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Google gives Android gaming a big boost

Google is introducing a couple of new initiatives to help bolster Android gaming.

First up is a new system that lets you to try out Android games direct from ads. Simply search for a game in Google on your Android smartphone, tap the new ‘Try now’ button, and you’ll be able to jump straight to a 10 minute demo of that game. You won’t even need to install anything.

That’s the magic of Google’s big new Play Games feature, which it announced recently at GDC.  Google says that the new ads will begin popping up on Android “in the next few weeks.”

Another improvement is a new section of the Play Store aimed at indie developers. Appropriately titled ‘Indie Corner,’ the new section will act as a showcase for smaller developers.

It’s essentially a curated list of the best indie games on the Android platform, but the idea seems to be to help those one-man-band developers who don’t have the budget of Supercell or Rovio.

There are just a couple of criteria for an indie game to be considered for the new Indie Corner. First, and most importantly, it needs to be good. But Google is also looking for games that showcase specific Google Play Store features, such as achievements or leaderboards.

Related: Best free Android games

“We want them all to be case studies for what you can do on the platform,” says Play Games product manager Ben Frenkel (via The Verge).

Google is also improving things for Android game developers, with new APIs that will let gamers record and live stream (to YouTube, of course) their gameplay from within games.

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