As the year comes to a close, it’s time for recaps and Google Play is ready with the best Android apps and games of 2020. Given the scale of the Play Store, all lists — especially Users’ Choice — are localized. You can browse your region by tapping the “Best of 2020” banner at the top of the Play app.

The content shown below reflects the US list, with Disney+ winning the Users’ Choice Award for top app, while the game honor goes to SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off. Visiting each page on your device loads a local version.

Best Android apps of 2020

The Best App of 2020 is Loóna: Bedtime Calm & Relax. Google calls it a “rare case where utility meets ingenuity and delight” that’s “beautifully designed and thoughtfully executed.”

Loóna captivated us like no other app this year, with its innovative, beautiful take on bedtime stories. Drift into relaxation through immersive “sleepscapes” — 3D scenes you’ll explore with narration and simple interactions, tapping to bring color and light to everything from a magical Brooklyn bookshop to a carousel in Paris. Rather close your eyes? Turn on a soothing soundscape, like “Lo-fi Beats” or “Art of Nature.”

On the app front, Google also has several other “best” lists with an explanation for each selection: 

  • Best Everyday Essentials: In a year of so many upended routines, these apps helped us create new ones. They’re the tools that helped us stay in touch with others and in tune with ourselves.
  • Best for Personal Growth: Around the globe, people met 2020’s challenges with personal feats big and small. These apps helped us with our own endeavors, from trying new workouts to building resilience.
  • Best Hidden Gems: These apps are new to the scene and quietly building a fanbase. From rising stars to our favorite niche platforms, they’re 2020’s greatest hidden gems.
  • Best for Fun: Throughout 2020, these delightful apps helped us unwind and get creative. Whether you’re looking to transform, record, or transport yourself, these picks will bring the fun.
  • Best Apps for Good: Mission-driven and user-friendly, our Apps for Good address some of the most pressing issues we face as a society. They’re a reminder of our power to change ourselves and the world around us.
Everyday Essentials Personal Growth Hidden Gems For Fun Apps for Good
Calmaria Centr, by Chris Hemsworth Cappuccino Bazaart: Photo Editor & Graphic Design GreenChoice: Healthy Grocery Shopping
Grid Diary – Journal, Planner Intellect: Create a Better You Explorest — Photo Locations Disney+ Medito: Free Meditation, Sleep & Mindfulness
The Pattern Jumprope: How-to Videos Loóna: Bedtime Calm & Relax Dolby On: Record Audio & Music ShareTheMeal: Donate to Charity and Solve Hunger
Whisk: Recipe Saver, Meal Planner & Grocery List Paired: Couples App Paperless Post Flyer Invitation Maker, Text Invite REFACE: Face swap videos and memes with your photo
ZOOM Cloud Meetings Speekoo – Learn a new language Tayasui Sketches VITA

Best Android games of 2020

Meanwhile, Google named Genshin Impact as Android’s Best Game of 2020 for “exceed[ing] expectations and deliver[ing] compelling, accessible, genre-defining experiences.”

Bound through rolling fields and bustling cities, soaking up majestic views from towering heights. The vast open world of Teyvat is yours to explore as you gather a team of intrepid travelers and search for knowledge on commanding the elements. Genshin Impact blew us away with its sheer scale and ambition. Recruit characters and fight together in a richly detailed, utterly beautiful world. Combat is fast and fluid, with each fight a spectacle to behold. Quite simply, this is the best game we’ve played this year.

Meanwhile, there are four additional categories:

  • Best Competitive: Celebrate hard-fought victories or gear up for a rematch in the competitive games that pitted us against friends and foes alike in 2020.
  • Best Indies: It’s been a stellar year for indies, one full of games designed to delight. These picks went above and beyond to become our favorites in 2020.
  • Best Pick Up & Play: These games brought us hours of fun in 2020 thanks to their quick-start style, pleasing challenges, and approachable design. Enjoy our favorite pick-up-and-play games of the year.
  • Best Game Changers: Whether it was riffing on genre norms, creating imaginative new ways to play or worlds to explore, these games dared to be different in 2020.
Competitive Indies Pick Up & Play Game Changers
Brawlhalla Cookies Must Die Disney Frozen Adventures Fancade
Bullet Echo GRIS DreamWorks Trolls Pop Genshin Impact
GWENT: The Witcher Card Game inbento EverMerge Minimal Dungeon RPG
Legends of Runeterra Maze Machina Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells Ord.
The Seven Deadly Sins: Grand Cross Sky: Children of the Light SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off The Gardens Between

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com