Gaming on Android right now is booming, but it's still less than ideal. It's an attractive proposition to play games to go using a device you're already going to have with you, but very few of us keep our phones for as long as we would hold on to a Nintendo 3DS or even an old Game Boy. Sooner than later, we'll be upgrading to a new phone, but before that even happens, many of us will also pick up a new tablet that, if you're reading this blog, will likely ship with Android.
In the realm of nerdy Easter Eggs, the Konami Code is a long-time favorite. It shows up in various games and websites, offering a bit of nostalgia each time. Leave it to Google to have a little fun with the Konami Code on Android. Just a few swipes, and you've unlocked a secret achievement in the new Google Play Games app.
In the Google Play Games app, simply swipe the following directions: up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right.
Google Play Games has done wonders to tie game scores and achievements to our Google+ profiles and show us who's kicking the most butt in any particular title. Yet information has thus far been scattered across individual apps and Google+, limiting the value of the experience. Today Google is rolling out a standalone app consolidating all of this content in one place.
The new app can display achievements unlocked in individual games, those that a player has yet to unlock, and leaderboards for every different map within a specific game.
You might not have noticed, but a fresh version of Google Play Services started silently rolling out a few days ago. Google I/O came and went without an Android version bump because Google wanted to send a message: Google Play Services is the single most important APK on your device. It was recently used to roll out Google Play Games, cloud app data storage, and the fused location provider.
It's been barely 48 hours since Google's brand new Play Games management system went online, and already dozens of high-profile games have been updated to include its features. But how do you tell which titles use Play Games and which don't when browsing the Play Store (without, you know, actually reading the descriptions)? The big G has you covered. Badges for the various features of Google Play Games are now automatically appearing in the relevant Play Store pages.
The first and most important day of Google I/O 2013 is drawing to a close. If you've just gotten home from a long day at work and don't have time to sift through a mountain of Android Police live coverage, fear not: there's a roundup for that. Here's a concise list of everything that's new and updated in the Googleverse.
If you'd like to spend almost four hours watching Google show off all its new goodies, our Live Blog has the keynote embedded, plus Artem and David's reactions.
Those of you who like your games served fresh while you peruse the day's social updates might want to sit down. Google+ Games will shut down on June 30, taking users' game data with it. But social gamers aren't aren't entirely without hope. Some developers will designate new destination sites for their games, and a few games already have alternative links set up.
In-game payments inside any of the games that are set to disappear will have to be used up before June 30 arrives.
Welcome back! Google Play Services 3.1 is such a ridiculously huge update; I had to stretch it out over two articles - that's a first for APK Teardown. If you somehow missed the Google Play Games extravaganza, part one is right here.
Part two is all about the non-games discoveries, which there are a lot of. Before we get into that though, there is one detail I left out of the games article that I really should mention:
The Play Games Codename
Google always comes up with the coolest code names for projects, and the Play Services games client is no exception.
Remember how we told you Google Games was coming, and how it's going to pack multiplayer functionality, leaderboards, achievements, and stuff like that? That's happening. There are going to be cloud game saves too.
Fresh out of Google HQ, we've managed to score a copy of the new Google Play Services v3.1.36, which is very slowly rolling out to devices right now. For comparison, the current Play Services that most people have is v3.0.27.