Here are the best Android apps of 2017 so far, according to Google

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Parsing through Google Play's extensive library of Android apps is a Herculean task, so Google is saving you time by highlighting some of the very best to come out in the past year.

The Android platform maker has announced its nominees for the 2017 Google Play Awards, giving apps across 12 different awards categories a chance their fair share of recognition.

You can see each of the nominees and their respective categories here, with the winners receiving their dues on Thursday, May 18th during Google I/O 2017.

To qualify, each app was not only considered exemplary of its individual category by Google staff, but also maintain a relatively high star rating and either launched or significantly updated since April 2016.

This also explains how mainstays like Netflix and Hearthstone nabbed a nomination for 'Best TV Experience' and 'Best Multiplayer Game' respectively, despite both coming out well before last April.

Award-winning apps

In addition to more straightforward categories, two newcomer-friendly awards include 'Standout Startup,' recognizing fast-growing companies like CastBox, Digit, and Discord, and 'Standout Indie,' showing off eye-catching indie titles like Reigns, Causality, and Mars: Mars.

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Smartphones apps aren't the only thing on parade, with wrist-bound software like Foursquare City Guide and Bring! getting nominations for 'Best Android Wear.'  Virtual reality wasn't forgotten either, with apps like The Arcslinger and the BBC's The Turning Forest getting a nod for 'Best VR Experience.'

Some less-than-obvious awards are also on display for this year's Google Play Awards, such as 'Best Social Impact' and 'Best Accessibility Experience,' the latter of which highlights apps that interact “in an innovative way that serves people with disabilities or special needs.”

Though we don't have a whole awards show planned out like Google, we certainly have ample app recommendations of our own, should you need to know what's worth a-downloading for your Android device.

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