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Engineer behind Kiwi made app wins big at Apple Design Awards

Devin Davies, a software engineer at app development studio, Smudge based in Christchurch is the first Kiwi to win at the 2024 Apple Design Awards in California.

Following the announcement of the new iPhone and Apple Intelligence – their spin on AI – at WWDC, one of the most anticipated events in the tech industry calendars, Apple held their prestigious Design Awards for the innovations and technical achievements in app and game design.

Davies, a software engineer at Smudge, worked on Crouton, a meal planner app created in 2019 that has evolved for users of Apple Vision Pro to bring their recipes to life with augmented reality.

One of the first cooking apps for the Apple Vision Pro, Crouton saw great success, with over 160,000 downloads and reviews saying it was a “new way to cook” in consumers daily lives.

The success of the app, saw Crouton being used globally such as on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

“I started Crouton for myself and my family. I genuinely had no idea it would take off like this. The last few months have been a whirlwind,” says Davies.

“Crouton is a safe place for your recipes from wherever you find them, websites, cookbooks, your grandmas scribbled note. It makes it super easy to meal plan, so your shopping and cooking are made simple.”

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Devin Davies.

Using Smudge’s augmented reality capabilities, Crouton has never before seen features, such as letting users interact with the app by seamlessly blending digital recipes, meal plans and timers with their physical kitchen space.

Smudge has also worked on apps for NZ Police, The Coca-Cola Company and more.

The Apple Design Awards recognise Davies’ win alongside 14 other app developers across the globe for their work across iOS, macOS and VisionOS.

“Apple WWDC is one of the most important events of the app development world,” Smudge Managing Director Reuben Bijl says.

“It’s an incredibly prestigious award and we’re absolutely thrilled that Devin has been recognised among the world’s best as the very first New Zealander to win one of these awards.”

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