Google Android Key Lime Pie Feature Could Rival Apple iOS Game Center
Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs introduces Game Center for iPod at Apple's music-themed September media event in San Francisco. Credit:Reuters
New information from a teardown of the Google Glass companion app called MyGlass suggests that Google Play Services is set to offer real-time multi-player games. The entire Google Games Service feature list offers clues to what can be expected in Android's next operating system, Key Lime Pie.
Since Glass is unable to run complex apps, it appears that the Google Glass team mistakenly included the full suite of Google Play Services with the companion app. The teardown of the app revealed a sophisticated gaming service with multiplayer capabilities.
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As Android Police reported, the Google Glass team was supposed to remove certain components from its Google Mobile Services folder. This folder contains apps needed for account credentials, purchases, Google + integration and other functions. Usually when Google sends out updates of apps, it removes only the needed portions, but this time shipped everything instead.
The existence of a "Games" folder shows that Google is building a multiplayer gaming service similar to Apple's Game Center. The backend code includes real-time multiplayer, turn-based multiplayer, in game chat, leaderboards, invitations and lobbies. Games such as racing and fighting would fall under the category of real-time multiplayer games. Board and drawing games are considered turn-based multiplayer games and users receive notifications when it's their turn to play. Gamers can talk to each other in game chat, invite friends to play games, choose teams and plan strategies in the game lobby and track and compare game scores on the leaderboard.
The inadvertent leak of this gaming information gives a good idea of what users can expect to see in Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie. Key Lime Pie, the next firmware expected from Google, is expected to be unveiled during Google I/O this spring. From the look of the teardown, the development of the plug-in gaming service appears nearly complete, so it's possible that Key Lime Pie will have this cool, new gaming feature. This approach to gaming could rival Apple's Game Center, which offers this sort of gaming experience to iPhone and iPad users.