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Google has unveiled the nominees for the Google Play Awards 2018. The winning Android apps and games will receive awards on May 7, meaning this year the event will be scheduled ahead of the company’s I/O 2018 developer conference.
Google had 12 categories in 2017, but this year has cut the number down to nine. There are, however, three new categories for 2018: “well-being,” “accessibility,” and “social impact.”
The company explains that nominees were selected “by various different teams across Google, and all meet criteria thresholds covering high star rating, Android vitals, and have had a launch or major update since April 2017.” This is Google’s way of recognizing developers of quality Android apps and games from across the world, with an emphasis on overall quality, strong design, technical performance, and innovation.
Without further ado, here are the nine categories and each of their five nominees:
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Standout Well-Being App
This category is described as “apps empowering people to live the best version of their lives, while demonstrating responsible design and engagement strategies.” The nominees are:
- Clue by BioWink GmbH
- Fabulous by TheFabulous
- Headspace by Headspace, Inc.
- Lifesum by Lifesum
- Simple Habit by Simple Habit, Inc.
Best Accessibility Experience
This category is described as “apps or games enabling device interaction in an innovative way that serves people with disabilities or special needs.” The nominees are:
- Audio Game Hub by Sonnar Interactive
- Be My Eyes by Be My Eyes
- Open Sesame by Sesame Enable
- Universal Copy by Camel Corporation
- Voice Volume Catcher by LITALICO lnc.
Best Social Impact
This category is described as “apps or games that create a positive impact in communities around the world (we are focussing on health, education, crisis response, refugees, financial health & fundraising functions).” The nominees are:
- Forest by forestapp.cc
- Khan Academy by Khan Academy
- Otsimo by Otsimo
- Tala by Tala Mobile
- TODXS by TODXS
This category is described as “games from indie developers that focus on artistic design, gameplay mechanics, and overall polish.” The nominees are:
- Agent A by Yak & Co
- Bridge Constructor Portal by Headup Games
- Flipping Legend by Noodlecake Studios Inc
- Old Man’s Journey by Broken Rules Interactive Media GmbH
- OPUS: Rocket of Whispers by Sigono Inc.
Best Community Building Game
This category is described as “games built to connect gamers, encouraging social interaction and community building.” The nominees are:
- Clash Royale by Supercell
- Episode by Episode Interactive
- Lineage 2: Revolution by Netmarble Corporation
- Pokémon GO by Niantic, Inc.
- PUBG MOBILE by Tencent Games
Best AR or VR Experience
This category is described as “apps or games offering highly engaging and immersive experiences with optimal use of ARCore or Daydream UI.” The nominees are:
- ASTEROIDS! by Baobab Studios
- BBC Earth: Life in VR by BBC Worldwide (Ltd)
- Brickscape by 5minLab
- Figment AR by Viro Media
- Porsche Mission E by Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG
Standout Build for Billions Experience
This category is described as “apps or games with optimized performance, localization, and culturalization for emerging markets.” The nominees are:
- Cricbuzz by Cricbuzz.com
- Flipkart by Flipkart
- Mercado Libre by Mercado Libre
- Moovit by Moovit
- Viki by Viki, Inc
This category is described as “apps from new developers that offer a unique experience while achieving strong organic install growth, sim ship/Android first, matches Google’s startup definition.” The nominees are:
- Astro Mail by Astro Technology
- Canva by Canva
- Drops by Language Drops
- Kredivo by FinAccel Pte Ltd
- N26 by N26
Best Breakthrough Hit
This category is described as “new apps or games with excellent overall design, user experience, engagement and retention, and strong organic install growth.” The nominees are:
- Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp by Nintendo Co., Ltd.
- Cooking Craze by Big Fish Games
- Empires & Puzzles by Small Giant Games
- Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition by SQUARE ENIX Co., Ltd.
- PUBG MOBILE by Tencent Games
Winning a category should highlight your app or game and result in more exposure. But even being nominated is a great success and will likely bring more downloads.