Google Play Awards nominees are in … and amazing

Google announced the nominees for this year’s annual Google Play Awards, including awards for all kinds of different apps and games that can be downloaded straight from the Google Play Store.

The winners for each category will be announced on May 7 at Google I/O, and are aimed at representing the best of the best apps on Google Play. This year is the third year that Google is running the Google Play Awards and Google is highlighting a few new categories this time around — including augmented reality and virtual reality categories.

There are a few categories of apps. First up, there are well-being apps, which are defined by Google as apps that empower users to “live the best version of their lives, while demonstrating responsible design and engagement strategies.” There are a few apps in this category — including Clue, a period-tracking app; Lifesum, a diet planner and calorie counter; and Headspace, a meditation and mindfulness app.

The second category is “Best Accessibility Experience,” and is aimed at offering a game or helpful app to those with disabilities or special needs. Apps include Audio Game Hub, which is an audio-based game, and Be My Eyes, in which users who can see can help blind people with tasks through a video feed.

There are a few gaming categories, including “Standout Indie” games, which have to be developed by independent developers, and “Best Community Building Game,” which are aimed at connecting gamers. In the latter category, you’ll find apps like Pokémon Go and PUBG Mobile.

As mentioned, AR and VR experiences are highlighted, too. There is a category dedicated to “Best AR or VR Experience,” and in that category, you wéill find a few different apps. For example, BBC Earth: Life in VR and Porsche Mission E are both nominated as the best in that category.

There are a few other categories, including “Standout Startup,” which highlights apps from new developers, and “Standout Build for Billions Experience,” which includes apps and games optimized for performance and localized for emerging markets. Last but not least is “Best Breakthrough Hit,” which includes high-profile apps like Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, and Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition.

Mobile

The latest Google Doodle lets you create Bach-like music of your own

Google is celebrating the life of German composer Johann Sebastian Bach, and to that end the company has released a new Google Doodle that allows you to create Bach-like melodies and harmonies of your own.
Gaming

The best of the last generation: Our 50 favorite Xbox 360 games

The Xbox 360 thrived during a generation where games were plentiful. Here's our list of the best Xbox 360 games of all time, including all game genres and even a few special indie hits.
Mobile

Apple iPad Mini 5 vs. iPad Mini 4: What’s new in Apple’s long-awaited refresh?

The long-awaited refresh of the iPad Mini is finally here, but just how big an upgrade does the iPad Mini 5 represent? We compare it to the outgoing iPad Mini 4 in various categories to delve into the differences and pick a winner.
Gaming

Here’s all the news from the Google Stadia GDC presentation

Google announced its new game streaming service Stadia during GDC 2019. Here is all the news from the event, including news on YouTube streaming and quickly accessing your favorite new games.
Mobile

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks for the best portable chargers.
Mobile

You can now listen to Google Podcasts on your desktop without the app

The Google Podcasts app is no longer entirely necessary to listen to the podcasts it offers. With a simple tweak of the sharing URL, you can listen to a Google Podcasts podcast on your desktop or laptop without the app.
Mobile

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G might be a few short weeks away from launch

Samsung has announced a whopping four new Galaxy S10 devices, from the low-cost S10e to the triple-camera S10 and S10 Plus. But it's the Galaxy S10 5G that steals the show as it's among the first 5G-ready smartphones to hit the market.
Computing

T-Mobile goes after big cable companies, pilots wireless home internet service

In a shot at big cable companies, T-Mobile is launching a new pilot program to bring an unlimited wireless LTE home internet service to up to 50,000 homes across the United States by the end of 2019.
Mobile

Type away on the best iPad keyboard cases, from the Mini to the Pro

Whether you're looking to replace your laptop with a tablet or merely want to increase your typing speed, a physical iPad keyboard is the perfect companion to the iPad. Check out our top picks for every available iPad model.
Mobile

Apple patent suggests Apple Watch bands could have built-in fitness indicators

Apple may be exploring ways to make Apple Watch bands a little more useful. A new patent has been filed by Apple that suggests Apple Watch bands could eventually have indicators for things like fitness goals.
Mobile

Apple patents hint at improved Apple Store and unboxing experiences

It looks like Apple is working on ways to improve the Apple Store and product unboxing experiences. The company has been awarded a few patents, largely for tech that can be used in product packaging to ensure products stay charged.
Wearables

Fossil made a smartwatch in 2004, and it’s part of a new brand retrospective

Fossil has been making watches for 35 years, and to celebrate the anniversary, it has a new retrospective exhibit complete with the first smartwatch it made — the Wrist Net watch from 2004.
Deals

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for March 2019

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.
Wearables

Fossil is working on a smartwatch with BMW, and it’s coming next year

Fossil, the watch company that makes smartwatches under its own name and partners with other major brands too, intends to launch a smartwatch with car manufacturer BMW in the future.