Tag Archives: Google Play

Drumroll please! The nominees for the Google Play Awards are…

The Google Play Awards are back! Today we’re announcing the 2017 nominees for outstanding app or game across 12 categories, including Best VR and AR Experiences, Best TV Experience, Best App for Kids, and Best Game. The winners of each category will be announced at Google I/O in May.

Nominees were selected by a set of specific criteria, including high star rating, technical performance, requiring a launch or major update since April 2016. Take a look at the full list of categories and nominees below or visit g.co/play/gpa2017 to see if any of your favorite apps or games made the cut.

Standout Indie

Games from indie developers that focus on artistic design, gameplay mechanics and overall polish. And the nominees are…

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Standout Startup

Apps from new developers that offer a unique experience while achieving strong organic install growth. And the nominees are…

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Best Android Wear Experience

New wear 2.0 apps offering great design, user delight and functionality. And the nominees are…

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Best TV Experience

Apps or games using innovative features for the large-screen format to provide an immersive and intuitive experience. And the nominees are…

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Best VR Experience

Highly engaging and immersive experience with optimal use of Daydream UI. And the nominees are…

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Best AR Experience

Apps or games harnessing the creative and imaginative technology of AR. And the nominees are…

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Best App for Kids

Apps or games with family friendly design that encourage creativity, exploration and education. And the nominees are…


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Best Multiplayer Game

Games built to connect gamers in competitive and engaging multiplayer experiences. And the nominees are…

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Best App

A true representation of beautiful design, intuitive UX and high user appeal. And the nominees are…

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Best Game

Games with strong mechanics, stellar graphics and strong engagement and retention tactics. And the nominees are…

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Best Accessibility Experience

Apps or games enabling device interaction in an innovative way that serves people with disabilities or special needs. And the nominees are…

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Best Social Impact

Apps that creates meaningful social impact for a broad spectrum of people around the world. And the nominees are…

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Drumroll please! The nominees for the Google Play Awards are…

The Google Play Awards are back! Today we’re announcing the 2017 nominees for outstanding app or game across 12 categories, including Best VR and AR Experiences, Best TV Experience, Best App for Kids, and Best Game. The winners of each category will be announced at Google I/O in May.

Nominees were selected by a set of specific criteria, including high star rating, technical performance, requiring a launch or major update since April 2016. Take a look at the full list of categories and nominees below or visit g.co/play/gpa2017 to see if any of your favorite apps or games made the cut.

Standout Indie

Games from indie developers that focus on artistic design, gameplay mechanics and overall polish. And the nominees are…

Banner GP Awards 1

Standout Startup

Apps from new developers that offer a unique experience while achieving strong organic install growth. And the nominees are…

Banner GP Awards 2

Best Android Wear Experience

New wear 2.0 apps offering great design, user delight and functionality. And the nominees are…

Banner GP Awards 3

Best TV Experience

Apps or games using innovative features for the large-screen format to provide an immersive and intuitive experience. And the nominees are…

Banner GP Awards 4

Best VR Experience

Highly engaging and immersive experience with optimal use of Daydream UI. And the nominees are…

Banner GP Awards 5

Best AR Experience

Apps or games harnessing the creative and imaginative technology of AR. And the nominees are…

Banner GP Awards 6

Best App for Kids

Apps or games with family friendly design that encourage creativity, exploration and education. And the nominees are…


Banner GP Awards 7

Best Multiplayer Game

Games built to connect gamers in competitive and engaging multiplayer experiences. And the nominees are…

Banner GP Awards 8

Best App

A true representation of beautiful design, intuitive UX and high user appeal. And the nominees are…

Banner GP Awards 9

Best Game

Games with strong mechanics, stellar graphics and strong engagement and retention tactics. And the nominees are…

Banner GP Awards 10

Best Accessibility Experience

Apps or games enabling device interaction in an innovative way that serves people with disabilities or special needs. And the nominees are…

Banner GP Awards 11

Best Social Impact

Apps that creates meaningful social impact for a broad spectrum of people around the world. And the nominees are…

Banner GP Awards 12

App onboarding for kids: how Budge Studios creates a more engaging experience for families

Posted by Josh Solt (Partner Developer Manager, Kids Apps at Google Play) and Noemie Dupuy (Founder & Co-CEO at Budge Studios)

Developers spend a considerable amount of resources driving users to download their apps, but what happens next is often the most critical part of the user journey. User onboarding is especially nuanced in the kids space since developers must consider two audiences: parents and children. When done correctly, a compelling onboarding experience will meet the needs of both parents and kids while also accounting for unique considerations, such as a child's attention span.

Budge Studios has successfully grown their catalog of children's titles by making onboarding a focal point of their business. Their target demographic is three to eight-year olds, and their portfolio of games include top titles featuring Strawberry Shortcake, Hello Kitty, Crayola, Caillou and The Smurfs.

"First impressions matter, as do users' first experience with your app. In fact, 70%1 of users who delete an app will do so within a day of having downloaded it, leaving little time for second chances. As an expert in kids' content, Budge tapped into our knowledge of kids to improve and optimize the onboarding experience, leading to increased initial game-loop completion and retention." - Noemie, Founder & Co-CEO at Budge Studios

Three key ways Budge Studios designs better onboarding experiences:


1. Make sure your game is tailor-made for kids

When Budge released their app Crayola Colorful Creatures, they looked at data to identify opportunities to create a smoother onboarding flow for kids. At launch, only 25% of first-time users were completing the initial game loop. Budge analyzed data against gameplay and realized the last activity was causing a drastic drop-off. It required kids to use the device's microphone, and that proved too challenging for very young kids. Budge was able to adjust the initial game loop so that all the activities were accessible to the youngest players. These adjustments almost tripled the initial loop completion, resulting in 74% of first-time users progressing to see additional activities.

2. Earn parents trust by providing real value upfront

Budge has a large of portfolio of apps. Earning parents' trust by providing valuable and engaging experiences for kids is important for retaining users in their ecosystem and achieving long term success.

With every new app, Budge identifies what content is playable for free, and what content must be purchased. Early on, Budge greatly limited the amount of free content they offered, but over time has realized providing high quality free content enhances the first-time user experience. Parents are more willing to spend on an app if their child has shown a real interest in a title.

Working with top kids' brands means that Budge can tap into brand loyalty of popular kids characters to provide value. To launch Strawberry Shortcake Dreams, Budge decided to offer Strawberry Shortcake, the most popular character in the series, as a free character. Dress Up Dreams is among the highest converting apps in the Budge portfolio, indicating that giving away the most popular character for free helped conversions rather than hurting it.

3. Test with real users

Budge knows there is no substitute for direct feedback from its end-users, so Budge involves kids every step of the way. Budge Playgroup is a playtesting program that invites families to try out apps at the alpha, beta and first-playable development stages.

The benefits from early testing can be as basic as understanding how the size and coordination of kids' hands affect their ability to complete certain actions or even hold the device, and as specific as pinpointing a less-than-effective button.

In the testing stages of Strawberry Shortcake Holiday Hair, Budge caught an issue with the main menu of the app, which would not have been evident without observing kids using the app.

Prior to Playtesting:

After Playtesting:

In the original design, users were prompted to start gameplay by audio cues. During testing, it was clear that the voiceover was not sufficient in guiding kids to initiate play, and that additional visual clues would significantly improve the experience. A simple design change resulted in a greatly enhanced user experience.

The onboarding experience is just one component of an app, but just like first impressions, it has a disproportionate impact on your users' perception of your app. As Budge has experienced, involving users in testing your app, using data to flag issues and providing real value to your users upfront, creates a smoother, more accessible onboarding experience and leads to better results.

For more best practices on developing family apps and games, please check out The Family Playbook for developers. And visit the Android Developers website to stay up-to-date with features and best practices that will help you grow a successful business on Google Play.

1.http://www.cmswire.com/customer-experience/mobile-app-retention-5-key-strategies-to-keep-your-customers/

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Android Developer Story: Robinhood uses Android Studio to quickly build and test new features

Posted by Christopher Katsaros, Developer Marketing, Android

Robinhood allows users to buy and sell stocks commission-free* in the US. It is designed to make financial investment easy for all users, even if you’ve never traded before.

With a team of two Android developers, the company has relied on fast tools like Android Studio to build rich new features, which have helped make Robinhood the highest-rated stock brokerage app on Google Play.

Watch Robinhood's Joe Binney, VP of Product Engineering, and Dan Hill, Android Developer, talk about how Android Studio is helping them achieve strong growth on Android.


The top Android developers use Android Studio to build powerful and successful apps on Google Play; learn more about the official IDE for Android app development and get started for yourself.

Get more tips and watch other success stories in the Playbook for Developers app.

*Free trading refers to $0 commissions for Robinhood Financial self-directed individual cash or margin brokerage accounts that trade U.S. listed securities via mobile devices. SEC & FINRA regulatory fees may apply.

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Focusing our Google Play games services efforts

Posted By James Smith, Product Manager, Google Play

In order to help developers make great games and build their businesses, we offer Google Play Games Services (GPGS). GPGS provides powerful tools to build, analyze and retain your audience and optimize your game. After listening to developer feedback and examining usage, we have decided to remove some of the features so we can focus on making our offering more useful.

In December, we announced the end of support for the creation of new iOS accounts given the low usage of GPGS on iOS. Additionally, our latest Native SDK release (2.3) will no longer support integration with iOS and going forward we will not be supporting or updating the iOS SDK.

We've also examined the features that GPGS offers. While developers use engagement and reporting tools extensively, there is lower usage for Gifts, Requests, and Quests. We therefore plan to stop supporting Gifts, Requests, and Quests. In order to help developers that do use these features plan for their removal, we will leave them open for 12 months, deactivating them by 31st March 2018. We'll be continuing support for other features such as Sign-in, Achievements, Leaderboards and Multiplayer.

Play games services remains an important part of the tools we provide developers, and we're working hard on future GPGS updates. We continue to be strongly committed to providing high quality services for Games, including new tools such as official Firebase support for Unity and C++ developers, and integration with Firebase Analytics. These changes allow us to focus our efforts on the services developers value most to build high quality, engaging games.

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Throwing your dog a bone: Google now works purr-fectly for your furry friends

At Google, we aim to make our products available for everyone, everywhere. Today, we’re extending that goal to our finest, most faithful (and four-legged) friends. On the Google app for iOS, you can now use 3D Touch on the app icon or head to settings and select I’m Feeling Woof or I’m Feeling Meow to let your dogs and cats get info on topics they care about—whether that means squeaky toys or a bowl of milk! With I’m Feeling Woof and I’m Feeling Meow on the Google app, canines and felines alike can surf pet-friendly info with just a press of their paw.

UI-Demo-InDevice-700x800.gif

Now when pups tap on I’m Feeling Woof, no search query is too far-fetched. Man’s best friend can peruse squirrels, rawhide bones and frisbees to their hearts’ content. Let the tail-wagging commence.

Dog-Paw-Press-800x450.gif

On the other paw, kitties are able to search the Google app with I’m Feeling Meow—or should we say wow?! Suddenly a world of fishbowls, birds and scratching posts are just a whisker away. Fur real.

Cat-Paw-Press-800x450.gif

Now that the Google app for iOS is raining cats and dogs, we can turn our attention to the rest of the animal kingdom (and those who use Android)! Introducing “Google Play for Pets,” a new category of Android apps and games to keep your pet stimulated. See how Google Play for Pets benefits all types of creatures in our announcement video below. After all, who wouldn’t want apps, games, and training tools designed specially for your dog, cat or... turtle?

Introducing Google Play for Pets

We hope today’s announcements will help unlock the Internet for your favorite four-legged creatures. Now the best of Google is available for all, no matter your location—or in this case—species.

Throwing your dog a bone: Google now works purr-fectly for your furry friends

At Google, we aim to make our products available for everyone, everywhere. Today, we’re extending that goal to our finest, most faithful (and four-legged) friends. On the Google app for iOS, you can now use 3D Touch on the app icon or head to settings and select I’m Feeling Woof or I’m Feeling Meow to let your dogs and cats get info on topics they care about—whether that means squeaky toys or a bowl of milk! With I’m Feeling Woof and I’m Feeling Meow on the Google app, canines and felines alike can surf pet-friendly info with just a press of their paw.

UI-Demo-InDevice-700x800.gif

Now when pups tap on I’m Feeling Woof, no search query is too far-fetched. Man’s best friend can peruse squirrels, rawhide bones and frisbees to their hearts’ content. Let the tail-wagging commence.

Dog-Paw-Press-800x450.gif

On the other paw, kitties are able to search the Google app with I’m Feeling Meow—or should we say wow?! Suddenly a world of fishbowls, birds and scratching posts are just a whisker away. Fur real.

Cat-Paw-Press-800x450.gif

Now that the Google app for iOS is raining cats and dogs, we can turn our attention to the rest of the animal kingdom (and those who use Android)! Introducing “Google Play for Pets,” a new category of Android apps and games to keep your pet stimulated. See how Google Play for Pets benefits all types of creatures in our announcement video below. After all, who wouldn’t want apps, games, and training tools designed specially for your dog, cat or... turtle?

Introducing Google Play for Pets

We hope today’s announcements will help unlock the Internet for your favorite four-legged creatures. Now the best of Google is available for all, no matter your location—or in this case—species.

Source: Search


Throwing your dog a bone: Google now works purr-fectly for your furry friends

At Google, we aim to make our products available for everyone, everywhere. Today, we’re extending that goal to our finest, most faithful (and four-legged) friends. On the Google app for iOS, you can now use 3D Touch on the app icon or head to settings and select I’m Feeling Woof or I’m Feeling Meow to let your dogs and cats get info on topics they care about—whether that means squeaky toys or a bowl of milk! With I’m Feeling Woof and I’m Feeling Meow on the Google app, canines and felines alike can surf pet-friendly info with just a press of their paw.

UI-Demo-InDevice-700x800.gif

Now when pups tap on I’m Feeling Woof, no search query is too far-fetched. Man’s best friend can peruse squirrels, rawhide bones and frisbees to their hearts’ content. Let the tail-wagging commence.

Dog-Paw-Press-800x450.gif

On the other paw, kitties are able to search the Google app with I’m Feeling Meow—or should we say wow?! Suddenly a world of fishbowls, birds and scratching posts are just a whisker away. Fur real.

Cat-Paw-Press-800x450.gif

Now that the Google app for iOS is raining cats and dogs, we can turn our attention to the rest of the animal kingdom (and those who use Android)! Introducing “Google Play for Pets,” a new category of Android apps and games to keep your pet stimulated. See how Google Play for Pets benefits all types of creatures in our announcement video below. After all, who wouldn’t want apps, games, and training tools designed specially for your dog, cat or... turtle?

Introducing Google Play for Pets

We hope today’s announcements will help unlock the Internet for your favorite four-legged creatures. Now the best of Google is available for all, no matter your location—or in this case—species.

5 tips for indie game success, from indie game developers

Posted by Sarah Thomson, BD Partnerships Lead, Indies, Google Play Games

Mobile gaming is a fun place to be right now. It's a landscape seeing tremendous success year after year with great potential for additional growth and innovation. It's also a space where developers can express themselves with creative game styles, mechanics, design and more. This is what the indie community does best.

Here are 5 tips for indies by indies, shared by our gaming partners at 505 Games, About Fun, Disruptor Beam, Klei Entertainment, and Schell Games.


1. Embrace being indie


Indies are inherently smaller operations and should embrace their agility and ability to take risks. Petr Vodak, CEO at About Fun, recommends getting your product out there so you can start taking feedback and apply your learnings to future projects. Don't be afraid to fail! Remaining flexible and building in modularity so you can evolve with the business needs is a strategy embraced by Pete Arden, CMO at Disruptor Beam. For instance, with their game Star Trek Timelines, the initial user experience was tailored to avid Star Trek fans. Over time, as user acquisition costs increased, they've changed the new player experience to appeal to their evolving user base of gamers looking for a fun entertainment experience and less the specific Star Trek IP.

2. Find a way to stand out


To help stand out in the ultra competitive mobile space, Jesse Schell, CEO of Schell Games, recommends doing something clever or very different. This strategy has led them to explore the growth areas of new platforms such as AR & VR. While new platforms present a field for opportunity and creativity, they're best to be approached with the long term in mind allowing you to sustain the business until critical mass is reached.

3. Build a community


There are many ways to build communities. If you have an existing fan base on other platforms, cross-promote to drive awareness of your mobile offerings. You can also look at porting titles over, but be aware of the differences in mobile gaming habits and ensure you adapt your game accordingly.

4. Engage after install


Both 505 Games and Klei Entertainment recommend running your premium titles as a service. Through monitoring user reviews you can gain invaluable feedback and trends helping you better understand user pain points and desires. In addition, by releasing regular content updates and in-game events you create reason for users to get back in the game. This not only drives reengagement, but 505 Games also sees strong spikes in new installs aligned with major game updates.

5. Monetize in different ways


Similar strategy to above, dropping regular content refreshes and game updates while offering a variety of monetization options gives users more ways to engage with your game. Keeping your games fresh gives users reason to come back and builds loyalty so you can cross-promote to your users with future game launches.

If you're looking for a fun new game to play, check out the great selection on Indie Corner on Google Play. And if you're working on a new indie game of your own, nominate your title for inclusion.

Watch more sessions from Google Developer Day at GDC17 on the Android Developers YouTube channel to learn tips for success. Visit the Android Developers website to stay up-to-date with features and best practices that will help you grow a successful business on Google Play.


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With Hidden Figures, Google Play and Made with Code team up to encourage teen girls to code

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Google Play is teaming up with Google’s Made with Code to encourage more teen girls to study computer science. Starting today, you can watch Hidden Figures on Google Play Movies & TV in the U.S. and Canada—two weeks ahead of the Blu-Ray and DVD release. After you watch Hidden Figures, encourage a teen girl in your life to visit Made with Code to code a message of empowerment, honoring the female mathematicians of the movie. Google’s Made with Code, launched in June 2014, inspires millions of teen girls to try coding and to see it as a means to pursue their dreams.

Google Play - Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures tells the true story of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, the brilliant African-American female mathematicians working at NASA who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history: calculating the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit.

This story of empowerment and perseverance is more relevant than ever, since girls are half as likely than boys to indicate interest in computer science. Hidden Figures carries an endearing and inspiring message that will hopefully encourage more girls to study computer science and STEM-related careers.

Earlier this year, Made With Code brought the magic of the film to local communities by hosting screening and coding parties for teen girls and passionate policy makers in the San Francisco Bay Area, Texas, Georgia, Massachusetts and New York. Hundreds of Googlers host more than 60 coding and viewing parties in their local communities—reaching over 2,500 girls—throughout February and March.

To keep up the momentum, we’ll provide members of the National Foundation for Women Legislators with free access to the digital version of the movie when they host a Hidden Figures viewing and coding party in their local communities.  

Google Play and Made with Code are committed to fostering a passion for science and technology in the next generation. As they say in Hidden Figures, “You have to see what she becomes.”