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Apple Highlights the Best-Designed Mac and iPhone Apps

Despite what you may think , this week's World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) didn't end with the announcement of the 3G iPhone. As part of the festivities, Apple handed out its Design Awards yesterday to what it considers best of breed applications and programs for the Mac and the iPhone. Most of the applications were beautiful, but some were of questionable usefulness to the average user, while others were simply too expensive for what they do.

Well, we're here to help you cut through the clutter, much of which you can either download online now or get from the iTunes App store when it opens for business on July 11. With out further ado, we present the Apple Design Award highlights:

Squirrel - Winner of the best student developed software package. Squirrel is a financial tracking application similar to Quicken that aims to make watching your spending a little less mundane. Squirrel can output your spending and income into animated graphs and reports and will even connect to your online banking accounts to pull in updates. Price: €6.99 ($11) , or you can download the beta for free and cough up €25 ($40) when the final version goes live.

AP Mobile News Network - Runner-up for the best iPhone Web application. The Associated Press' iPhone news reader makes getting local news on your iPhone easy, and even lets you browse the services catalog of videos and photos. Price: Free!

AOL Radio - Winner for best iPhone entertainment app, AOL Radio for the iPhone puts 350 online radio stations, including 150 local station streams from CBS, at your fingertips. It's hard to argue with that. Price: Free!

'Guitar Hero III' - Winner for Best OS X game. There is a reason 'Guitar Hero' is so popular, and it's 'cause it's just so much damn fun. Probably didn't hurt that it simply didn't face much competition on the Mac. Price: $80 with guitar controler.

There were also a couple of gems that we would whole heartedly recommend, if there wasn't a price tag attached.

Remember the Milk - Winner for best iPhone Web applicaion. Remember the Milk is a great online to-do list with loads of great features. It now also has an iPhone-specific interface that makes managing your life's tasks a pleasure to do whlie on the go. Price: $25 per year for a Pro-Account that will give you access to the iPhone interface (alas, non-iPhone versions are free).

Twitterific - Winner for best iPhone social networking app, Twitterific is one of the most beautiful and pleasurable Twitter clients we've ever encountered. We're not sure what the revenue model on the iPhone version will be yet, but if it's anything like the OS X version, we're less than thrilled. (Shameless plug: Check out the official Switched twitter page for all our recent news). Price: Free with ads, $15 for an ad-free version on OS X.

OS X and the iPhone/iPod Touch are gaining ground as platforms to building beautiful applications for. Unfortunately, many developers seem to treat them as proof of concepts rather that truly making the applications useful ('Timeline 3D,' we're looking at you). We also would expect that as the Mac became more popular more quality free applications would start to surface. Unfortunately, so far, this has not been the case. [Source: MacWorld]

(Disclosure: AOL Radio is an online service owned and offered by AOL, which also owns and operates

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