards show is in the can. This is the event where the company recognizes the achievements of developers who created particularly well-designed software, be it in looks or overall functionality.

Among some of the winners are popular games like Halfbrick's Jetpack Joyride and Playdead's Limbo, alongside creation apps like Bohemian Coding's Sketch for the Mac, and Paper for the iPad by FiftyThree.

Apple began its annual design awards program in 1997 under the moniker the "Human Interface Design Excellence," changing to its current name just a year later. Those who win get promotion on Apple's developer site, as well as a cube-shaped award that glows when picked up. The design for that cube, which has been made by Palo Alto, Calif.-based Sparkfactor Design since 2003, was once put through a CT scanner by an award winner to see how it worked.

A full list of winners from this year's show is below. All links lead to those apps in their respective App Stores.

iPhone Winners
App: Disney's Where's My Water.
Company: Disney

App: Jetpack Joyride
Company: Halfbrick Studios

App: National Parks by National Geographic
Company: National Geographic Society / Rally Interactive

iPad winners

App: Paper
Company: FiftyThree Inc

App: Bobo Explores Light
Company: GameCollage

App: DM1 - The Drum Machine
Company: Fingerlab

Student winners

App: DaWindci (iPad)
Company: Reality Twist GmbH, Mimimi Productions, Mediadesign Highschool of Applied Sciences

App: Little Star (iPad)
Company: BiBoBox Studio, Dalian Nationalities University

Mac winners

App: Deus Ex: Human Revolution Ultimate Edition
Company: Feral Interactive Ltd

App: Limbo
Company: Playdead ApS

App: Sketch
Company: Bohemian Coding