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Google Play Games offering online multiplayer gaming for up to eight players

Google Play now includes multiplayer online gaming for the first time with an update allowing up to eight players the ability to play each other as well as a fix for the battery life bug that had been plaguing some devices.

The refresh, detailed in the Android Developers blog as Google Play Services 4.1, adds turn-based multiplayer online gaming for between two and eight players and also includes a developer preview of the new Google Drive API for Android.

Google Play Games multiplayer gaming works by uploading the user’s turn data to Play Services and sharing it with other players in the same game automatically.

The Google Drive API for Android developer preview lets it be integrated into apps and will allow files to be read and edited using Google Drive so they are available across a range of different devices and online.

When it comes to the battery, the new update “improves battery life for all users with Google Location Reporting enabled” and will be a welcome to relief for anyone that has seen battery life shrink in recent weeks.

The developer blog also mentions the update to Google+ sharing that includes being able to contact anyone with a Gmail address, which was first detailed last week and caused much talk in tech circles.

Lastly, Google Mobile Ads SDK has been given an upgrade and now has full support for DoubleClick for Publishers, DoubleClick Ad Exchange, and Search Ads for Mobile Apps.

Google Play, as a whole, has been growing at a fast rate over the past year and ended 2013 on a high as its took a 37 per cent share of revenue – up from 30 per cent as recently as June. Apple, meanwhile, saw its share drop from 70 per cent to 63 per cent over the same period.