Apple has revealed the winners of this years Apple Design Awards.

The company presents the awards annually at WWDC. Now in their twelfth year, they aim to recognise those developers who have most raised the bar for application development on the platform.

Apple describes them as recognition for "technical excellence and outstanding achievement in OS X software design and development".

Best Leopard Application

Awards were presented in seven categories this year, with the winner of the best Leopard application revealed as Delicious Library 2.0 from Delicious Monster software.

"When version 1.0 first arrived on Mac OS X, it set a new standard for user experience and redefined user expectations for this category of software," Apple states. The company commends the not-yet-available Leopard version for its use of a range of new Leopard technologies, including Core Animation.

The runner-up in this category is IGG Software's iBank application, a personal finance application for Mac users.

Best Mac OS X User Developer Tool

The award for best Mac OS X developer tool went to MacRabbit's CSS Edit 2.5, an application written in Apple's Cocoa development environment by a single programmer.

Apple notes the application takes full advantage of the company's WebKit framework, and observes: "CSSEdit has a polished and focused Aqua interface that sports flexible tabs, intuitive visual editors, and exhibits extreme attention to detail. CSSEdit offers real-time styling for absolutely any web page using technologies in a variety of ways."

Runner-up in this category is roobasoft's RooSwitch 1.1.8 application, which lets users switch settings within a single application.

Best Mac OS X Dashboard Widget

Staying close to home, the award for best widget went to Bret Victor's BART Widget 1.0.

The mini-app lets users plan their trips around San Francisco using the BART subway system: it offers train times and journey duration features and works both on- and off-line.

"The BART widget replaces simpler, traditional web interfaces with a more intuitive design incorporating direct manipulation, immediate feedback, and speech synthesis to inform users of arriving or departing trains," Apple explains.

Runner-up in this category is Pemdas 1.1 by Michael Filippone, an advanced scientific calculator widget.

Best Mac OS X User Experience
Apple selected Panic's web development application Coda 1.0 for offering the best OS X user experience.

"Coda is the Mac's first one-window web development application that integrates numerous modules into one cohesive user experience," Apple's developer relations team explained.

The solution integrates a swathe of advanced Apple technologies, but presents all of these in an easy to navigate, easy to use interface.

The runner-up in this category was Karelia Software's popular Sandvox 1.2 application, itself a user-focused simple website creation tool.

Best Mac OSX Game

Apple this year seems set to offer a new focus on gaming, making moves to obviate the argument that many of the most popular PC games don't run, or don't run well, on Mac OS X.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs Tuesday presented with senior games developers from Electronic Arts and id Software, both of whom made a promise to deliver the goods for Mac gamers in future.

With those two developers in the sidelines for inclusion within this award category next year, this year's best Mac OS X game fillip went to Blizzard Entertainent and its game, World Of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade 2.0.

"The Burning Crusade, the first expansion pack for World of Warcraft, continues to be highly optimized for Mac OS X technologies such as multi-threaded OpenGL. The implementation of multi-threaded OpenGL utilizes the multiple cores found in every Mac, and brings a performance gain of double," Apple explains.

Runner-up in this category went to DanLab's Wacky Mini Golf 1.01 title, a multiplayer-supporting 3D mini-golf game.

Best Scienctific Computing Solution

Apple continues to make inroads into the sci-tech market, with a range of advanced solutions making their way to the platform from Unix.

This years award for the best sci solution for OS X went to an application called Papers, developed by Alexander Griekspoor and Tom Groothuis.

Papers helps scientists and researchers organize their personal library of scientific articles. It adds sophisticated search tools to let researchers look for additional data from online academic resources and offers downloading, archiving, reading and sharing tools all accessible through the one interface.

"Scientists have been waiting for a solution like Papers for years, and now it's finally here - exclusively on Mac OS X," Apple states.

Runner-up in this category was Single Crystal, described by its developers as "an elegant application designed to make diffraction, reciprocal lattices and stereograms intuitive, interactive and fun."

Best Student Product

Apple offers an award for student developers each year. This year's prize went to Zac Cohen's Picturesque 1.0 software, a batch image processor for Mac.

The application offers a plethora of image adjustment tools, including reflections and glows, and uses a transparent floating user interface - and can apply effects on batches of images with ease.

"Written by one student, entirely in Cocoa, Picturesque takes full advantage of Cocoa drawing and Core Graphics to provide beautiful image effects, and Cocoa scripting to make all image properties in Picturesque fully AppleScriptable," Apple explains.

Runner-up in the student award category was Dennis Lorsen's Pathway 1.0, a companion application for Wikipedia users.