Google Play Games update adds deep social integration

March 5, 2014
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Google Play Games has an update coming, and it’s going to be a nice one. Released in July of 2013 and announced at I/O, Play Games is Google’s answer to Apple’s Game Center. Finding games and other players is the order of the day, and the update only presses that point a bit harder.

A teardown of the update from Android Police reveals some interesting new tweaks. First, we’ll have the ability to send and view multiplayer game invites. The previous version only let you join from within the app, making this one a bit more mobile-centric and social, as it should be. A few interface tweaks have also been made, moving things into the sidebar rather than a bottom or top bar.

In that sidebar, you will also see new items in Matches and Find Games, which is currently known as Recommended Games, and goes unchanged. You will also gain the ability to view which of those in your Google+ circles (if you have any) are playing which games, adding another wrinkle to the social aspect of the app. A pretty neat twist, and one that ties Google+ in a little tighter to another Google service.

The update is rolling out in typical Google fashion, and should take a few weeks to reach everyone. If you’re anxious, go ahead and head over to one of Android Police’s mirrored downloads and give it a whirl. We like it as a new way to get people involved socially with gaming, and we’ll be interested to see if anyone actually uses it as Google imagined.


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