Google Play Games to gain 'game gifts' feature, multiplayer support for iOS

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from  Omaha, NE
| March 17, 2014

Google Play Games give gift

When you think "Game Developers Conference," mobile may not be one of the first things that springs into your mind afterward. Mobile gaming is increasingly becoming the many folks' preferred method of getting their game on, though, and so it should come as no surprise to learn that Google has made a significant gaming-related announcement at this year's GDC.

Google today announced that it plans to roll out a number of new features to its Google Play Games app in the coming weeks. Aimed at bringing gamers together, Google will soon add "game gifts" to the Google Play Games app, giving players the ability to send in-game objects to people in their circles or through a player search. Meanwhile, Google also intends on making it easier for users to discover new opponents and games with support for multiplayer invitations 18 new game categories:

  • Action
  • Adventure
  • Arcade
  • Music
  • Role Playing
  • Simulation
  • Strategy
  • Puzzle
  • Educational
  • Card
  • Casino
  • Casual
  • Board
  • Family
  • Trivia
  • Word
  • Racing
  • Sports

Another major addition that's coming to Google Play Games is iOS support. Google says that it's bringing turn-based and real time multiplayer game support to Apple's mobile platform, meaning that we'll finally be able to see Android and iOS users thrown down and determine which platform's users are the more hardcore gamers.

Finally, Google is bringing some new developer-focused features to Play Games. Those include enhanced Play Games statistics that'll provide analytics for things like active user numbers, Google Analytics support in the AdMob user interface, an updated Play Games Unity Plug-In and an early version of the Play Games C++ SDK.

Google says that most of these new features will be rolled out tomorrow, March 18. While some of the developer-centric stuff may not be super exciting to regular Joes like you and I, features like multiplayer support on iOS and the ability to send multiplayer game invitations are major new additions that could definitely boost Google Play Games usage. This Google Play Games update is one of the biggest that we've seen to date, and it's good to see Google showing both the app and Android gamers some love.

Do you use your phone or tablet to play games? If so, what are some games that've been eating up your free time?

Via Android Developers Blog