Google Play Games is getting iOS multiplayer support

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SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Google announced on Monday that it is bringing iOS multiplayer support to Google Play Games.

Google introduced multiplayer capabilities for Android developer  last year, and today announced that iOS will soon be supported. This is good news for developers whose games support both platforms, as the added functionality means that both turn-based and real-time multiplayer capabilities are now cross-platform on Android and iOS.

Google added that the Play Games Unity Plug-in will support these new cross-platform multiplayer services.

Greg Hartell of the Google Play Games team said in a blog post on Monday, "Further enhancing Google Play Game services, we're expanding multiplayer to support iOS, bringing turn-based and real-time multiplayer capabilities to both Android and iOS.

"To further help with cross platform game development, we're updating our Play Games Unity Plug-in to support cross-platform multiplayer services, and introducing an early Play Games C++ SDK to support achievements and leaderboards."

During today's announcement which comes ahead of next week's Games Developer Conference (GDC), Google also announced that a feature called "game gifts" will also soon be added to Google Play Games, allowing users to send in-app gifts to their friends. There will also be the option to invite people to play multiplayer matches directly.

Google also said that it will add enhanced Game Play statistics to the developer console. It said, "Developers will gain a daily dashboard that visualises player and engagement statistics for signed in users, including daily active users, retention analysis and achievement, and leaderboard performance."

Google Analytics is coming to the Admob interface too, which Google said should help developers make better use of in-app purchase ads.

Rounding off today's announcement, Google said that there are 18 new categories for games in the Google Play store. µ

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