We’d be lying if we told you this year’s Google Play Awards recipients are among the top five or even ten I/O announcements we’re most excited about. After all, an entirely new version of Android should be further detailed in Mountain View between May 17 and 19, with major Daydream or Assistant updates also possible, not to mention a prospective second-gen Google Home or standalone VR/AR headset.

Still, the search giant is trying to make these app accolades an annual, relatively high-profile thing, commending “technical performance”, frequent updates and high star rating across 12 categories, putting a spotlight on little known developers, as well as big titles and major studios.

The eclectic groups of 2017 nominees include, for instance, both crowd favorite Netflix and something called Haystack TV for the “Best TV Experience” crown, global phenomenon Pokémon GO and Kabam’s Transformers: Forged to Fight in the “Best Game” section, or Runtastic Running & Fitness and Lifesum among the shortlisted “Best Android Wear Experience” titles.

Perhaps the most prominent five-name collection of trophy contenders sees Dawn of Titans, FIFA Mobile, Hearthstone, Lords Mobile and Modern Strike Online! duking it out for the Best Multiplayer Game prize, while the Best App nominee roster is surprisingly devoid of heavyweights. We wouldn’t go so far as to call Citymapper, Fabulous, Memrise, Money Lover or Quik obscure, but they’re not exactly world-renowned Android apps either.

Other gold medals to be awarded on May 18 cover Standout Indie, Standout Startup, Best VR Experience, AR Experience, App for Kids, Accessibility Experience and Social Impact categories. Any of your personal favorites on the full list available at the source link below? Any shocking omissions?

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