Google is getting serious about games, as newly leaked photos reveal an upcoming app will bring achievements, leaderboards and more to Android.
Dubbed 'Google Play Games', the new software may have a truly uninspiring name, but it shouldn't lack for features. Android Police claims to have received a leaked copy of Google's new Services app from Google headquarters, and has dissected the gaming-centric app, divulging its numerous features along the way.
The app will be able to create multiplayer games and stuff gamers into virtual multiplayer lobbies, the leaked code suggests. Games that support the service will get a special logo to display in the Google Play store.
You'll also get achievements, with Xbox-esque pop-up messages informing you of in-game feats of magnitude. Games will get an official Google leaderboard, so you can see where you rank against other players, or view leaderboards by 'this week', 'today' or 'all time'.
The app will compete directly with Apple's casino-themed Game Center, a similar service that works with iOS games. Google could have an edge over Apple if it makes its own app easier and more intuitive to use, and if it avoids making it look like the inside of a grotty bookmaker's.
The bad news is that it seems all the app's social features will be powered by Google+. There's nothing wrong with Google's colourful Facebook rival, but with far fewer regular customers than Zuckerberg's monolithic service, there will probably be plenty of would-be gamers who don't have enough friends in circles to make the app worthwhile.
The leaked code appears to feature loads of prompts to share scores to Google+, or boast about a score. Presumably Google is hoping the lure of gaming can be used to shepherd more users onto its fledgling network.
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Image credit: Android Police