Last year Google announced the Play Awards, a way for the search giant to celebrate the developers of the best apps and experiences in the Play Store. It's also a way for Google to subtly tell other developers that these folks are doing it right.
Google announced a slew of new nominees this year, signaling out categories for AR, VR and Android Wear. Nominees were selected by cross-functional teams at Google who work in each specific category. The common requirements for inclusion were a high star rating, technical performance, freshness and a launch or major update in the last year.
Essential reading: The best Android Wear apps
And the nominees are...
The nominees for best Android Wear 2.0 experience are Bring!, a shopping list app; Foursquare City Guide, which helps you find the best food, drinks and activities in your area; Lifesum, which lets you track calorie intake via a widget; Runtastic, one of the best running apps out there; and Seven, a seven-minute workout app.
All five apps were selected because they offered great design, functionality and offered what Google refers to as 'user delight' on Android Wear 2.0. They're also all available in the Play Store for free.
Best VR experience
For this category, Google was into apps that provided "highly engaging and immersive experiences" that did a good job using Daydream's UI. And yes, the nominees were dominated by games.
There's first-person shooters Gunjack 2 and Arcslinger, and then there's puzzle games Mekorama and Virtual Virtual Reality, in which an artichoke yells at you. And finally, there's The Turning Forest from the BBC, an interactive fairytale.
Best AR experiance
Google's requirements for AR aren't as specific as those for VR or Android Wear 2.0. In this category, you just had to deliver a creative app or game that lived up to the wonder of AR.
There's stuff like Crayola Color Blaster, which lets you shoot color at black-and-white monsters, and Woorld, which lets you turn your room into a virtual play pen for your kids. But there's also something like Dinosaurs Among Us and Holo, which let you place dinosaurs, men in gorilla costumes and more in your real world. You can even take pictures with them in Holo!
And then there's WayfairView, which lets you place any of the home furniture items in the company's catalog into your home so you can preview how it looks before you splash down your hard-earned cash.
The winners of the 2017 Play Awards will be announced 18 May at 6:30pm pst during Google's annual Google I/O conference.
Shop for recommended Android Wear watches on Amazon
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