Google announced a few changes to the Android APIs and Google Play Services that will be rolling out today and are currently available for developers to use.
Among some of these are three new services from Google aimed at gaming.
If you’re familiar with the applications Carbon (Helium) or DataSync for root, you already know what this basically does. For those who haven’t used these before, the basic premise is you can put down your tablet playing Angry Birds when you leave for the office, and continue playing at the same point on your phone when you go to lunch.
Unlike Data Sync and Carbon, Cloud Saves work across different platforms (Chrome and Android, for example), and APIs will be available for iOS and presumably Blackberry soon, so you’re not limited by device – only by application.
Google Play Leaderboards
Leaderboards are basically an achievement tracker, and work across platforms and applications. You can say “I’m better than all of my friends,” even if you’re not all that good to begin with, or see how bad you are on a local, national, or worldwide level.
Google Play Matching
Google is introducing a game/player matching service that takes the work away from developers having to figure out who’s right for you to play at your current level, and matches you with someone who ranks similarly in the leader boards.
Google seems to be really attempting to make Android a gaming platform, and it looks like it’s going to succeed with these new tools. I’ll be more interested to see if development on Cloud Saves mirrors what Helium and DataSync did.
These tools should be available to developers now and we’ll see these services being implemented in the days and weeks to come. No longer is multi-platform gaming development stuck rebuilding the wheel over and over again.