Google has given its Android social gaming platform, Google Play Games, an overhaul.
Up until now, Google’s answer to Apple’s Game Centre required a Google+ account to operate. As no one really uses Google’s failed social network anymore, the big G has now decided to ditch that requirement.
Over on the official Android blog, Google explains all about Gamer ID. This provision lets you set up a unique profile for use in Android games.
As well as your name, you’ll get to choose a Gamer Picture – though there are only around 40 preset avatars available right now.
This being Google, you have full control over how public your gaming profile becomes. You can opt to make your gaming activity public or private, and whether other gamers can associate your new Gamer ID with your email address or real name.
Another neat new feature is that you only need to log in with your account once, rather than once per game.
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These changes to Google Play Games will be rolling out over the next week. Android users are claiming their new handles right now over in the Google Play Games app, so we’d recommend getting there sharpish. The new system’s full rollout will require attention from developers of existing games.
The wider context here seems to be Google’s gradual abandonment of its Google+ platform. Just put it out of its misery, already.
Next, check out the key features of Android 6.0 Marshmallow: