Google Play Services gets asynchronous multiplayer, Google Drive API and improved battery life
Google recently began rolling out update 4.1 for its Google Play Services adding a number of new features and enhancements. The search giant has now added asynchronous multiplayer capabilities, a Google Drive API, enhancements to ad targeting, Google+ improvements, and better battery life for those using Google Location Reporting.
The turn-based multiplayer will support gaming with up to 8 friends or auto-matched opponents, with each player's turn data handled by Google over the cloud and then shared with other gamers. The company will also make the permission dialogue that pops-up during the login process much more understandable with the use of a handy “Connecting to Play Games” animation.
The update also includes a preview Google Drive API for developers that will allow for integration into the service. It is said to include basic read/write, multiple device syncing and offline functionality with auto syncing once a connection is re-established.
As for the ad targeting improvements, devs can now make use of a new location API which provides location data to Google and is said to improve product monetization. Developers will now see that the Google Mobile Ads SDK officially supports DoubleClick Ad Exchange, DoubleClick for Publishers, and Search Ads for Mobile Apps with version 4.1. The Google+ additions come in the way of improved auto-complete and contact suggestions.
Unfortunately, Google didn't drop any details in terms of how much battery life can be saved here, so it is a little unclear what the results will end up looking like.
Not all Android users will see the update just yet, as it is rolling out slowly. Once it has done so, devs will find the new APIs available through the Android SDK portal.
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