At Google I/O 2017, the 2nd annual Google Play Awards were announced, showcasing the best in apps from across the Google Play eco-system. There were 12 categories in total, spanning categories including Best Android Wear Experience, Best TV Experience and of course with the renewed focus on VR/AR this year – Best VR and Best AR Experiences, plus loads more. So who were the winners?
In the Standout Indie category, which focuses on ‘Games from indie developers that focus on artistic design, gameplay mechanics and overall polish’. In this category, Mushroom11 from Untame took the gong. The description for Mushroom11 reads:
As life struggles to gain a foothold in a devastated world, a new lifeform emerges from the rubble. Mold yourself into any shape as you explore this strange, challenging landscape. The eerily beautiful visuals are complemented by the ethereal music of electronica legend The Future Sound of London.
Want to try it out, you can check it out on Google Play now:
For Standout Startup which showcases ‘Apps from new developers that offer a unique experience while achieving strong organic install growth’ the winner was HOOKED by Telepathic. What is HOOKED?
Hooked lets you read amazing chat stories on your phone. These are gripping, edge-of-your seat thrillers that will keep you reading for hours. Or, write your own story and get lots of fans!
You can grab HOOKED from Google Play right now:
Of course with Android Wear 2.0 rolling out, we want great apps and for Best Android Wear Experience, Runtastic Running & Fitness by Runtastic fulfilled the brief of a ‘New wear 2.0 apps offering great design, user delight and functionality’. If you aren’t familiar with Runtastic, it essentially tracks your running – or as Runtastic says:
Reach your fitness goals & boost your running training with the free Runtastic GPS Running & Fitness app.
Want to see what’s so great about Runtastic? Check it out on Google Play:
For Best TV Experience, RedBull TV took the prize for being the best App or game built for the large-screen format to provide an intuitive experience. It looks pretty good, but I’ve not used it much, so RedBull says:
Red Bull TV is a global entertainment platform that explores the exciting worlds of music, sports and events. We aim to inspire the next generation through premium, easy access streams on all devices, wherever and whenever you want.
Install it on your Android TV by searching for it on the Android TV App Store, or from the web:
Of course VR is big and for Best VR Experience Virtual Virtual Reality by Tender Claws – and after checking this out at the VR sandbox here at I/O I can tell why it took out the award. It’s fantastic and fits the bill of being ‘Highly engaging and immersive experience with optimal use of Daydream UI’.
What is Virtual Virtual Reality?
Put on VR headsets in VR to escape your manager and explore deeper realities in this two hour game. In the near future, most human jobs are automated. What is the purpose of humanity? Activitude, the Virtual Labor System, is here to help. Your artisanal human companionship is still highly sought by our A.I. clients. Strap on your headset. Find your calling
I seriously loved this game, and it’s on-sale for $5.99 at the moment. Check out the trailer and if you want to grab it, hit the link below:
And in the AR category, which looks at ‘Apps or games harnessing the creative and imaginative technology of AR’ Funomena picked up the win for Best AR Experience with WOORLD, whimsical sandbox game that lets you transform everyday space into a virtual world of full of playful characters and toys.
You can grab it from Google Play here:
The Best App for Kids was won by Animal Jam – Play Wild! by WildWorks. The category looked at ‘Apps or games with family-friendly design that encourage creativity, exploration and education’ and it looks pretty decent from the description – although any ‘Kids’ app with IAP is a bit of a worry. Still, the description sounds like loads of fun for kids:
Become your favorite animal and join your friends in the wild world of Jamaa! Show off your style with animal characters that express the real you. Design your own den and invite your friends to parties in your virtual home. You’ll explore a lush and beautiful 3D world, meet and chat with new friends, and play great games for FREE!
Want to get your kid into it? Grab it from Google Play:
Of course the Best Multiplayer Game went to Hearthstone. What is Hearthstone I hear you ask?
For Best App, which Google says showed ‘A true representation of beautiful design, intuitive UX and high user appeal’, Memrise: Learn a new language got the nod for their language app. Memrise actually sounds pretty awesome, and may be useful for brushing up on my Spanish for Mobile World Congress next year:
Next-generation mobile learning technology and content that is helping over 15 million people all around the world: every day, 2 million words and phrases are learned with a rich variety of games, chatbots and over 30,000 native speaker videos.
Want to start learning a new language? Check it out on Google Play:
I’m intimately familiar with the winner in the Best Game category with my son a huge fan of TRANSFORMERS: Forged to Fight by Kabam. The Best Game winner has, according to the judges ‘strong mechanics, stellar graphics and strong engagement and retention tactics’ – and I agree on the retention tactics, it’s hard to pull my son away.
Why is this game popular with kids and adults alike? Well, read this for a description:
Join Optimus Prime, Megatron, Bumblebee, Waspinator, Rhinox, Grimlock, Soundwave and many more of your favorite bots in the battle for supremacy where Transformers universes collide. This exciting action-fighting RPG brings the heroic storytelling and spectacular action from over 30 years of Transformers history to your mobile device!
Want to get addicted? Check it out:
In the Best Accessibility Experience we here at Ausdroid completely agree with IFTTT taking the award as we’re big users of their service. Haven’t used IFTTT before? Well, it’s a great automation service, which the name denotes: IF This Then That…IFTTT. It’s simple programming on the web to automate your life. Still not convinced:
Applets bring your favorite services together to create new experiences.
Over 400 apps work with IFTTT including Twitter, Telegram, Google Drive, Twitch, Weather Underground, Instagram, Gmail, and devices like Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Nest, Philips Hue, and your Android.
Download it and give it a go, it will literally change your life.
Last, but by no means least is the award for app which has the Best Social Impact, or as Google says ‘Apps that create meaningful social impact for a broad spectrum of people around the world’. The winner this time around is ‘ShareTheMeal’:
ShareTheMeal is the charity app by the World Food Programme that allows you to feed a child in need with one tap on your phone. Every year, hunger kills more people than malaria, HIV and tuberculosis combined. But it costs only $0.50 to feed a child for one day. There are 20 times as many smartphone users as hungry children. If every one of us gives just a little, we can make this world a better place!
Download it and start contributing now:
So, that’s it. That’s all the winners. Want to see which apps came close in each category? Google has setup an App Focus in Google Play with all the nominees and winners which you can find at g.co/play/gpa2017.