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Apple Design Award Finalists

A roundup of some useful apps and games from the finalists of Apple's Design Award
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Apple Design Finalists

Every year in the second week of June Apple run an event called WWDC. World Wide Developer Conference. It’s a week long event where they announce the new versions of their operating systems and how best to build for them. As part of that they have an award for the best app and game design from the previous year. They’ve released the list of finalists and will announce the winners at WWDC. I’m not going to cover them all as MacStories has already done that. I’m going to look at a few from my non-binary autistic perspective to see if anything can help in daily life.

Interesting Apps

  • Navi adds subtitles and Live Translation to your FaceTime calls through SharePlay.
  • Noted transforms your iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch into a powerful voice notes recording tool. It's the best place to record timestamped audio and dictate ideas on the go, perfect for students, working professionals, journalists, podcasters, and songwriters.
  • Procreate is the leading creative application made for iPad.
    – Accessibility features:
    – Advanced stroke stabilization
    – Dynamic Type, VoiceOver and Feedback Sounds
    – Assignable single finger gestures
    – Color naming
  • (Not Boring) Habits - Science-backed method to build better habits. Most habit trackers fail. They try to motivate you with games like streaks and trophies only to turn on you when you fall off. Building habits doesn’t have to be miserable.
  • Waterllama - Get reminder to drink water regularly. Join healthy challenges like Weight Loss Sloth which will motivate you to drink water only, help with intermittent fasting as your water fasting app.
  • Empathy gives you personalized, step-by-step guidance through the challenges of losing a loved one, from practical, legal, and financial details to emotional support. (Hilariously I get an error saying Empathy isn’t available in my region. Tell me something I don’t know.)
  • Headspace - Meditate and sleep soundly. Headspace is your guide to practicing mindfulness in your everyday life. Learn how to relax, manage stress, and focus your energy to become more centered and well rested. Create a calm and positive environment with Headspace. (Also for Android)
  • Rebel Girls - Including inspirational stories from the award-winning podcast “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls”, the Rebel Girls app immerses kids and grownups alike into real-life audiobook stories told about the adventures and accomplishments of women from around the world and throughout history.
  • Focus Noodles wants to help people focus on what they want to do in a witty and fun way. Put down your phone, cook a bowl of noodles, and we'll fight phone addiction together!
  • Odio replaces your noisy or distracting environment with AR soundscapes. Enter your sonic cocoon to focus on what’s important, truly relax, or sleep better.

Interesting Games

  • tint. lets you solve puzzles by painting. Mix watercolors to match the color of the origami - all at a soothing pace and in the comfort of your own garden studio. Here are no timers, no countdowns, no points and certainly no rush, whenever you feel like a break.
  • Please Touch the Artwork - Part Zen-puzzle, part narrative-adventure, you'll explore the secret world behind iconic abstract paintings through over 150 puzzles.
  • Active Arcade puts you inside the game and uses your natural body movement as the game controller. Interactive elements will make you feel like you're immersed in an entirely new type of arcade game. It's a whole new world of play.
  • Gibbon: Beyond the Trees  deals with challenging but acute environmental topics, including deforestation, poaching and climate change.
  • Wylde Flowers - A cozy life and farming sim with a witchy twist! Escape to a cute world of diverse folks, and magical spells, as you and the coven unravel a mystery!
  • Behind the frame is a vivid, interactive fiction about an aspiring artist on the cusp of finishing the final piece of her gallery submission. A relaxing, eloquent experience that can be played at any pace. Become immersed in a panoramic world filled with resplendent colors, beautiful hand-animated visuals, and a smooth, easy-listening soundtrack.
  • Townscaper - Build quaint island towns with curvy streets. Build small hamlets, soaring cathedrals, canal networks, or sky cities on stilts. Block by block. (Multiplatform)

There’s a few apps I’ve installed to try out. I used to use Water Minder but I’ve switched to Waterllama as it seems quite fun. I’m going to try out Noted. I normally use Just Press Record as it’s great to quickly open an app, record a voice note and have a transcript of it to build upon later. I’m already using Headspace most nights to fall asleep to and occasionally when I need to de-stress. My habit of using it daily has slipped. Maybe I should use (Not Boring) Habit app? Focus Noodle could be good at helping me focus and get work done. I already have an app like it called Bear Focus Timer. I forget to use it. Pomodoro techniques can be useful to help people focus. Unfortunately I forget I have it. I think a device disconnected from the internet would be better for my productivity though.

I’m sorry Android users. I did check for Android versions of these apps but most are Apple only. Google do have a similar award event but it doesn’t seem as diverse or inclusive.

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