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The Apple Design Awards take place at WWDC -- this year they were given prime billing on Monday afternoon at 3:45. The winners, chosen by Apple, reflect the very best in Mac, iPhone, and iPad apps available in either the Mac App Store or iOS App Store as of May 1, 2012.
Our biggest congratulations to all the winners!
This interactive iPad storybook for little kids has little extras hidden on every page, plus two games. It's $2.99 in the App Store, but its cuteness is priceless.
This puzzle game has you guide a hot air balloon through the levels by drawing the wind, the rain, even tornadoes. It's $3.99, universal for iPad and iPhone.
This got a perfect score from our friends at MacFormat. It balances shooting, role-playing elements, stealth, and exploration for a white-knuckled experience with a gripping story. Highly recommended—just be sure to check the system requirements. It's currently $49.99 in the Mac App Store.
Graphic designers will want to check out this drawing app, with a very Mac-like single-window interface and special features aimed at designing for the web and creating icons. It's $39.99 in the Mac App Store.
This highly artistic puzzle-platformer debuted on Xbox Live Arcade in July 2010, and made it to OS X in December of last year. You control a nameless boy searching spooky black-and-white environoments for his missing sister. Expect to meet your grisly doom over and over again before you figure out each puzzle. It's $9.99 in the Mac App Store.
We gave this a perfect score in our review, and we've covered it just a little bit since then -- Halfbrick's universal one-button side-scroller took a serious bite out of our free time and spare brain cycles. It's that fun. And it's currently free in the App Store, with plenty of in-app purchases available once you're as addicted as we are.
One of our standout games of 2011, Where's My Water is a family-friendly puzzler perfectly suited for the iPhone and iPad's touchscreen. It's so popular that downloading the free version even earned one Apple fan a $10,000 iTunes Gift Card, to celebrate Apple's 25 billionth app sold. The paid version is currently $0.99 in the App Store.
This free iPhone app is a must-download if you're planning to visit one of the national parks. Guides to each park are available as in-app purchases for just a dollar or two, with all the quality information and gorgeous photos you'd expect from National Geographic.
This is one of those gorgeous iPad apps that makes you feel calm and serene every time you launch it. The Draw module comes free, and you can add Color, Sketch, Write, and Outline for $1.99 each, or all of them for $6.99. Share drawings and ideas via Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, email, or save to the Camera Roll. It's free in the App Store, and we reviewed it here.
The iPad is home to tons of amazing musical apps, and DM1 packs 64 electronic drum kits into one app. Create your own beats with the step sequencer, distort the sounds with effects, drop them into the composer to make a song, and fine-tune the mix, all from one app. It's $4.99 in the App Store.
"Absolutely amazing," we said in our 5-star review. This educational iPad app is an interactive book that teaches kids scientific concepts like photosynthesis, light reflection, and how the eye works. It's currently $4.99 in the App Store, down from $6.99 when we reviewed it last October.