Apple opens nominations for best apps in 2012 Apple Design Awards contest

Nominations are now open for the 2012 Apple Design Awards, a celebration of the best iOS and OS X apps available today.

According to the Cupertino company’s Design Awards webpage, judges are interested in apps that are well designed, inviting, engaging, intuitive, compelling and easy to use. 

They should also take advantage of the latest hardware and OS releases “to offer rich functionality, high performance, and extensive system integration.”

And finally, nominated apps must be innovative, revolutionary and inspiring.

The only other criteria is that the apps must be available on the iOS App Store or Mac App Store by May 1, 2012.

The winners will be announced at the Cupertino company’s 2012 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) which runs from June 11 to 15 in San Francisco.

Last year’s Design Awards winners included — in the iPhone category — action game Infinity Blade, Golfscape GPS Rangefinder and physics puzzle game Cut the Rope.

In the iPad category djay, book app Our Choice and “Asteroids meets lava lamp” Osmos picked up prizes, while music-based Capo, action game Anomaly – Warzone Earth and image editor Pixelmator came up trumps in the Mac category.

News aggregator Pulse, GPA calculator Grades 2 and baseball history app Pennant won in the student developer category.

The Apple Design Awards have been running since 1996 and bring attention to innovative, well-designed software for Apple devices.

Apple’s iOS App Store arrived on the scene in 2008 and has been a huge hit for the company. The store currently offers over half a million apps to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users, with the 25 billionth download taking place just last month.

The Mac App Store launched in January 2011 and offers both free and paid apps for Apple’s desktop and laptop machines running 10.6 OS X and above.

Anyone can nominate their favorite app for Apple’s Design Awards, though should you need one or two ideas, be sure to check out DT’s recommendations here and here.

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