updated 11:42 am EST, Fri January 10, 2014
Developers can create Android games with asynchronous multiplayer
The latest update to Google Play Services has started rolling out to users, including a number of small changes to the software platform. Changes to the way the mobile operating system works with Google Drive, in-app advertising, and mobile games are included in the update, along with a claimed improvement to battery life through alterations in Google Location Reporting.
Play Services now supports turn-based multiplayer games, writes the Android Developers Blog. App developers can now create asynchronous games with up to eight players, with turns uploaded to Play Services and shared out automatically. Developers can also add a new "Connecting to Play Games" animation during the game sign-in process, giving the accompanying permissions dialog box more context.
Though classed as a "developer preview" of the Google Drive API, developers can use Play Services to read and write files in Google Drive, allowing for cross-device synchronization. Users will be able to access their Google Drive files offline as well, with files resynchronized once an Internet connection is re-established.
Google Play Games
The Google Mobile Ads SDK now fully supports DoubleClick Ad Exchange, DoubleClick for Publishers, and Search Ads for Mobile Apps. Under this, developers can share the location of the user through an API, allowing for location-specific and more profitable advertising to be shown, though considering recent security-related revelations, this may make some users and developers wary.
Lastly an improved auto-complete function and suggested contacts from those stored on Gmail, Google+, and on the device itself is hoped to make the sharing of in-app content with other people an easier process for the user.
Though the blog post does mention an improvement to battery life through changes in location services, Google did not go into detail, nor suggested what kind of improvement Android users can expect to see.