Google best Android apps 2021
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As December approaches, it’s time for annual recaps, and Google Play is ready with the best Android apps and games of 2021. These lists — including Users’ Choice — are localized, and you can browse your country by tapping the “Best of 2021” banner at the top of the Play Store.

Users’ Choice 2021

The selections below reflect US results, with Paramount+ taking the Users’ Choice app award — Disney+ won last year, while the gaming honor goes to Garena Free Fire MAX.

Best Android apps of 2021

Meanwhile, Balance, as selected by Google’s editorial team, is the best application of 2021. It continues to reflect how “apps focused on personal growth are in high demand.”

This year’s winners found creative, and often meditative, ways to help users get to know themselves on a deeper level. Apps like Balance encourage people to find their center through personalized meditations; Moonly shows users how to harmonize their lives using the lunar calendar; and Laughscape helps people reach a meditative state through laughter. 

Google also has several other “best” categories:

Best Apps for Good Best Everyday Essentials Best for Fun Best Hidden Gem Best for Personal Growth
Empathy Blossom Clubhouse Laughscape Balance
Mentor Spaces PhotoRoom Noobly Moonbeam Clementine
Speechify Rabit Whatifi Moonly Uptime

There’s also “Best for Tablets” (Canva, Concepts, Houzz) and “Wear” (Calm, My Fitness Pal, Sleep Cycle), as well as “Popular on Google TV” (Disney+, ESPN, Tubi).

Best Android games of 2021

Meanwhile, the Play Store team named Pokémon UNITE as Android’s Best Game of 2021 for “its dynamic gameplay and cross-platform experience.”

Meanwhile, we saw a surge of indie developers creating imaginative and personal gaming experiences we never knew we needed. Independent developer George Batchelor brought us Bird Alone, a game that challenges you to find companionship with the “loneliest bird in the world.” And in Donut County, developed by Annapurna Interactive, you become an ever-growing hole in a physics-based puzzle game.

Best Competitive Best Game Changers Best Indie Best Pick Up & Play Best for Tablets
League of Legends: Wild Rift Inked 7 Billion Humans Cats in Time – Relaxing Puzzle Game Chicken Police: Paint it Red!
MARVEL Future Revolution JanKenUP! Bird Alone Crash Bandicoot: On the Run! League of Legends: Wild Rift
Pokémon UNITE Knights of San Francisco Donut County Disney POP TOWN My Friend Pedro: Ripe for Revenge
Rogue Land Overboard! My Friend Pedro: Ripe for Revenge Switchcraft: The Magical Match 3 & Mystery Story Overboard!
Suspects: Mystery Mansion Tears of Themis Puzzling Peaks EXE Towers The Procession to Calvary

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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