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Apple 2023 App Store Awards winners: A celebration of innovation and whimsy

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — Apple announced the winners of its annual App Store Awards, encompassing the Mac, iPad and iPhone ecosystem, celebrating standout apps and games.

The winners came from a pool of 40 finalists, while also choosing five apps to be recognised under the Cultural Impact category.

As for Trend of the Year, Apple chose generative AI for how it had become incorporated into multiple apps and became the subject of intense attention and discussion.

Let’s get straight to the main winners:

iPhone App of the Year: AllTrails, from AllTrails, Inc

iPad App of the Year: Prêt-à-Makeup, from Prêt-à-Template

Mac App of the Year: Photomator, from UAB Pixelmator Team.

Apple TV App of the Year: MUBI, from MUBI, Inc

Apple Watch App of the Year: SmartGym, from Mateus Abras.

For games:

iPhone Game of the Year: Honkai: Star Rail, from COGNOSPHERE PTE. LTD

iPad Game of the Year: Lost in Play, from Snapbreak Games

Mac Game of the Year: Lies of P, from NEOWIZ.

Apple Arcade Game of the Year: Hello Kitty Island Adventure, from Sunblink.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement: “This year’s winners represent the limitless potential of developers to bring their visions to life, creating apps and games with remarkable ingenuity, exceptional quality, and purpose-driven missions.”

As for the Cultural Impact category, five apps were selected:

Pok Pok from Pok Pok

Proloquo from AssistiveWare

Too Good To Go from Too Good To Go

Unpacking from Humble Bundle

Finding Hannah from Fein Games GmbH

Media got some time to hear from two of the Cultural Impact category, namely the people behind the Pok Pok app and Proloquo, an app targeted at helping non-verbal people, especially children communicate.

The creators of Pok Pok had an interesting vision of a game — a sandbox that was also non-addictive, yet encouraged its targeted child audience to figure out puzzles with solutions that were not linear in nature.

With an engaging interface that was child-friendly without being either too hard or overly addictive in nature, Pok Pok does stand out in a sea of child-targeted games on the iPad.

In another vein, AssistiveWare’s Proloquo had a mission: to make it super easy for non-verbal users to communicate in as simple a way as possible with the use of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).

How did they achieve it? By using icon-based text boxes that could be selected and then arranged to form sentences that would then be spoken out.

Of course it wouldn’t be quite as fast as direct speech but it did beat typing out messages especially for people who also had limited mobility or perhaps tired easily.

Interestingly, the developers said children tended to pick up the app a lot quicker than their caretakers.

What perhaps also made the app a standout was how it could incorporate Apple’s Personal Voice feature — it made generated, spoken text seem less robotic and more natural.

It’s always interesting to see how developers create apps that both enrich our lives or provide quality entertainment. My own hope is that someday we’ll see more Malaysian apps and developers finding success on a global level, and maybe produce our own App Store Award winners.