In a departure from previous years, the Google Play Awards were unveiled on the eve of I/O 2018. With nominees first announced late last month, these are the top Android apps and games as chosen by Google employees throughout the company.

There are nine categories with criteria including quality, design, and technical performance. Selected by teams of Googlers, all the apps have a high star rating on the Play Store and follow the Android vitals guidelines. Additionally, these apps either launched or have had a major update since April 2017.

As Google focused on areas like well-being, accessibility, and social impact, there was no Wear OS or TV category in 2018. However, the reduced focus on platforms did not apply to the burgeoning augmented and virtual reality field, with one combined award. Additionally, there was no outright award for best app or game.

Standout Well-Being App

Apps empowering people to live the best version of their lives, while demonstrating responsible design and engagement strategies.

Best Accessibility Experience

Apps or games enabling device interaction that serves people with disabilities or special needs.

Best Social Impact

Apps or games that create a positive impact in communities around the world (focused on health, education, crisis response, refugees, financial health and fundraising functions).

Standout Indie

Games from indie developers that focus on artistic design, gameplay mechanics and overall polish.

Best Community Building Game

Games built to connect gamers, encouraging social interaction and community building.

Best AR or VR Experience

Apps or games offering highly engaging and immersive experiences with optimal use of ARCore or Daydream UI.

Standout Build for Billions Experience

Apps or games with optimized performance, localization and culturalization for emerging markets.

Standout Startup

Apps from new developers that offer a unique experience while achieving strong organic install growth.

Best Breakthrough Hit

New apps or games with excellent overall design, user experience, engagement and retention, and strong organic install growth.

You can also view all the winners, as well as nominees, on Android or the web in the new Google Play collection.

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