We are pleased to announce that the winners of the twelfth annual AppleVis Golden Apple Awards are Be My Eyes, Timecrest, and Zanagrams.
Since their launch in 2012, the AppleVis Golden Apple Awards have afforded blind and low vision users of Apple products an opportunity to recognize and acknowledge the hard work and dedication which developers have put into making and maintaining great and accessible applications over the given year. The respective teams behind Be My Eyes, Timecrest, and Zanagrams are demonstrably worthy recipients of this honour in 2023 for their commitment to accessible app development.
Be My Eyes is a free app that connects blind and low vision users with sighted volunteers around the world via live video chat. Users can request help with daily tasks like reading labels, matching clothes, using appliances, reading screens, and more. The app also includes an AI image description tool called “Be My AI”, introduced in 2023, to provide visual assistance, as well as options to connect with company reps for accessible customer support. With over 7 million volunteers speaking 185 languages, help is available any time of day in 150+ countries. Be My Eyes aims to foster independence and inclusion for the blind and low vision community. As the runaway winner of the Best App category with over 60% of votes, Be My Eyes demonstrated tremendous community support and impact in empowering blind and low vision users this past year.
In a tightly contested race, Timecrest and Zanagrams gained exactly the same number of votes, edging out other nominated games by a slim margin to jointly win the Best Game category.
Timecrest is an interactive fantasy novel where players become the protagonist who is contacted by a young mage named Ash. Ash's world of Alyncia faces destruction and players have the time magic ability to help save it. As the story unfolds, choices shape relationships and unlock one of many endings across a narrative spanning over 640,000 words. The game also features an emotional, cinematic soundtrack. Timecrest aims to provide a deeply immersive adventure through rich characters, high stakes and meaningful decisions. In 2023, the developers entirely rewrote Timecrest 1: Fated Connections to bring it up to the level of adventure, mystery, and emotion that they said it has always deserved.
Zanagrams is a word game, launched in 2023, that challenges players to solve six clue-based anagrams per puzzle, with the letters jumbled across the screen buttons. Users tap letters to spell out the answers, which disables those buttons to narrow choices down to the remaining letters. The game features over 20 free puzzles with 120 anagrams, hints to reveal parts of words, accessibility support for vision impairments, competitive scoring modes, friend leaderboards, and additional themed puzzle packs available for purchase.
Below is more information on each of the winners from their App Store pages:
Best App: Be My Eyes
People who are blind or have low vision now have three powerful tools in one with Be My Eyes.
Worldwide more than half a million people who are blind use the innovative Be My Eyes app through their smartphone to get visual description when they need it. Connect with more than 7 million volunteers. Or use the latest AI image describer. Or connect with dedicated company representatives to help with their products. All in one app.
Connect with Be My Eyes volunteers speaking 185 languages and available – for free – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Our newest feature, ‘Be My AI’, is a pioneering AI assistant integrated in the Be My Eyes app. You can send images via the app to Be My AI, which will answer questions about that image and provide conversational AI generated visual descriptions for a wide variety of tasks in 36 languages. Be My AI is powered by artificial intelligence and is able to provide assistance in a wide variety of situations, from checking makeup before a night out to translating text from hundreds of different languages.
Lastly, our ‘Specialized Help’ section allows you to connect with official company representatives for accessible and efficient customer support, directly through the Be My Eyes App.
Be My Eyes Key Features:
- Get assistance on your own terms: call a volunteer, chat with Be My AI or contact a company representative.
- Volunteers and Be My AI available globally 24/7
- Always free of charge
- 185 languages worldwide in 150+ countries
What can Be My Eyes help you with?
- Using home appliances
- Reading product labels
- Matching outfits and identifying clothes
- Helping to read product expiration dates and cooking instructions
- Reading digital displays or computer screens
- Navigating TV or game menus
- Operating vending machines or kiosks
- Sorting music collections or other libraries
- Sorting and dealing with paper mail
Best Game: Timecrest
Timecrest is a young adult fantasy where you are the main character. A young mage named Ash contacts you frantically through a pocket watch connecting to your iPhone asking for your help. Ash’s world, Alyncia, is about to be destroyed by falling meteors, but you demonstrate the ability to save Ash’s world by turning back time.
There isn’t long to celebrate as Ash is suddenly being hunted by someone who informs you that you’ve done the impossible–your use of time magic has broken the rules of magic.
Whether you save the world or do something else, your journey will take you through wondrous places where you’ll meet people that will either become your friends or your enemies.
The decision to experience this game is yours, but if you do adventure in Alyncia, it will be the journey of a lifetime.
- MAKE YOUR CHOICE. Timecrest is a story where no path is the wrong one. Walk your own road and experience a satisfying story no matter what.
- EXPLORE A MAGICAL WORLD. Timecrest pulls no punches with big emotional moments and plot twists across over 640,000 words.
- EXPERIENCE FANTASY AND WONDER. Timecrest features an emotional custom soundtrack with 34 musical tracks to unlock.
Best Game: Zanagrams
Think you can get a perfect score?
Exercise your brain during your downtime with this new unique twist on word-puzzles you’ve come to know and love.
Each puzzle contains six clues you’ll aim to find the one-word answers for. Each answer is broken-up into groups of two or three letters, presented as buttons in the lower portion of your screen, and jumbled for your brain-teasing enjoyment. Try to spell out each of the answers in the puzzle by tapping buttons to add them to your spelling.
Zanagrams will automatically detect if you’ve spelled any of the answers in the puzzle you’re working on, and any of the buttons you used to spell that answer will be permanently-disabled to narrow-down your choices. By the time you finish a puzzle, you’ll have used every button once.
- Compete against friends by seeing who gets the best score for each puzzle in its Official mode.
- Play randomized versions of puzzles you’ve already completed for endless fun!
- Use hints to reveal the next group of letters in a word when you get stuck.
- Zanagrams contains 20 free puzzles, spread across two Puzzle Packs, totalling 120 anagrams you can play as many times as you like.
- Once you’ve fallen in-love with the game, you can purchase more Puzzle Packs, choosing from our huge selection of both themed and unthemed Puzzle Packs.
- 100% accessible with Voiceover.
- High-contrast color options available for low-vision users
The 2023 AppleVis Golden Apple Awards consisted of awards for Best App and Best Game. Voting was held between December 4 and December 10, 2023. Voting was open to all blind and low vision members of the AppleVis community who were not employed by any of the developers whose apps were shortlisted.
To be nominated for this year's Golden Apple Awards, apps must:
- Be fully accessible to blind and low vision users;
- Have been launched or significantly updated during 2023;
- Be from a developer with a demonstrable commitment to accessibility; and
- Be best-in-class in terms of design, functionality, and operation.
We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all the developers who were shortlisted for an award. Without exception, all of the shortlisted apps and games were worthy nominees. All of the developers showed a strong commitment to enriching the lives of blind and low vision users in 2023, and our appreciation for their efforts cannot be overstated.