google play awards 2018 nominees

(L-R) Headspace, PUBG Mobile, BBC Earth: Life in VR, Bridge Constructor Portal.

Google has announced the nominees for the third annual Google Play Awards, and the shortlist is a who’s who of stellar apps and games that either launched or enjoyed a major update since April 2017.

Much like last year, the winners will be revealed just before the start of Google I/O — the Mountain View company’s yearly developer-focused event — on May 7.

Editor's Pick

If you’ve been keeping tabs on the awards, you might notice from the nominee list that there has been a significant shake-up in terms of categories.

The nine awards include returning categories such as Standout Indie, and Standout Startup, as well as entirely new ones covering the biggest breakthrough hits, well-being apps, and games that have built strong communities, such as Pokémon Go and PUBG Mobile.

One obvious casualty is the category for Best Android Wear app, although there’s no replacement for the recently rebranded Wear OS ecosystem. The dedicated TV category has also been removed, while VR apps are now bundled together with AR experiences spanning both Daydream and ARCore platforms.

Below are all of the categories in full with links to each app on the Play Store (or head here for Google’s dedicated awards section).

Best Breakthrough Hit

Standout Startup

Best Community Building Game

Best AR or VR Experience

Standout Indie

Standout Well-Being App

Best Accessibility Experience

Best Social Impact

Standout Build for Billions Experience

Are any of your favorite apps up for an award? Let us know in the comments!