During its Google I/O developers conference, the software giant hosted the inaugural Google Play Awards, a celebration of the most outstanding achievements in apps and games over the last year.

The winners were selected by the Google Play team itself and unlike other app awards that occur around the end of each calendar year, they include some obscure or innovative applications.

That's why it's of particular interest to Android device owners who are looking for something to download that's a bit different. So here's a run down of the Google Play Awards 2016 winners and what they offer.

READ: The Google I/O 2016 announcements that matter: Assistant, Home, Android N, Instant Apps, Allo, Duo and Daydream

Google Play Awards 2016: Best app


Free from here

If you're looking to redesign your home or have recently moved, Houzz gives access to millions of pictures of interior design ideas, plus places to buy furniture and fittings. It also has millions of design professionals connected to contact and share thoughts with. And it even lets you place and draw objects onto photos so you can see what a specific item would look like in your house.

Google Play Awards 2016: Best early adopter

World Around Me

Free from here

World Around Me uses augmented reality to help you find places in your current location. It uses your phone's camera to see your surroundings and overlays virtual signboards and directions over your view to help you get to where you want to go, be that a restaurant, cash point, shop, train station or more.

Google Play Awards 2016: Best families app

Thinkrolls 2

£2.29 from here

Educational app Thinkrolls 2 is a puzzler for kids aged three to nine. A child must navigate cute characters through increasingly more complex mazes, using logic and basic physics along the way. There's no better way to learn than when you're having fun to boot.

Google Play Awards 2016: Best go global

Pokémon Shuffle Mobile

Free from here

Pokémon Shuffle has been available on other platforms before but you can get it on mobile too. It's a match-three game starring everybody's favourite collectable monsters, but the twist is that by doing so you get to battle and collect other Pokémon along the way.

Google Play Awards 2016: Best game

Clash Royale

Free from here

Based in the same world as Supercell's incredibly popular and addictive Clash of Clans, Clash Royale is a real-time multiplayer card battle game. You build up a deck of cards featuring the Clans characters and use them to defeat your friends and foes online.

Google Play Awards 2016: Most innovative


Free from here

New York Timesgoogle play awards 2016 winners best android apps and games of the year image 2

With Google Cardboard already available and the Daydream platform on its way, VR is becoming massive in 2016. NYT VR has daily virtual reality video stories from the New York Times, presenting news in a more immersive way.

Google Play Awards 2016: Best use of material design


Free from here

Stock market app Robinhood isn't just free to download it also offers free trading. That means you don't have to pay a commission on buying and selling stocks, unlike with other services. It's also a clean and simple app to use. Of course, you'll need a decent knowledge of trading to get anywhere, but the app itself is lovely.

Google Play Awards 2016: Best standout indie


Free from here

Word puzzle game Alphabear has been incredibly popular here in Pocket-lint Towers. You spell words through the letter bricks on screen which turn into bears when successfully chosen. Select words next to each other and they turn into bigger bears that score well. Get a specific score and you win a digital bear as a collectable. Addictive fun.

Google Play Awards 2016: Best use of Google Play Game services

Table Tennis Touch

£2.29 from here

Table Tennis Touch is a beautiful and simple ping pong game for mobile that gets fiendishly difficult as you progress. There is a great career modes, plus mini games and multiplayer online action. You can take on friends over the net or locally.

Google Play Awards 2016: Best standout startup


Free from here

Hooper analyses flight prices and presents the cheapest when you next want to book a trip. It can also be set up to send you a notification if the flight you're looking for drops in price or is available for cheaper elsewhere. It also has quicktap booking.