The news item in The Inquirer, about Google bringing iOS support for Google Play Games, is good news for developers with games supporting both platforms as an added functionality. It means real-time and turn-based multiplayer capabilities are now available on Android and iOS cross-platforms. Furthermore, the Unity Plug-in of Play Games will support these multiplayer cross-platform services.
Enhancing Games for Cross-Platform Multiplayer
In a blog post on March 17, Greg Hartell of the Google Play Games team said that to further enhance game services, they are expanding multiplayer to support iOS, bring real-time and turn-based capabilities to Android and iOS. He added that the team is updating the Play Games Unity Plug-in to further help with the game development for cross platform multiplayer services, and introduce an early SDK of Play Games C to support leaderboards and achievements.
Game Gifts, Play Statistics, Google Analytics and Others
With this announcement, which comes ahead of the 2014 Game Developers Conference, Google announced the 'Game Gifts' feature which will be an add-on to Google Play games. It will allow users to send in-app gifts to friends and has an option to invite others to join multiplayer matches directly.
Another addition is one to the developer console – an enhanced Game Play statistics. It is said to provide developers a dashboard, which visualizes engagement stats and players for signed-in users, including retention analysis, daily active users, achievement and leaderboard performance.
Also new is Google Analytics f0r the Admob interface which, according to Google, should aid developers to make better use of in-app purchase ads.
To round up Monday's announcement, Google said there will be 18 additional categories of Google Play games.