Google has updated its Google Play Services Android app with a number of new features, chief among which is improved multiplayer gaming support.
Google Play Services helps apps and games run and interact smoothly on Android devices, and it’s just hit version 4.1 with a bunch of notable improvements.
As outlined on the official Android blog, first among these improvements concerns multiplayer gaming. Google’s Play Games service, which basically fills the same roll as Apple’s Game Center, now supports turn-based multiplayer gaming.
Developers can now build asynchronous multiplayer games for up to eight players (both friends and auto-match) using Google’s game framework. Turn data is automatically shared with other players, which should simplify things for game developers and make for a slicker experience for Android gamers.
Android gaming made huge strides forward in 2013. The introduction of Google Play Games and an improved flow of both iOS conversions and simultaneous releases helping it gain ground on Apple’s platform, which still rules the mobile gaming roost.
Elsewhere in this latest update, Google has improved the Google+ app’s auto-complete and contact suggestion capabilities. The latter seems to be in line with the company’s recent deeper integration of its Gmail and Google+ services - it’s now possible to send emails to your Google+ contacts, even if you don’t know their email addresses.
There’s one other addition that will directly benefit users in this latest Google Play Services update. Google has improved battery life for those users who have Google Location Reporting enabled.