Google Play Best of 2019 Awards
The end of 2019 is approaching, and it’s time to publish various ratings, hold events, hand awards, and select the best Google apps 2019. While Apple decided to hold a special (though clandestine) offline event to champion the best, Google does it in public. There has been some time to let billions of users vote for apps and games they consider the best. And, ladies and gentlemen, the winners of Google Play Awards 2019 are…
Users’ Choice Best App: Video Editor – Glitch Video Effects (and others)
Can’t deny, we all like to look glorious and drop-dead gorgeous, and if it’s quite a work in real life, well, there is an app for that. This year the app that makes you go hmmm is the app with an extremely simple name Video Editor – Glitch Video Effects by InShot Inc. These glitches are quite okay, though; they make your videos stylish and alive.
With this app, you can both edit your existing videos or record new ones. Just select the desired effect and record videos with it. You can stylize your videos, so they remind the 1980s’ TV, or VHS glitches, or an old monitor with a greenish view, or infrared scanner, and so on. There are pulsation effects, shadows, noises, vibrations, pixelization, and others.
The basic version of Glitch Video Effects is free. Pro, with all the effects and no ads, is subscription-based but quite affordable (especially if you are a pro blogger or any other sort of a public person). No wonder its popularity increased after the award, but it had already been quite popular by that moment, with enough fans to vote for it.
The conclusion we can come to from this is simple: it’s all about looks. The way we look now is too dull, no matter how bright; a right camera spices it up. In 1980’s Elton John stated that “The camera never lies”. The motto of 2010’s is Craig David’s “We do it for the Insta”. The app by InShot Inc. tends to the latter.
Well, if you prefer improving your real appearance, there is Peloton app that helps you keep in shape at home or office. Scripts by Drops will help you if you want to write captions to your videos in various languages. Smarter will be useful if you want to train your brain, just like your body with Peloton. If you need help from someone to lead you through your problems, or help others when you’re ready, opt for Wisdo. And the evergreen art of yoga is better with Yoga for Beginners.
Other entertaining apps include a fashion-centered social app 21 Buttons, a designer’s tool Concepts, an animation maker Pixaloop, and Ablo (an app worth a special story). If you’re curious about science, Big Bang AR will let you witness the beginning of our universe. MelodyVR delivers you a VR-based experience of being present at massive concerts and shows. Hipcamp is an encyclopedia for travelling across America. MashApp is about video again, but it’s rather meant to create comical effects. And if you’re into online shopping, you’ll benefit from MASSE and avoid being misled by fake reviews.
There is another app worth your attention, as it was awarded as “Best Everyday Essentials”. Appy Weather is advertised as “the most personal weather app”, and it’s really worth this definition. Android has never lacked decent weather apps, but this one is here to change the game. It displays all the data you need on the home screen, with no need to scroll further to read the important parameters. It takes just one tap to switch between an hourly view, timeline, and the next days’ weather. Though the app is, in fact, an alternative interface to DarkSky, it brings lots of visual innovations and its own processing of the data provided, so there are reasons to prefer it to the native app.
Its free version is informative enough, but there is also a Premium subscription (just $3.99/year), and it adds widgets for the home screen, alerts, and notification, removes ads, places the current temperature on the status bar, puts the report on the lock screen, and makes the experience much greater. The radar also requires a subscription.
Google’s Choice Best App: Ablo (and others)
Along with Google users voting, the Internet giant itself is making its choice to promote the best Google apps(or those it considers the worthiest). This year the winner is Ablo, a social app that pushes geographical and cultural limitations.
With this app, you can travel the world while staying at home or wherever you happen to be. Just register and tap Next, and the app will select a random contact from a random country you can talk to. The built-in translator helps against language barriers. Along with your travelling, you learn interesting facts about countries, peoples and cultures. It may seem similar to various chat roulettes, but Ablo is rather focused on showing us people looking and speaking differently but sharing the common nature.
Users’ Choice Best Game: Call of Duty: Mobile (and others)
Mobile gaming becomes more and more of a thing, and no wonder they deserve a separate section in Awards. This time it’s no surprise: the most downloaded game of 2019 is the most voted for by Google users. So, here comes Call of Duty: Mobile!
It took decades for the popular action franchise to go mobile, and there are reasons for that. The stationary games, in both desktop and console versions, are very heavy in visuals, and the controls are quite complicated, so there is literally nothing to do without computer inputs or a gamepad. The ice got broken when PUBG and Fortnite proved mobile controls quite good for first-person shooters.
Call of Duty had to regroup before capturing the new ground. It went mobile with no compromise. Now it’s free to play (with paid content, of course), and it’s focused on online multiplayer instead of campaigns. The locations remain recognizable, their looks resemble those of the “bigger” versions. The game runs smoothly even on low-budget or old devices. And it still has lots of weapons and tactical tricks to help your team win.
There are downsides of that compromise, of course. Some complain that, only by keeping its multiplayer elements, Call of Duty is now more of CS:GO kind than of its own classics. Others miss gamepad support even on platforms that support it. But its success is quite convincing, and no wonder it’s the Game of the Year. At least, for Google users: there is an iOS version of Call of Duty: Mobile, but it wasn’t praised so much.
Other awarded competitive games include Brawl Stars (a toylike-designed tactical action), Rumble Stars Football (a similar version of a sports game), Tacticool (another multiplayer online shooter, featuring 5v5 team combats and a zombie mode), and Tennis Clash.
Another nomination – Casual Games – places another megahit of this fall, Mario Kart Tour by Nintendo. It doesn’t happen yearly that a Nintendo exclusive makes it to mobile platforms. Vineyard Valley is a puzzle about renovating an old resort. Golf Peaks is a special sort of physical puzzles – yes, this game proves that the genre isn’t dead. Angry Birds Dream Blast is, on the contrary, a combination of a Match-3 game and a 2048-like strategic puzzle. As for Diner DASH adventures, you better just try this madness to see how much fun one can make out of the dullest home routine.
Though mobile games have been around for over two decades, there is always room for innovations. Assassin’s Creed: Rebellion is suddenly a mobile strategy, and it doesn’t resemble farming strategies or tower defense games, featuring something recognizable. The heavily advertised Archero is a new look at vertical scrollers, with your archer character fronting hundreds of enemies. Auto Chess combines card games and chess mechanics with “idle” gameplay, plus offers esports modes. The Elder Scrolls: Blades reinvents the classical RPG within a famous franchise. Minit is a one-minute adventure game that can, nevertheless, keep you busy for hours.
And yes, there is a special nomination for indie games. There is no single winner this year, with five prominent games named instead. Chuchel is an enticing adventure game about the adventures of a little monster. Stardew Valley is an unusual, pixeled up take on strategic farming games. An old-school adventure Ailment takes you to the spaceship where you get into the middle of a detective story. Grimvalor is a dark fantasy-styled RPG, and Tiny Room Stories delivers you a combination of a quest and an escape room.
By the way: did you vote in this award? What apps and games did you support? Do you like the results? What other games and apps would you recommend? Drop a comment to share your opinion: it matters both for us and our readers.