The Wednesday morning keynote that brought us the Google Assistant-based Google Home Echo rival, as well as the first details on the Daydream VR platform, Android Wear’s biggest update yet, Android Instant Apps, and Allo and Duo communication services was just the beginning of the 2016 I/O celebrations.

The software developer-focused conference will only wrap up later today, and since the opening keynote, we also heard word of the imminent arrival of Android apps to Chromebooks, Family Library sharing for Play Store purchases, and seamless updates (or lack thereof) for existing Nexus devices.

Bottom line, there’s still a lot going on in Mountain View tech enthusiasts should be interested in, including various award galas. Yesterday, Google announced the recipients of the first ever Google Play Awards, with the best Android apps launched or massively revised in the past year fighting for gold across ten categories.

You’re likely to find a number of familiar, widely popular names on the victors’ list, as well as a few surprise champions, starting with the one that took home the most precious crown of them all.

Houzz, a free interior design service, topped the other four finalists for the title of best 2016 app, including odds-on favorites BuzzFeed News or TuneIn Radio. Meanwhile, Clash Royale’s victory in the best game competition was slightly easier to predict, although Supercell’s freemium strategy title still needed to beat Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes and MARVEL Future Fight, among others.

Even if it’s barely two months old, NYT VR managed to prevail in the “most innovative” category, with Alphabear named the year’s “best standout indie”, and Hopper bestowed the “best standout startup” laurel. Here’s to hoping this awards ceremony will turn into an annual tradition.

Source: TechCrunch

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