Google Play names best Android, Wear OS, & tablet apps of 2023

With 2023 winding down, Google Play today named the best Android apps and games of the year. This includes Users’ Choice and several “Best for” categories. These lists are localized, and you can browse your country by tapping the banners at the top of the Play Store.

Users’ Choice 2023

The list below reflects US results, with ChatGPT taking the Users’ Choice App award. BeReal won last year, with the two winners before that being streaming services (Paramount+ and Disney+). Meanwhile, MONOPOLY GO! is the Users’ Choice Game.


Best Android apps of 2023

The “Best [overall] App of 2023” is Imprint: Learn Visually:

As our best app of 2023, Imprint: Learn Visually shares bite-sized lessons that use visual storytelling to bring concepts to life. Explore the worlds of psychology, history, health, technology and more in a brand new way.

Meanwhile, Google Play named Spotify as offering the “Best Multi-device App”:

Whether listening to your favorite music in the kitchen, on the commute or out on a hike, Spotify shines when it comes to working smoothly across devices. We love how you can remotely control playback on another device, and download tracks or episodes for offline playback.

There are 12 “Best for” categories by category:

Best for Watches: WhatsApp Messenger

Best for Tablets: Concepts: Sketch, Note, Draw

Best for Chromebooks: FlipaClip: Create 2D Animation

Best for Google TV: Max: Stream HBO, TV, & Movies

Best for Cars: Amazon Prime Video

Best for Fun: Bumble For Friends: Meet IRL

Best for Personal Growth: Voidpet Garden: Mental Health

Best Everyday Essential: Artifact: Feed Your Curiosity

Best Hidden Gem: Aware: Mindfulness & Wellbeing

Best with AI: Character AI: AI-Powered Chat

Best for Families: Paw Patrol Academy

Best App for Good: AWorld in support of ActNow


Best Android games of 2023

The “Best Game

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How to drag and drop between apps on your Android tablet

Say you’re surfing the web on your top-of-the-line Android tablet and come across a valuable piece of information that you want to save in your notes app. Perhaps you want to spice up a document with images from your gallery. Whichever it is, the drag-and-drop feature lets you seamlessly move items between apps in multi-window mode, and we show you how it works.



What is drag and drop on Android?

Android’s drag and drop is like when you move things around on your computer by clicking and dragging with your mouse. On Android devices, you can pick up text, pictures, and other supported objects on your screen with your finger and move them to another place in the same app or between different apps that are open at the same time.

It all starts when you touch and hold something on your screen. The phone recognizes you want to move it and then shows a copy of that thing you’re moving (called a drag shadow). As you move your finger around, the phone tells the different parts of the screen that you’re just passing over. The action ends when you let go of what you’re moving. If you release the object on a place that can accept it (called a drop target), it goes there. Otherwise, it disappears.

The feature can be useful for moving text from a web page to a notes app or pulling pictures from your gallery to a document. You can also drag images from any supported app to Google Drive, where they’re uploaded automatically.

How to drag and drop between apps on your tablet

Follow these steps to use drag and drop on your tablet:

  1. Open the two apps you wish to drag and drop items between in split screen mode. You can do this
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Your Amazon Fire Tablet Can Feel A Lot More Like A Stock Android Tablet With These Tricks

Once you’ve installed Chrome on your Fire tablet, head over to the Google Play Store and install other Google apps that you would find enabled by default on mainstream Android machines. A good place to start would be to install the Gboard keyboard. It is loaded with useful features, offers the most accurate glide typing experience, text prediction is amazingly reliable, and language support is vast, as well.

Of course, it won’t truly be a true Google experience if you can’t extract the perks of Google Assistant. In hindsight, Alexa is pretty boring and feature-devoid, so you have an added incentive to download Google Assistant. To do so, first install the Google app from the Play Store and use it once. If possible, set up voice recognition when prompted.

Once the Google app is set up, install the standalone Google Assistant app from the Play Store and set it up with all the shortcuts you desire. If you desperately want the real Android experience, you can install a third-party launcher such as Microsoft Launcher, Niagara, and Nova, among others. But that entails a pretty complex process on its own.

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Google wants to turn your car into an Android tablet with wheels

Summary

  • Android Auto and Android Automotive are getting a handful of new applications, including Vivaldi, The Weather Channel, and Amazon Prime Video.
  • Auto users can take meetings in the car with Zoom and WebEx and, with the app now available in the Play Store, browse the web through Vivaldi when parked.
  • Vehicles running Android Automotive, meanwhile, will gain support for The Weather Channel and Amazon Prime Video, providing up-to-date weather alerts and entertainment while parked, respectively.


It’s shaping up to be a busy fall for Android. Just last week, we got our latest Quarterly Feature Drop for all phones, delivering some timely updates to apps like Wallet and a refreshed look for Assistant At a Glance. We’re also looking forward to Android 14, though considering its rumored October launch, we could be waiting a while longer. Thankfully, Android in cars is getting a fresh slate of upgrades in the coming weeks that could act as a distraction to this year’s delayed OS upgrade.

android-auto-apps-hero-anim

Source: Google

Google’s announcement concerns both Android Auto and Android Automotive, so whether it’s your phone powering your on-the-road experience, or it’s built into your car itself, you’ll see some changes coming to your vehicle very soon. First up is some additional details on Zoom and WebEx’s in-car availability. Google first teased this at I/O earlier this year, before reconfirming an upcoming launch last week, but today’s news brings some real launch windows into view. Zoom will start rolling out on Android Auto later today before reaching everyone in the coming days, while WebEx launches in beta today with broader availability over the next several weeks.

weather-channel-cars

Source: Google

Those aren’t the only apps coming to your car. Vivaldi was already available through cars from Renault and Polestar, but later today, you can find it through the Play

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New Google Leak Reveals Impressive Pixel Tablet Superpower

Pixel Tablet owners could be looking at a new feature for their Android tablet that will make it easier to share music and video from their smartphones to Google’s ambitious large-screened tablet for the home.

More details on the media handoff feature (potentially called “hold close to cast”) come from Mishaal Rahman, who has been exploring the latest Android code. To activate the feature, all you will need to do is hold your smartphone close to the Pixel Tablet, and the media will digitally jump from the phone to the tablet seamlessly.

Naturally, there are some catches here; both devices will need to be on the same private Wi-Fi network, and it will be restricted to specific applications – my suspicion would be Google’s first-party apps and media applications with significant inroads in multiple markets such as Spotify.

It’s not yet clear if there are any other caveats or quirks, such as the use of Ultra Wideband to facilitate faster data transfer and the relative positioning of both devices.

This feature would fit nicely with the Pixel Tablet. Google has made it clear that, unlike other manufacturers who see Tablets as productivity devices, the Pixel Tablet focuses on being a smart home device. Google took the unusual step of bundling a combined speaker and charging stand to emphasise this design choice.

With the new Media Handoff feature, the role of the Pixel Tablet in the smart home becomes a bit more practical. The next step for Google will be to get people interested in buying the largest Pixel device on the market.

Now read the latest Pixel headlines in Forbes’ weekly news digest, Android Circuit…


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How to merge your contacts on your Android phone or tablet

Syncing your Google account to a device can mess up your contact list if you’re not careful. Adding an extra SIM card may also do the same, whether it’s an eSIM-compatible phone or a regular one. Other times, you forget that you stored someone’s digits on your phone and then do it again. Any of these actions causes contacts to appear more than once. While duplicate contacts don’t pose a serious threat, they can delay sending a message or making phone calls. You’ll have to open each occurrence to be sure you have the correct number.


One quick solution is to merge them so that the repeated figures disappear, and you’re left with one. This trick is convenient compared to deleting them individually. If you want to unclutter your contact list and make communication easier, here’s how.


Duplicate contacts appear for numerous reasons, including the following:

  • You saved the same number twice on one phone.
  • You synced a Google account with your device, causing the contacts to appear alongside the ones you entered manually.
  • You imported contacts as a CSV file to your device multiple times.
  • You added another SIM card with the same contact stored on it.

Duplicate contacts may share the same name with their clones or the same phone number under different names. You could delete the copies individually, but it’s time-consuming. You want to open each contact and confirm that you’re removing the right one. Otherwise, multi-selecting them means accidentally erasing essential contacts.

A better solution is to merge them so that the multiple occurrences appear under one name. The latest Android devices have this feature in the preinstalled phone or contacts apps, and you can use it to clean up digits instantly.

Use the Merge and fix tool on the Google Contacts app to clean

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