Google Play Services updated, adds turn-based multiplayer, new Drive API, more

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Google has updated its Play Services to version 4.1, bringing new features and updates like turn-based multiplayer support for games, a new Google Drive API, improved battery life for users with Google Location Reporting enabled, improved location-based ads and Google+ enhancements. Users can download the update from the Google Play store.

Google announced the update via its Android Developers blog and said, “Once the rollout has completed, users will be able to download the SDK using the Android SDK manager and get started with the new APIs.”

The new turn-based multiplayer allows developers to build asynchronous games to play with friends and auto-matched players. Further, the turn-based multiplayer feature supports up to 8 players per game.

The blog post notes, “When players take turns, their turn data is uploaded to Play Services and shared with other players automatically.” In addition, Google also revealed a new ‘Connecting to Play Games’ transition during games sign-in before the permission dialog appears.

The new Play Services version 4.1 update also includes a developer preview of the new Google Drive API for Android. With this new feature, developers can read and write files in Google Drive available across devices and on the Web.

With Google Play services 4.1, the Google Mobile Ads SDK (software development kit) now supports DoubleClick for publishers, DoubleClick Ad Exchange, and search ads for mobile apps. With the new improved location-based ads, the Next Web notes that developers can utilize the publisher-provided location API to provide Google with the location when requesting ads, which Google claims can improve app monetization.

Earlier on Friday, a report suggested that Google’s new Google+ enhancements broadens the list of contacts available to Gmail users so it includes both the email addresses of their existing contacts, as well as the names of people on the Google+ social network. As a result, a person can send an email directly to friends, and strangers, who are part of their Google+.

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