Must try apps of 2016 for Android users

【記者隋昀珈報導】Ever since smart phones and pads entered our lives a few years ago, apps have become an integral part of our lives. Whether you are a ios or android user, no one can deny this statement. There is an app for everything these days, it can wake you up in the morning, remind you to have dinner, keep up with your health etc. It has become a competitive business, new apps are popping up all over the place, and it’s getting harder and harder to pick which ones to install. A great way to help you decide is to check out the rankings or just install the award-winning ones.

Google held its first annual player’s choice back in 2013, ranking the year’s best apps and games. Back then the categories mostly focus on games and not utility apps. Three years later, it has evolved into the first ever Google Play awards. A total of fifty apps are nominated spanning from ten categories. It may not be the biggest award of the season, but in the tech world, it is still a huge honor. The winners were announced on May 19th, so let’s not waste any more time and find out which are the winning apps.

The first award is best games and the nominees include Alphabear, Clash of Kings, Clash Royale, Marvel Future Fight and Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes. And the winning app is Clash Royale, players can use their favorite characters from the game clash of titans and much more to battle one on one, it’s a medieval game that incorporates strategy and wits. The game has been quite a hit with more than 4 million downloads.

The second category is the best material app, something worth noting is that the winner was also nominated for best start–up app. The winner is Robinhood, a stock trading app, though there are a lot of similar choices. Robinhood offer the latest information and is commission free, which would save a huge chunk of the profit. Keep up with your portfolio with a few swipes and check it daily.

The third winning app is Table Tennis Touch, which won for best use of Google Play service. The app which is pretty much self-explanatory, let’s you play table tennis whenever you want. Even if you’re ignored by all of your friends, google play will still find complete strangers who really want to play at the moment to join you.

The fourth app is hopper, an app designated to booking airlines and taking care of travel arrangements. The app not only books flights, but will do its best to find the cheapest price and notify the user when is the best time to do the purchasing. The apps’ logo might be a cute bunny, but don’t be fooled it can get the job done quickly and swiftly.

The app that won for standout indie app is Alphabear, a simple spelling game with bears. What better way to motivate users to brush up on their vocabulary than cute and maybe slightly angry bears. The most innovative award went to the NYT VR (Virtual reality stories from New York Times), news stories come to live in a video form, and it is an interactive and fascinating way to get caught up with what’s going on around us every day.

An interesting category is “Go global”, app which are localized, inspired by a specific cultural or can appeal to people from multiple regions. The nominees have different natures, spanning from games ,fitness apps to music apps. And the winner is Pokémon Shuffle Mobile, apparently Google believes that it really does appeal to people around the world and that says a lot.

Winner of the early adopter category is World Around Me (WAM), just point your camera to any random place and the app will tell you what’s around you, from restaurants, hotels, atms to cafes and much more. Best family app goes to Think rolls 2, the app puts cute characters in different scenarios and help children learn and expand their knowledge.

Finally, the best app of the year (which is also the grand prize) is Houzz ( it might be pronounced “house”), an interior design app. It provides ideas for the users and provide information regarding designers and contractors that they might want to get in touch with. The best feature is that you can choose items from retail shop websites and just paste it on the design to see if it actually a good fit for the whole décor.

This is actually the first year which Google has hosted the Google Play Awards, whether there will continue next year is still in question. The apps chosen might not be the best for everyone, but it’s actually pretty interesting to see what Google deems best, there are some unexpected choices. But one thing is for sure the download numbers for the winners are probably going sky rocket now.

(104學年度第2學期/第218期/編輯:施文文)