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Google Play Services 4.1 Update, Turn-by-Turn Multiplayer Now Possible

An update to the Google Play services has begun rolling out to Android devices. It brings along with it some pretty neat features for developers. Of course, these new options will slowly make their way into the apps and games that we love to use. There are a few improvements as part of this rollout, including the support needed for the newly-announced Google+ integration with Gmail

One of the new features looks to bring turn-based multiplayer gameplay to Android. While some games may already have this type of functionality, it would have required them to run their own backend to make it possible. Now, developers will be able to utilize Google’s resources in order to support this type of gaming scenario. I’d love to see this type of gameplay along with some Chromecast support. Get a whole group of friends together and play some games using the phones as controls and the turn-based gameplay to bring some new ideas to what kind of games can be played in a group setting.

Here is a full list of the new features available to developers in Google Play Services 4.1:

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.

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+.

Google continues to improve Android via their Google Play Services. These types of advancements were impossible in older versions of Android without a major update. However, we can now experience them more often and that’s certainly something to celebrate. Thanks, Google!

Via: Android Developers Blog

  • Nate Bousfield

    This will be really interesting if Google can get this to be popular on iOS too, a real cross-platform mobile gaming hub.

  • Look at you all ripping into this article. I’m quite thankful that I’m not actually trying to be a writer as you’ve proven I would be miserable at the job.

    I do, occasionally, attempt to provide articles to DL. Usually, K or T will make it look a bit more presentable than my normal run-on style of writing.

    I will apologize that it apparently ruined your day. Have a cookie on me.

  • NeilGeorge

    How would one know when it has been updated?? Thank you

  • Guest

    Awful writing, “There’s a few items”, the writer doesn’t even know singular vs plural

    • Chris M

      Thank you professor Guest

  • jim

    so when is this wonderful thing rolling out ? its like the gmail update, still haven’t seen that one either

  • Kieth

    Awesome! I just got the update, and it sure whiz-bang zooms past 4.0. But the graffiti mode no longer works. I fingered my friend with a ping bot, but the multi-player was only one-way for now. I think we need to enable the ‘barbie’ bit and then the sass lapping will work. I laughed so hard when I played zombie girl, that a boog shot outta my nose and stuck to the screen. It was smooth, but a little salty.

  • iceburgh

    Any chance of a download link for those who are impatient?

  • Sirx

    What’s with developers’ reluctance to use Google Play Services for its cloud save feature, arguably its biggest useful feature?! Out of the relatively tiny amount of devs that use GPS in the first place, only about 15% of those actually allow for cloud saves, and its completely ridiculous. And actually mildy infuriating–I don’t give a sh*t about made-up “achievements” or inconsequential “leaderboards”! What I want is to continue a game from my phone on my lunch break that I started last night on my tablet at home. Apparently that is WAY too much to ask >:-(

    • whaaambulance

      Well then perhaps you should take up development of gaming applications and design one the way you want. or call the whaaambulance. your choice.

    • TheDrunkenClam

      And also why are so many games slow to adapt 4.4’s new full screen immersion mode?

      • zurginator

        And even more importantly: why don’t Google’s own apps support the new transparent mode?

    • Raven

      The one that I really wonder about is Rovio. They implemented cloud saves perfectly in the original Angry Birds, but they have yet to add it to any of the spinoffs. I was hoping that with the recently released Angry Birds: Stars Wars II they would have, but alas, no. They spend so much time trying to come up with new IAPs now, but until a game has cloud saves I would never even consider making a IAP with it.

  • Chris

    Those complaining how about you post this article in your own words here in the comments to prove that you can do “so much better”

    • zurginator

      Yes, because all food critics are 5 star chefs, movie critics phenomenal directors, or music critics grade a composers?

      I agree some people are being dicks about it, but there is also a lot of validity to the complaints. When a blog is this large there is a certain level of professionalism to be expected. You wouldn’t be accepting of lazy writing in the Times or poor reporting on CNN, why is it fine here? All of these are paid for with ads, so you can’t really argue on the money front either.

      • Chris M

        except the writing is not horrible. people are being nit picky for no apparent reason. dont see Tim or Kellen get called out and their writing is not stellar. i dont come on this site for the beautiful writing. just give me my droid news and im happy.

  • Chris

    should have been this way from the start. What was google smoking crack?


  • Mitchman

    As someone else pointed out earlier today, please fix this! It is not centered with the rest of the content on the page!

    • BigTimmay

      It’s not the cause of this, but whitelist AdBlock for this site you douche.

      • Adrynalyne

        Only on Discus…point out something that should be fixed, get called a douche.

      • ReturnOfTheMack

        I don’t use any type of adblocker and it’snot lined up on my computer either.

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    Since we’re on the topic… What are some good Multi-player games you guys play? Like actual over network games?

    • Nooblet

      I haven’t played it recently due to time constraints but UniWar is an excellent multiplayer turn-based strategy game. It’s not free but once you pay there are no ads. Works great on phones or tablets. I’ve had it for 2+ years now. Great to play against the computer also.

      • Josh Flowers

        I bought Riptide G2, for .99c, and it’s awesome. Great graphics, it looks like JetMoto X. Virtual Reality challenge against ‘ghost’ riders which are your friends best-times for the course you’re playing, also invite up to 3 friends for real-time multiplayer.
        Best .99c I’ve spend on a game, honestly.
        Emailed the dev & he hinted at bringing a go-kart racing game with similar functionality in the next month or so, as of now they only have ‘beach buggy blitz’ but it just offers ‘leaderboard’, no multiplayer functionality.

    • Ej McCarty

      Blastron is pretty good as well.

  • Fahad Beg

    i dont see a problem with this article. Stop complaining. Great job Dave!

  • nabooska

    Even through all the grammar errors one message still rings loud and clear : nobody cares about Google+

  • Scott Kart

    Gotta admit…this article didn’t exactly flow as I was reading it…gotta step up the quality of articles here.

    • Chris

      and you can do better?

  • n11

    Doesn’t Worms Armageddon us turns already? What am I missing?
    But definitely exciting for more turn-based games! I can see Catan, card games, etc.. being played.

  • duke69111

    Whats the version number?

    • keanis

      Idiot added it to the post title later, but said title still makes no sense. “Update” should be changed to its verb form — in its current state, the title makes no sense.

      The version number is 4.1

      • duke69111

        Thats good. I thought I missed it.

  • TheLorax

    I thought this guy gave up on Droid Life articles. Clearly not a writer.

    • NotKellex

      Yeah, Droid Life has been slowly going down recently. I’m fine with the new writers and everything, but every once in a while we’ll get an article as bad as this and I wonder how long this site will survive.

  • keanis

    This article is an absolute trainwreck! Grammar errors everywhere, and it doesn’t look like you formatted everything correctly. Every heard of proofreading or getting your articles edited before posting? I don’t see any other members of the team screwing up on basic grammar. Stick to icons.

    • 6stringslinger

      Good grief, man! This is not an English class assignment, this is the top Android blog in the world! Give these people a break, will ya? And just so my post does not appear so perfect that you can’t find fault with it, I am leaving off the period right here

      • keanis

        You hit the nail on the head. This is one of the top Android sites out there. People including me expect great quality, and Droid Life certainly delivers most of the time. However, this article is one of the worst I’ve seen in a very long time. Inconsistent formatting and grammar errors for a WRITER are unacceptable. I’m a high school student and I can write much better than this; this post could easily have come out of some kid in middle school with better grammar!

        • gtfo

          U R A Douche, go read theverge, maybe they will suit your needs for perfection. while your at it buy an iphone. grammer nazi’s are so lame.

        • Ej McCarty

          Oh calm down little man. Go jackoff in the bathroom and cry yourself to sleep at night because no one likes you.

      • Michael

        It’s called “Professionalism.” I’ve seen DL quoted and cited by other sites and news services before, and this would not happen anymore if the quality goes down. It’s very simple to write the articles after you have done your research and draft, editing and finalization before you write your final copy. Every college teaches this to you in your first year called Composition 101 and 102 which are mandatory prerequisites in order to learn how to write for other classes. And now a days that pc’s do the spelling and grammar for you, it’s pretty hard to screw it up to begin with unless you can’t formulate your thoughts into written word. There is a process to writing and not following it leads to terrible writing even for the average Joe to read. A site like this has a reputation to keep and can not come off sophomoric, especially for the industry it is involved in.

        • Ej McCarty

          you mean now-a-days? assface

          • Chris M

            lol….guess those who live in glass houses…….

    • Colton

      hehe u sed “every heard of proofreading…”

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      Calm down bro

    • AxemRed

      Maybe no one was near a computer when the news broke, and someone had to post it from their phone while in class or out at a bar drunk or something. :p

    • gtfo

      “every” heard of proofreading your comment before posting to complain about grammar errors. gtfo

  • FelisLachesis

    Is it possible to separate games that are completely free to play, free with ads, and have in-app purchases?

  • ReturnOfTheMack

    “This update also improves battery life for all users with Google Location Reporting enabled.”

    Nice ^

    • jack584

      I’d say that’s the most important part. It’s not a big deal on my Note 3, just checked and Goodle Play Services has only used 4% of my battery, but I’ve seen screenshots where it’s used over 40%.

      Hopefully it’s a major improvement.

    • crazed_z06

      thank you baby jesus. Google Play Services has been viciously raping battery for months now.

    • Daryl

      Unfortunately for those of us that have location reporting disabled will see NO improvements.

      • ReturnOfTheMack

        Um yeah…seeing that we weren’t using a service that was causing battery drain.