Google has announced that it will implement several updates to its Google Play services and app this week, in an attempt to make the services more user-friendly to both developers and players.

“Last year was all about delivering the core platform experiences to help developers build up their own amazing game experiences for players to discover those games,” said Greg Hartrell, lead product manager for Google Play Games, speaking with Polygon last week. He believes that it was a “breakout year” for the company, with the “fastest-growing mobile gaming network in history.”

The services include being able to reward “game gifts” to players, a feature that many developers will take advantage of in order to improve engagement. They will also have access to “easy-effort game analytics” with data on how many daily active users utilize their apps, as well as leaderboard performance and other features.

iOS support will also be added for multiplayer gaming, including the ability to invite fellow players through the Play Games App. This will make it cross compatible with both Android devices and iOS-supported ones, including Achievements and Leaderboards support.

Finally, 18 new categories will be added, making it easier for gamers to find their favorite products. These include Arcade & Action, Racing, Sports Games and Brain & Puzzle. “We’ve never had a role-playing game category,” said Hartrell. “There isn’t a music game category. And if you’re into those types of games, you’re relegated to using search right now, or relying on it being recommended to you.”

Source: Polygon