Apple has revealed its favourite apps and games of the year, as part of its annual design awards.
The company usually holds the Apple Design Awards as part of its Worldwide Developers Conference. This year, that happened virtually as a result of coronavirus lockdowns – and so did the awards.
Eight apps and games were chosen by Apple as part of the awards, with much of the focus on smaller developers.
The announcement comes amid increased focus on the App Store, as both developers and regulators question whether Apple is using its dominance of the platform to treat developers unfairly.
Apple used the conference to announce new policies that allow developers to appeal App Store policies, as part of an attempt to address those concerns.
Among the winners of the 2020 awards for apps, one is focused on animation, one on music, another is built around photo and video editing, and the last is built for designers to use for architectural and technical drawing.
The games include two apps that were released as part of Apple Arcade, the company's subscription service that allows players to pay a monthly fee to get as many of its premium games as they want.
Apple praised the apps and games for making the most of its platforms, praising the use of everything from its APIs for developers to hardware such as the Apple Pencil.
"Every year, app and game developers demonstrate exceptional craftsmanship and we’re honouring the best of the best," said Ron Okamoto, Apple’s vice president of worldwide developer relations, in a statement.
"Receiving an Apple Design Award is a special and laudable accomplishment. Past honourees have made some of the most noteworthy apps and games of all time. Through their vision, determination, and exacting standards, the winning developers inspire not only their peers in the Apple developer community, but all of us at Apple, too."
The winner of the app awards were Darkroom, a photo and video editor; Looom, which Apple described as "an animation playground that takes inspiration from music creation tools"; Shapr3D, a technical design app; and StaffPad, which is used to create handwritten musical notations into digital sheet music.
The game awards include Sayonara Wild Hearts, an Apple Arcade game that won another of Apple's awards at the end of last year. The other three are Sky: Children of the Light; Song of Bloom; and Where Cards fall, which is also on Apple Arcade.