Google rolls out cross-platform iOS/Android gaming with Play Games Services

  • 17 March 2014
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Google's gaming ambitions took another step forward today. The company's Android wing is attending the 2014 Game Developers Conference, where it announced a new version of Google Play Games Services that enables cross-platform multiplayer support for iOS and Android.
Play Games Services is a backend API for developers of Android, iOS, and Web games that works a lot like Xbox Live: it enables developers to easily set up achievements, leaderboards, multiplayer and cloud saves using Google's cloud infrastructure and development APIs. Multiplayer has been available on Android for some time, but now iOS users can get in on the fun, too—and even square off against their Android counterparts.
Google is also launching a ton of other features at GDC 2014. Its Unity plugin is being updated to support the new cross-platform features, and an "early" Play Games C++ SDK, which supports achievements and leaderboards,  is being launched soon. Google says the new SDK should help with cross-platform game development. The Play Store is finally launching the new game categories thatGoogle announced three months ago—it will be jumping from six categories to 18. The Google Play Developer Console will be updated with some unspecified Play Games analytics, and Google is also launching "in-app purchase ads," a way to "target users with specific promotions to buy items in your game."
On the user-facing side of things, The Play Games app will now allow users to invite each other to multiplayer games, and users will be able to send "" to others. aren't actual games or apps, but virtual in-game objects. This would presumably allow users to buy a pay-to-win item and send it to their friends. Of course, none of this will happen until developers integrate the new APIs into their apps, so we'll have to wait for a new version of Google Play Services to roll out to everyone and developers to update their apps before we actually see it in action.

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The following article is a update on Google Play Services
(Big Google Play Services update rolls out)
By Mihaita Bamburic Posted on July 3 2014
Google gains some control over the distribution of Android updates by pushing new features and changes directly through Google Play, quickly reaching a significant part of the user base without getting manufacturers and mobile operators involved in the process.
This is how Google Play Services 5.0, announced late last month at the I/O 2014 conference, is also making its way to Android users. The upgrade, which is rolling out now, targets both end users and developers, introducing new tools, features and APIs.
Gamers will undoubtedly appreciate the new features included in Google Play Services 5.0. They will be able to set Quests (which is a fancier of way saying time-based goals), get rewards when doing this and, finally, save game progress in the cloud. The last feature is one I have been waiting for quite a while, as it makes factory resets so much less painful. And these features can be leveraged without game developers having to update their offerings.

betanews/ full read here/