The HomeCourt app uses your iPhone or iPad's camera to...

The HomeCourt app uses your iPhone or iPad's camera to record and analyze your basketball shots. Credit: NEX Team

At Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month, a panel of judges handed out the prestigious Apple Design Awards to apps and games “reflecting the best in design, innovation and technology on Apple platforms.” Here are the nongame apps that took home 2019 honors. Next week: Apple’s picks for best games.

Flow by Moleskine

(iPhone and iPad; free)

Moleskine, an Italian maker of paper products and notebooks, has shifted effortlessly to the digital age with a number of well-received apps. Flow by Moleskine turns the drudgery of notetaking into a stylish and actually enjoyable experience. Apple said the app combined “powerful functionality and elegant design.” You can choose a number of “paper” backgrounds to make your notes and doodles pop off the page.

Pixelmator Photo

(iPad; $4.99)

This iPad-only app is a powerful photo editor that is good for beginners and could make even experienced graphic artists put down their Photoshop brushes. The app employs artificial intelligence to adjust and improve your photos. Apple liked that Pixelmator delivered “impressive editing power in a beautiful, uncluttered interface.”

Butterfly iQ

(iPhone and iPad; free)

First, be aware that while this medical-imaging app is free to download, it needs to be connected to a portable medical device that can be purchased from Butterfly for about $2,000. Used with the FDA-cleared medical device, the app helps physicians, clinicians and sports medicine professionals perform mobile ultrasounds from anywhere to see what’s going on inside you quickly and accurately. Apple said the app is “a total game changer.” 


(iPhone and iPad; free)

The NBA season is over, but for future NBA hopefuls — or just weekend hoops warriors — basketball is a 12-month vocation. HomeCourt uses your iPhone or iPad’s camera to record and analyze your shots. You can upload your sessions and let others critique your game. Apple lauded HomeCourt for its excellent social features that lets players “interact with coaches thousands of miles away or in a gym down the street.” 

Game on and on

Millennials love their video games — even when they are not playing. Nielsen says 71 percent of millennials — defined as adults 22-38 — watch other people playing video games or view online videos about games an average of six hours a week. Nielsen says millennial gamers have an average household income of $58,000, and 46 percent have kids of their own.


You’ve got fake mail

Wonder why your inbox is always filled with junk? Blame “email impersonation,” where hackers send emails pretending to be from a company you trust or someone you know to try to get you to click malicious links. Here’s how big the problem has become: According to security software maker Valimail, hackers unleashed 3.4 billion fake emails every day in the first quarter of 2019.


Speeding bullet

A new model of a bullet train set to enter service ahead of the Tokyo Olympics next year hit a record speed of 224 mph in a test run. Japan’s bullet trains, which debuted the same year as the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, are famed for their reliability and safety. Japan is pitching the trains for export, aiming to sell them to Texas and Taiwan.


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