Six New Instant Apps Added to Google Play Games

Instant Apps in Google Play Games

Google has rolled out six games as part of their Instant Apps initiative.  The games – Clash Royale, Words With Friends 2, Solitaire, Bubble Witch Saga 3, Mighty Battles, and Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire – can be found in the Google Play Games app on your Android phone.

The idea behind Instant Apps is to give you an opportunity to try out a game or app without having to actually download it to your phone.  You get a limited demo version of the game that loads right in the Play Games app and if you like what you see, you can download the full app.

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Google Play Games Update Brings Arcade Tab to Discover New Games

Arcade Tab in Google Play Games

Android’s gaming hub app, Google Play Games, has a new update rolling out that brings a new Arcade tab to help you discover new games to play.  The update follows on from the major update that that app received in January.  That update brought a completely new look to the app along with some built-in games but there was no way to discover new games from within it.

This new 5.5 version of Google Play Games addresses that issue.  Now you have a new tab where you can find games to play and can filter your results based on what is new, kids games, premium games as well as genres like Action, Adventure, Board games, Racing, and RPG to name but a few.

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Google Play Games Update Makes The App Actually Useful

Google Play Games for Android

The Google Play Games app for Android has an update rolling out that brings a fresh look to the gaming hub and a much improved way of finding your games that you have installed or have purchased/played in the past.  The new build is version 5.3 for those keeping score at home (pardon the pun) and should be coming to everyone over the course of the next few days via an OTA update.

The first thing you’ll notice after the update is the game carousel.  Here you can swipe to find games that Google has built into the app like Cricket, Pac-Man and Solitaire but also games that you have installed on your phone.  If you want to play any of these games, simply tap the Play button below them and off you go.

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Google Play Games Update Fully Enables Gamer IDs

Several months ago, Google outlined a change that was going to be happening for Google Play Games.  That change mostly circled around the removal of the Google+ account requirement for sign-in and the establishment of Gamer IDs, ala Microsoft Xbox.  The update to the Play Games app for Android that supports this change is now rolling out in the Play Store, giving users the opportunity to setup their Gamer ID and take advantage of the automatic sign-in process for games.

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Google Play Games Gamer ID Starts Rolling Out

Last month I posted about a change that is coming to Google Play Games around Gamer IDs and the deprecation of the Google+ linking requirement.  That change is starting to roll out now via some back end changes in the service along with an updated app for Android.   To this point, if you played a game on your Android device and signed into the service, it required you to have a Google+ ID to do so.  It created a multi-step process for users and is a bit of a hold over from when Google tried to push everyone and everything through Google+.  At some point this year, Google is going to eliminate this requirement and gamers will be able to sign in one time per account and any new games they start playing, they will be automatically signed into the service.

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Google Play Games Dropping Google+ Requirement

Over the weekend on the Android Developers Blog, Google announced a significant change is coming this year to Google Play Games.  To this point, if you played a game on your Android device and signed into the service, it required you to have a Google+ ID to do so.  It created a multi-step process for users and is a bit of a hold over from when Google tried to push everyone and everything through Google+.  At some point this year, Google is going to eliminate this requirement and gamers will be able to sign in one time per account and any new games they start playing, they will be automatically signed into the service.

We’re taking steps to reduce sign-in friction and unnecessary permission requests for players by moving the Games APIs to a new model. The new interaction is:

  • Players are prompted to sign-in once per account, rather than once per game

  • Players no longer need their account upgraded to Google+ to use Play Games services

  • Once players have signed-in for the first time, they will no longer need to sign in to any future games; they will be automatically signed in

  • Note: Players can turn off auto-sign-in through the Play Games App’s settings

It is certainly going to make it much easier for players to sign into the service, especially on new games where they can just get to playing immediately without having to go through the whole sign in process repeatedly.

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