New Android versions are always a cause for celebration as Google works some interesting new features into its mobile OS. Similarly, updates to Google Play Service should be met with the same kind of enthusiasm as Android app developers get more features to play around with.
Google announced this week that Google Play Services 4.1 is now rolling out to users. It includes an important update to Android games while also adding in support for some oft-requested features.
First up, Google Play Games now supports turn-based multiplayer. While real-time multiplayer is generally better suited to shooters and racing games, turn-based multiplayer is a must for RPGs and other games that require asynchronous multiplayer. With this latest update, Google Play Games will support turn-based multiplayer for up to eight players. Additionally, each player's turn data will be automatically uploaded to Google Play servers and distributed among the other players automatically.
If you make non-game apps for Android, you'll be pleased to know that Google Play Services now includes native support for Google Drive. While the API is only a developer preview, it should give you a decent idea of how to integrate Google Drive into your apps.
As for ads, Google Play Services 4.1 now supports DoubleClick for Publishers, DoubleClick Ad Exchange and Search Ads for Mobile Apps. Developers will also be able to utilize location based ads with the new publisher-provided location API.
On a final note, Google Play Services 4.1 improves Google+ sharing. When sharing from your app, users will now see better autocomplete and suggested recipients from Gmail contacts, device contacts and Google+.
If you want to learn more, just hit up the Google Services page.
Image via Android Developers