Last week, Apple held their annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco. I've been to several of these conferences, and Apple puts on a great show. The sessions of packed full of valuable technical information. For developers, it's like Christmas.
Not only is it a great opportunity for developers to learn from each other as well as Apple Engineers, but it's also a great chance for developers to show off their stuff. Participating developers can submit their applications for review. On the second day of the conference, Apple holds a "Design Awards" event to showcase the best of the best. In some cases, the best comes from large, International development houses. In other cases, it's literally a guy in his garage with a good idea.
The requirements are pretty straight forward and include things like attention to detail, incredible graphics, high-level of engagement, usability, great user experience, etc.
For a complete listing of WWDC Design Award winners, visit Apple's WWDC Design Award site.