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Google today launched Android Excellence, a new Google Play program that showcases the highest quality Android apps and games of the quarter. The company picks the winners based on user experience, use of Google’s best practices, great design, technical performance, localization, and device optimization.

The goal here is twofold. For users, Google is simply offering yet another way to help them find great apps and games. For developers, it’s a form of recognizing work that goes beyond building a basic app or game.

There are two Android Excellence collections, one for apps and one for games. The collections will refresh quarterly and are available on the revamped Editors’ Choice section of the Google Play store.

Here are the first 16 Android Excellence apps:


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And the first 15 Android Excellence games:

Also today, Google released a new Playbook beta. The Playbook app lets developers set objectives and provides a tailored list of the latest articles and videos from Google experts and across the web.

Google says it has seen “a significant increase in the level of polish and quality of apps and games on Google Play.” There’s likely no timeframe tied to this statement — there are 2 billion active Android devices out there, so developers know the market is massive and thus competition is fierce.

Google already has three ways for highlighting Android apps and games: Indie Corner (a section for must-have Indie titles), the Google Play Awards (a dedicated category for the best apps and games in their category), and a monthly newsletter for the top trending apps and games.

And yet there are still a ton of crappy Android apps and games in the store, so a fourth way to wade through the garbage is always welcome.

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