Google Play Services 7.0 brings better multiplayer gaming and location tools to Android

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A Google Play Services update may not sound as spectacular as a new version of Android, but often it's just as important. 

Google Play Services 7.0 is the latest package for developers, bringing a lot of new tools targeted at gaming and location awareness.

With gaming, the update brings more ways to measure a game's success, monetize it, and expand multiplayer capabilities. The video (below) of Beach Buggy Racing demonstrates the possibilities. With Android TV gaming, a group of friends could use their Android devices as controllers or even share secrets, tools, or other items depending on the type of game.  

Developers can also use a new Player Analytics interface to get more data about the people playing their games. Titles using Google's AdMob service can display native ads inside the interface instead of those annoying banners along the top or bottom. 

Why this matters: Google Play Services, rather than Android updates, is the primary way that Google delivers more timely tools to developers for their games and apps. This newest batch has a lot for gamers, which are starting to give Android more attention as the Play Store continues to catch up to iOS in revenue.

Better location services

Location services is another area of emphasis. Developers can tap into more specific locations with more Google Maps data. There's a new interface for developers that want to embed a Google Map inside their app. The API accepts user submissions for new places, so the developer can keep the location data up to date.

place picker dialog Android Developers Blog

There's a clean, new Material Design-inspired interface that developers can add inside their apps.

Some other location tweaks are designed to give you more control. Developers can now enable their app to ping you if it needs more accuracy, turning on location services for that app forcing your into your phone settings.

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