Google Play Awards are scheduled for May 18 during Google I/O 2017. Here, Google will be choosing the best Android apps across multiple categories. This year Google has added four new categories, taking the total up to 12. Google shortlists the apps on the basis of their ratings on the Play Store, performance, relative freshness, and how regularly they are updated. For an app to be eligible for the 2017 awards, it needs to have been updated at least once since April 2016.
Apart from the common factors, there are also further specifications under each category that apps must follow to be selected. The awards are not restricted to any regions and nominees are selected on the basis of their global performance. Winners of Google Play Awards are featured on the Play Store and apart from prominence, they also get a physical trophy. The four new categories added in 2017 include Best VR/AR Experience, Best Multiplayer Game, Best Social Impact, and Best Accessibility Experience.
Below are the categories and the nominations from each segment.
Standout Indie: As the name suggests, the nominations include apps created by indie developers. The focus of the games is on performance, design and quality. The five games nominated under this category are Reigns, Kingdom: New Land, Mars: Mars, Causality, Mushroom 11. ALSO READ: Watch the first footage of Google co-founder Larry Page’s mysterious flying car
Standout Startup: These are apps from new developers that have performed well despite being new, and offer some unique factor. The four nominations include Hooked – Chat Stories, Discard – Chat for Gamers, CastBox – Best Podcast and Audio, Simple Habit Meditation.
Best Android Wear: Smartwatch apps that are updated to Wear 2.0, and come with strong user base and functionality have been nominated. These include Lifesum – Healthy lifestyle app, Runtastic Running & Fitness, Foursquare City Guide, Bring! Shopping List and Seven – 7 Minute Workout.
Best TV Experience: These are apps which provide the best experience of the big screen on the smartphone. The three most popular apps in this category include Netflix, Red Bull TV, Haystack TV: Daily News.
Best VR Experience: A new category, the focus of these apps are to offer content for Daydream. The nominated apps are Virtual Virtual Reality, The Arcslinger, Mekorama VR, Gunjack 2: End of Shift, The Turning Forest.
Best AR Experience: Again a new category, the apps here are all about Augmented Reality. The apps nominated under this category include Dinosaurs Among Us, HOLO, WOORLD (beta), Crayola Color Blaster.
Best App for Kids: These apps focus on learning and entertainment for children and are family focused in nature. The five nominated apps are Hot Wheels – Race Off, Animal Jam – Play Wild!, Teeny Titans – Teen Titans Go, Toca Life Vacation, Think! Think!
Best Multiplayer Game: The apps selected under this category include FIFA Mobile Soccer, Lords Mobile, Hearthstone, Modern Strike Online, Dawn of Titans.
Best App: These are apps that score on every parameter set by Google. Nominations include Quik – Free Video Editor, Memrise – Learn languages Free, Fabulous – Motivate Me!, Money Lover – Money Manager, City Mapper.
Best Game: A category that needs no elaboration. Nominated apps include Choices: Stories You Play, Pokemon Go, TRANSFORMERS: Forged to Fight.
Best Accessibility: These are apps catering to disabled or people with special needs. The nominations for this category include IFTTT, A Blind Legend, Eye-D –for visually impaired, SwiftKey Symbols, Open Sesame! Touch Free Access.
Best Social Impact: These are apps that bring a change in society or focus on sociable activities. The nominated apps include ProDeaf Translator, Charity Miles Walk&Run Tracker, Sea Hero Quest, ShareTheMeal – Help Children, Peek Acuity.