Google Play Services 4.1 Update: Android Gets Better Multiplayer Support For Games, Improved Battery Life

The framework update will affect Android versions up to 4.4.2 KitKat

 @tommylikeyt.halleck@ibtimes.com
on January 11 2014 10:39 AM
Android 4.4 KitKat 4.4.2 Update Google Games Play Services
Multiplayer Android games are now supported by Google Play Games, and users with location reporting on will get better battery life as Mountain View updates its Services framework. Android.com

Google has updated its Play Services app to version 4.1, which provides Android app developers with Play Games support for turn-based multiplayer games and improves the mobile operating system’s battery life.

Google Play Services runs in the background of Android, and allows developers to integrate features from apps like Maps and Play Games into their own programs. It will effect all versions of Android currently supported by Google, up to Android 4.4.2 (KitKat).

The latest update will allow app developers to incorporate turn-based multiplayer support for up to 8 players to Play Games, Google’s achievement and high score tracking game hub. It will also improve battery life for Android users with “location reporting” enabled. Google notes to developers that an update to Mobile Ads in Android allows for easier location reporting, and reminds them that “location-based ads can improve your app monetization.”

Android developers can now preview a feature that allows them to integrate their apps with Google Drive, the cloud storage service. Play Services 4.1 also makes it easier for Android apps to share on Google+, the company’s social network.

Here is Google’s full announcement:

The latest release of Google Play services has begun rolling out to users. It includes new Turn Based Multiplayer support for games, and a preliminary API for integrating Google Drive into your apps. This update also improves battery life for all users with Google Location Reporting enabled. Once the rollout has completed, you’ll be able to download the SDK using the Android SDK manager and get started with the new APIs. Watch for more information coming soon.

Turn-based Multiplayer

Play Games now supports turn-based multiplayer! Developers can build asynchronous games to play with friends and auto-matched players, supporting 2-8 players per game. When players take turns, their turn data is uploaded to Play Services and shared with other players automatically.

We are also providing an optional new “Connecting to Play Games” transition animation during sign-in, before the permission dialog appears. This helps contextualize the permission dialog, especially in games that ask for sign in on game start.

Google Drive

This version of Google Play Services includes a developer preview of the new Google Drive API for Android. You can use it to easily read and write files in Google Drive so they're available across devices and on the web. Users can work with files offline too — changes are synced with Google Drive automatically when they reconnect.

The API also includes common UI components including a file picker and save dialog.

Google Mobile Ads

With Google Play services 4.1, the Google Mobile Ads SDK now fully supports DoubleClick for Publishers, DoubleClick Ad Exchange, and Search Ads for Mobile Apps. You can also use a new publisher-provided location API to provide Google with the location when requesting ads. Location-based ads can improve your app monetization.

Google+

An improved Google+ sharing experience makes it even easier for users to share with the right people from your app. It includes better auto-complete and suggested recipients from Gmail contacts, device contacts and people on Google+.

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