INTERNET GIANT Google is dipping its toes into the world of online gaming, having announced an update to its service infrastructure that will support a multiplayer mode.
Google Play Services, a background app common to all certified Android devices, runs as a hub to stock Google apps, providing developers with integration and cloud based interaction.
Detailed in a post at the Android Developer Blog, Google Play Services has been updated with support for turn based online multiplayer apps such as role-playing games (RPGs) as well as board games and quizzes. Up to eight players are supported with moves uploaded to Google Play servers and shared with other participants.
Google has also included a preview of the planned API for integrating Google Drive into apps. Although many apps do this already, the addition of an API is likely to increase the developer community's motivation to participate.
As mentioned elsewhere, Gmail will now offer suggestions to recipients from Google+ Circles, and battery life has been improved for those who choose to share their locations.
The API for advertising servers now includes support for Doubleclick, a feature that's popular with free app developers, which might in turn save battery life that is affected by polling an external server for advertisements.
This latest iteration might also include wider support for Chromecast in the form of an API. With many Allcast and Miracast devices premiering at CES, there will be pressure on Google to ensure that Android devices do not fall behind the trend for big screen mirroring.
All of these features are in the latest version of the Android Software Development Kit (SDK) that is available from Google. µ