Tag Archives: Google Play

The winners of the 2018 Google Play Awards are …

As Google I/O kicked off, we hosted our third annual Google Play Award ceremony to recognize the best apps and games on Google Play over the past year. These apps and games battled it out across nine categories, and proved not only to deliver delightful experiences to fans, but also have larger positive impact in their communities.

Congrats to this year’s winners:

Standout Well-Being App

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

Well_Simple Habit.png

Simple Habit by Simple Habit, Inc.

Best Accessibility Experience

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

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Be My Eyes by Be My Eyes

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).

Social_Khan.png

Khan Academy by Khan Academy

Standout Indie

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

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Old Man's Journey by Broken Rules Interactive Media GmbH

Best Community Building Game

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

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Episode by Pocket Gems

Best AR or VR Experience

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

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BBC Earth: Life in VR by BBC Worldwide (Ltd)

Standout Build for Billions Experience

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

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Flipkart by Flipkart

Standout Startup

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

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Canva by Canva

Best Breakthrough Hit

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

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Empires & Puzzles by Small Giant Games

Try out these great apps and games and see the rest of the finalists at g.co/play/gpa2018.

Time to celebrate the 2018 Google Play Award nominees

Posted by Purnima Kochikar, Director, Apps and Games Business Development, Google Play

This year's Google Play Awards will take place on Monday, May 7th, kicking off the week of Google I/O. Celebrating our third year, we're excited to highlight nine categories; some you may recognize from previous years, along with new additions highlighting growth areas and trends we're focused on, such as building for emerging markets.

Each year, the Google Play Awards recognize top apps and games on Google Play. They represent some of the best experiences available on Android, with an emphasis on overall quality, strong design, technical performance, and innovation. The nominees were selected by various teams across Google, and all meet criteria thresholds covering high star rating, Android vitals, and have had a launch or major update since April 2017.

Congratulations to this year's nominees below and don't forget to check them out on the Google Play store at g.co/play/gpa2018.

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 in an innovative way 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 & 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

Come back on Monday, May 7th when we announce the winners, and until then, make sure to try out some of these great apps and games on Google Play at g.co/play/gpa2018.

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It’s World Book Day: Find a new read with Google Play Books


Think about a book that has inspired you, changed your perspective, or made a positive impact on your life. For me, it was “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou—it spoke to me because she overcame trauma and hardship to become such an influential author and poet.

Today is World Book Day, and Google Play Books can help youfind the next book that’ll make an impact on your life in some way. Here are a few of the World Book Day deals you’ll find on the Play Store:

When you can’t put a new book down, you have to find the time in your day to fit it in. To help you do this, we recently rolled out new features for audiobooks that make it easier to read in short bursts. You can add reading to your routines in your Google Assistant settings—so if you want to get some reading time in before work, add it to your morning routine. When you say, “Ok Google, take me to work,” you’ll get the traffic and weather reports, and then your audiobook will automatically start playing.

15 years ago, I discovered the book that really inspired me. Maybe this World Book Day, Google Play will help you find yours.

Introducing new Android Excellence apps and games on Google Play

Kacey Fahey, Developer Marketing, Google Play

Congratulations to the latest apps and games featured in the Android Excellence program on Google Play. As a reminder, these collections are refreshed every three months and recognize apps and games that set the bar for high quality, great user experience, and strong technical performance.

If you're looking for some new apps, here are a few highlights.

  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC: Capture, edit, and share your photos with the power of Lightroom on your mobile device. Use presets for quick and easy edits, or dive in with the advanced editing tools.
  • Seven - 7 Minute Workout Training Challenge: Use this app to fit seven minute workouts into your busy lifestyle. Grab your phone, or even your Wear OS device to work out anywhere and anytime. Keep it up to earn achievements and join the 7 Club for even more support.
  • SoloLearn: Learn to Code for Free: Learn one of many new coding languages by joining a community of millions. Tap in to the 24/7 peer support, or create your own lessons to become a community influencer.

Here are a few of our favorite new games joining the collection.

  • CodyCross: Crossword Puzzles: Try this game for a fun new style of crossword puzzles. Play for free on adventure mode or subscribe for special themed packs, varying difficulty levels and fresh content added weekly.
  • MARVEL Contest of Champions: Play with your favorite Marvel Super Heroes and Super Villians in iconic locations from the Marvel Universe. Assemble your team of champions to play through the exciting storyline and even build alliances with your friends.
  • Orbital 1: Test your skills in this real-time multiplayer game with beautiful 3D graphics. Collect and upgrade fighters and weapons to build out your perfect squad for quick battles and new daily quests.

See the full list of Android Excellence apps and games.

New Android Excellence apps New Android Excellence games
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC

Dashlane

Holstelworld

iCook

Keeper Password Manager

Keepsafe Photo Vault

Mobisystems OfficeSuite

PhotoGrid

Runtastic Results

Seven - 7 Minute Workout Training Challenge

SoloLearn: Learn to Code for Free

Tube Map

WPS Office

Angry Birds 2

Azur Lane アズールレーン

CodyCross

Into the Dead 2

Little Panda Restaurant

MARVEL Contest of Champions

Orbital 1

Rooms of Doom

Sky Dancer Run

Sling Kong

Soul Knight

Explore other great apps and games in the Editors' Choice section on Google Play and discover best practices to help you build quality apps and games.

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New ways to read more with audiobooks from Google Play

Two months ago we launched audiobooks from Google Play to help you fit more books into your life. Today we have a few updates to make it even easier to enjoy a great book, whether you like to listen on the go with your phone or at home with the Google Assistant on Google Home.

  • Never lose your place with Smart Resume.Interruptions happen all the time, and sometimes you need to pause your audiobook in the middle of a sentence or word because your mom calls or maps tells you to turn in 200 feet. When the book picks back up, you have no idea what’s going on. Smart Resume for audiobooks will intelligently rewind you to the beginning of the word or sentence when you pick up your audiobook again, so you’ll be able to jump right back into where you left off.
  • Revisit your favorite moments with Bookmarks.Now you can save all of your favorite moments with Bookmarks in the Google Play Books app. While listening on Android or iOS device, just tap the bookmark icon to save this spot and revisit your favorite quote anytime.
  • Fit in more reading time with routines on the Google Assistant.Every morning you may type in your work address to Google Maps to see traffic, check your appointments in Google Calendar, and fire up an audiobook for your drive. You can do this all in one step, hands free with the Google Assistant’s support for Routines. In the Google Home app, add audiobooks to your routine. Once added, just say “Ok Google, tell me about my day” for an easy transition into your morning—and your book. 
  • Speed it up—or slow it way down—with greater speed controls.Sometimes you just just can’t wait to figure out whodunnit. Now, you can listen to audiobooks at 3x speed to get through your book even faster, or slow books down to 0.5x in order to really savor the language. The pace is up to you.
  • Share with Family Library in 13 new countries.With Family Library, you can share audiobooks and ebooks with up to five family members for free (depending on the book). Shared books can then be read on Android, iOS and the web. Today, we’re rolling this out to even more families in 13 new countries, including Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Chile, Mexico, Japan (audiobooks only) and South Africa.

These new features are rolling out starting today on Android, iOS, and on devices with the Google Assistant. Time to get back to my book.

Google Play helps you find what to watch and where to watch it

There’s no shortage of entertainment to enjoy online. With so many different streaming apps out there, it’s not only challenging to figure out what to watch, but where and how to watch it. Google Play wants to change that. Now you can browse the latest new release movies, see which streaming app is playing your favorite show, or find something entirely new to watch with the Google Play Movies & TV app.

Check out what’s new:

  • Find the right streaming service: In both the Google Play Movies & TV app and in the Play Store, you can easily discover if your favorite show or movie is available on a streaming service. For example, just search for “This is Us” and you’ll see that the latest season is for sale on Play Movies & TV, but also that it’s available to stream on the NBC app (with a cable subscription) or on Hulu. To start, we’ll have support for more than two dozen streaming and TV everywhere apps, including ABC, CBS, FOX NOW, NBC, Hulu, HBO NOW, HBO Go, Showtime, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Now, HGTV, BET Now, Comedy Central and many more. We’ll continue to add more partners over time. Once you’ve found what you want to watch, it’s just one tap and we’ll send you right to the app that lets you stream it. From there, you can also cast to your TV.
  • Find something new to watch: Instead of scrolling endlessly to find a movie on a Friday night, now you can narrow down your search with just a few taps. Explore more than tens of thousands of shows and movies on Google Play by genre to quickly find comedy TV shows, an award winning drama, family movies and more to watch for free, rent or buy.
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  • Tell us what you like, and what you don’t:Now in Play Movies & TV, we’ll show you TV shows and films based on what you watch and what you like—just use thumbs up/thumbs down to rate stuff you’ve already seen.
  • New watchlist tab:We’ve made it even easier to save shows and movies to watch later. All you have to do is long press on any show or movie and add it to your watchlist. In the watchlist tab, we’ll show you when it becomes available to buy or rent on Play, if the price has recently dropped, or if it is now available to stream.

Google Play helps you find what to watch and where to watch it

There’s no shortage of entertainment to enjoy online. With so many different streaming apps out there, it’s not only challenging to figure out what to watch, but where and how to watch it. Google Play wants to change that. Now you can browse the latest new release movies, see which streaming app is playing your favorite show, or find something entirely new to watch with the Google Play Movies & TV app.

Check out what’s new:

  • Find the right streaming service: In both the Google Play Movies & TV app and in the Play Store, you can easily discover if your favorite show or movie is available on a streaming service. For example, just search for “This is Us” and you’ll see that the latest season is for sale on Play Movies & TV, but also that it’s available to stream on the NBC app (with a cable subscription) or on Hulu. To start, we’ll have support for more than two dozen streaming and TV everywhere apps, including ABC, CBS, FOX NOW, NBC, Hulu, HBO NOW, HBO Go, Showtime, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Now, HGTV, BET Now, Comedy Central and many more. We’ll continue to add more partners over time. Once you’ve found what you want to watch, it’s just one tap and we’ll send you right to the app that lets you stream it. From there, you can also cast to your TV.
  • Find something new to watch: Instead of scrolling endlessly to find a movie on a Friday night, now you can narrow down your search with just a few taps. Explore more than tens of thousands of shows and movies on Google Play by genre to quickly find comedy TV shows, an award winning drama, family movies and more to watch for free, rent or buy.
GooglePlay_Demo_blog.gif
  • Tell us what you like, and what you don’t:Now in Play Movies & TV, we’ll show you TV shows and films based on what you watch and what you like—just use thumbs up/thumbs down to rate stuff you’ve already seen.
  • New watchlist tab:We’ve made it even easier to save shows and movies to watch later. All you have to do is long press on any show or movie and add it to your watchlist. In the watchlist tab, we’ll show you when it becomes available to buy or rent on Play, if the price has recently dropped, or if it is now available to stream.

Want to Change The Game? Design one with Google Play

Of the hundreds of millions of people around the world who enjoy games on Google Play, 49% are women, yet only 23% of game developers identify as women. To help address this disparity, last year we created Change the Game—a program to empower the next generation of female gamemakers and celebrate women as players and creators.

Now we’re joining forces withGirls Make Games andESA Foundation, to launch the Change The Game Design Challenge to inspire and empower teens to design a game they’d like to play. Along with their game idea, they’ll share their vision for the future of gaming for a chance to win a $10,000 college scholarship and $15,000 for their school’s or community center’s technology program.

The top five finalists will also receive an all-expense paid trip to Los Angeles to attend E3 and showcase their game design in June, where the grand prize winner will be announced. The finalists will join a celebration of women in gaming, get a VIP tour of Google Los Angeles with female leaders in the industry, a scholarship to attend Girls Make Games Summer Camp and more.

The contest is open to U.S. residents only and for more information, including submission guidelines and how to enter, please visit play.google.com/about/changethegame/#challenge

What will be next in mobile gaming? It could be one of your designs.

Introducing Google Play Instant, a faster way to try apps and games

People all over the world come to Google Play to discover great games. In the last year, the number of Android users who installed a game has more than doubled. To help you discover new games or get to the ones you already love, we’ve redesigned our Google Play Games app. In the new “Arcade” tab, you can check out game video trailers or use tags like “New” or “Action” to find a particular type of game. We’ll also show you news and YouTube videos related to your favorite games to help you boost your skills and become a game master.

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To make it even easier to dive right in and enjoy new apps and games on Android devices, we’re also introducing Google Play Instant. With Google Play Instant, you can just tap and try a game without having to download it first—whether you’re looking to storm a castle on Clash Royale or become a wordmaster with Words with Friends 2. Google Play Instant experiences will be available in the Google Play Store, the Google Play Games app, or wherever game links are shared. Today you can check out some of the titles from the Instant Gameplay collection. Love what you’re experiencing? Just tap the “Install now!” button to install the game.


To start, we’ll have a handful of games to play instantly on more than 1 billion Android devices worldwide. Check back later this year as more games become available to play right away.

Cryptography Changes in Android P

Posted by Adam Vartanian, Software Engineer

We hope you're enjoying the first developer preview of Android P. We wanted to specifically call out some backward-incompatible changes we plan to make to the cryptographic capabilities in Android P, which you can see in the developer preview.

Changes to providers

Starting in Android P, we plan to deprecate some functionality from the BC provider that's duplicated by the AndroidOpenSSL (also known as Conscrypt) provider. This will only affect applications that specify the BC provider explicitly when calling getInstance() methods. To be clear, we aren't doing this because we are concerned about the security of the implementations from the BC provider, rather because having duplicated functionality imposes additional costs and risks while not providing much benefit.

If you don't specify a provider in your getInstance() calls, no changes are required.

If you specify the provider by name or by instance—for example, Cipher.getInstance("AES/CBC/PKCS7PADDING", "BC") or Cipher.getInstance("AES/CBC/PKCS7PADDING", Security.getProvider("BC"))—the behavior you get in Android P will depend on what API level your application targets. For apps targeting an API level before P, the call will return the BC implementation and log a warning in the application log. For apps targeting Android P or later, the call will throw NoSuchAlgorithmException.

To resolve this, you should stop specifying a provider and use the default implementation.

In a later Android release, we plan to remove the deprecated functionality from the BC provider entirely. Once removed, any call that requests that functionality from the BC provider (whether by name or instance) will throw NoSuchAlgorithmException.

Removal of the Crypto provider

In a previous post, we announced that the Crypto provider was deprecated beginning in Android Nougat. Since then, any request for the Crypto provider by an application targeting API 23 (Marshmallow) or before would succeed, but requests by applications targeting API 24 (Nougat) or later would fail. In Android P, we plan to remove the Crypto provider entirely. Once removed, any call to SecureRandom.getInstance("SHA1PRNG", "Crypto") will throw NoSuchProviderException. Please ensure your apps have been updated.