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Google looks to replicate iOS Game Center, app purchasing

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
In an attempt to bolster Android's presence in mobile gaming Google is reportedly developing an app that is similar to Apple's Game Center, and is looking to revamp its Google Play payment system to streamline purchases.

An unnamed source familiar with Google's plans told Business Insider that the company is preparing a native Android app that will feature functionality similar to Apple's iOS-only Game Center which connects players across the vast sea of games available through the iOS App Store.

Google apparently recognizes the importance of mobile gaming and is looking to offer developers an in-house alternative to third-party services like OpenFeint, which itself is used by many iOS game makers.

"They are starting to really understand all of the needs and wants to make a game really successful," an industry insider said. "As recently as even a year ago, that really wasn't part of their institutional DNA, But I think they're getting there."

Just as Game Center makes single-player games more social by incentivizing play time with awards, so will the yet-to-be-announced Google app, which will bring a social element to Android gaming by adding an achievement system complete with trophies and online leaderboards.

The app is also said to include an option to compete against friends, though it is unclear how matchmaking will work. One option would be an opt-in or search service with in-game friending tools, similar to existing offerings, though the company is more likely to leverage its Google+ social network.

Game Center
Google is reportedly developing an app similar to Apple's Game Center. | Source: Apple


Another project supposedly in development is the streamlining of Google's rebranded Android Market, Google Play. The company is reportedly working on fixing the payment system to make it as seamless as the iOS App Store. Google Play lacks the lineage of Apple's iTunes-based system, which has been the industry standard for mobile app shopping since it launched in 2008 alongside the iPhone 3G. The source did not go into specifics as to what changes were being made to Google Play or when these changes would be implemented.

As apps have grown to become one of the most important features of modern smart-devices, so has their profitability. Apple currently leads the market in app revenue with a sales model that, under normalized conditions, brings in more money than the competition. For example, Apple takes in 11 percent more profit when it sells an app that is also available through Amazon's Android store, and the number balloons to 77 percent when compared to Google Play.

Google Play


Fixing Google Play's payment system and adding a Game Center-like app may be value added for Android owners, but it may not be enough to overcome what current data suggests could be an overall lack of app usage when compared to iOS devices.

A recent study highlighted the issue when it found that 80 percent of Google's mobile revenue was generated from iOS while Android brought in the remaining 20 percent. A separate study found Apple's mobile OS dominating the market in online browsing despite Android's lead in smartphone marketshare.

Google has not officially announced any information regarding the alleged app and remains mum on whether it will change Google Play's payment system.
post #2 of 27

Google copying Apple? Well I'm shocked.

post #3 of 27

This comes COMPLETELY out of left field!

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #4 of 27

Google should produce their own tablet computer and call it PlayBook.

post #5 of 27

Google should stick to search or copying apple.

post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcasey View Post
Google should stick to search or copying apple.


Google should stick to self-driving cars and drop everything else.

 

They don't have the merest inkling of how much money is in that.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #7 of 27
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Originally Posted by nkingman View Post

Google copying Apple? Well I'm shocked.

Just got a notification on my iPad with iOS 5.0....

 

just sayin.

post #8 of 27

Gamecenter needs to be so much more.  It would be an excellent way to store saved game data.  Want to delete a game off your phone and pick it up 4 weeks later?  Gamecenter would restore your progress.

post #9 of 27
One idea vs hundreds is not equivilence.
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post

Just got a notification on my iPad with iOS 5.0....

 

just sayin.

 

Apple's had notification services for years in iOS. The `look' that they followed from Android is all but they both copied Palm.

post #11 of 27

Once again the "more advanced" Android seems to be playing catch up with iOS.

 

If all these Android handsets are so much better why do they persisting in innovating new copying features that iPhone's have had for years?

 

Funny how you never hear about things like this when certain people are touting how "primitive" iPhones are.

Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

Once again the "more advanced" Android seems to be playing catch up with iOS.

 

If all these Android handsets are so much better why do they persisting in innovating new copying features that iPhone's have had for years?

 

Funny how you never hear about things like this when certain people are touting how "primitive" iPhones are.

An app is not a feature..

post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

 

Apple's had notification services for years in iOS. The `look' that they followed from Android is all but they both copied Palm.

Palm had Android style notifications before Android?

 

News to me...I'm assuming you mean WebOS right? Which debuted after Android did?

post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkingman View Post

Google copying Apple? Well I'm shocked.

Google copying Apple who copied Microsoft.

 

Now that is shocking! :)

post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Gamecenter needs to be so much more.  It would be an excellent way to store saved game data.  Want to delete a game off your phone and pick it up 4 weeks later?  Gamecenter would restore your progress.

That would be great.  I would really appreciate that, especially with the limited space we have on iOS devices.

..... the greatest fame comes from adding to human knowledge, not winning battles.
Paraphrased from Napolean Bonaparte, 1798
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..... the greatest fame comes from adding to human knowledge, not winning battles.
Paraphrased from Napolean Bonaparte, 1798
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post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Gamecenter needs to be so much more.  It would be an excellent way to store saved game data.  Want to delete a game off your phone and pick it up 4 weeks later?  Gamecenter would restore your progress.

 

This worked before since long. You could delete an app without the apps data getting deleted. It wasnt untill reasently that apple decided that once you delete an app all its data is also gone.Im not shure if the change came with 5.0 or 4.3, probably 4.3.

post #17 of 27

I always found Game Centre to be pretty half baked, not so much a poor man's Xbox Live, as a penniless man's Xbox Live.  Even super basic stuff such as notifications when friends come online or cross game chat are missing.

 

Google might do better to go back to the source, and look to Xbox, PSN, and Steam to see how an online gaming network can work.

post #18 of 27

Google, start your photocopiers.

post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

I always found Game Centre to be pretty half baked, not so much a poor man's Xbox Live, as a penniless man's Xbox Live.  Even super basic stuff such as notifications when friends come online or cross game chat are missing.

 

Google might do better to go back to the source, and look to Xbox, PSN, and Steam to see how an online gaming network can work.

You're right in a way, but those particular features don't sit particularly well in Games Centre.

 

When does a friend come online?  Their phone will be online all the time.  It could show what game they're currently playing, but since that could be a quick game of Draw Something in a five minute work break it might not be appropriate.  iPhone gaming is pretty different to console gaming.  iPod Touch and iPad perhaps a little less so, but still pretty different.

 

Cross game chat isn't necessary, we already have iMessage.

 

Note how your gaming networks are all console or PC-based.  Mobile gaming communities will need to be different in order to be useful while not being intrusive.  Don't get me wrong, I don't think Apple have nailed it with Games Centre, not by a long shot, but I don't think it's to do with missing features, it's to do with how a mobile gaming community will work.  They have the basics in place, which is good (though the felt interface isn't), now they can start to expand the scope where it's needed.

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post #20 of 27

This "industry insider" doesn't know what the hell he is talking about.  It's 2012 for Christ sakes and they are just becoming to think about this?   Which means they are a year away from launching anything.  And, like Google Music, it will be hyped and then will have extremely low usage.  Please.  This is a non-starter   

 

Google makes 5% on app purchases compared to Apple's 30%.  There is simply not the incentive to invest and make this great.  Like all of Google Play efforts 

 

And, regarding iOS accounting for 80% of Google's mobile revenues...  My  expectation is that Apple, in its own time and way, is going to methodically squeeze and push Google off the iOS platform.  They are going to make them pay in a big way for all the sh** they've pulled  

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Windows survivor - after a long, epic and painful struggle. Very long AAPL

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post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post
An app is not a feature..

 

You bet your biscuits it is. How could you possibly think otherwise? Comes with the OS. Therefore it's a feature OF said OS.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkingman View Post

Google copying Apple? Well I'm shocked.

 

What's perhaps as amusing is the implication that Google is going to improve the system by adding multiplayer functions etc but those are in Game Center for developers to use. it's not just keeping scores and those lame 'achievements'. Fruit Ninja is a classic example of real time multiplayer being done via GC. What is lame is that games don't use those options and make us split up across various systems. And when they do include GC they don't always give it the same functions. I remember getting Pocket Frogs cause a friend was raving about it. It had GC for tracking score stuff but if I wanted to trade frogs and such I had to sign up for their other network. No thanks. Double if that network uses Facebook for signing in. Every network that does that wants to get into all my info and I don't want a  'girls around me' stunt going on. I know developers would hate it but I wish that Apple had put in a rule that if you use something else you have to also put in GC with the exact same functionality so folks can choose which they want to use without penalty. 

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #23 of 27

Well let's all take the time to wave goodbye to Game Boy and PSP's.  With everyone already carrying phones in their pockets, it's continually evident that their day are numbered when mobiles get up to speed on gaming.

post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Papal Insider View Post
Well let's all take the time to wave goodbye to Game Boy and PSP's.  With everyone already carrying phones in their pockets, it's continually evident that their day are numbered when mobiles get up to speed on gaming.

 

Phones don't have squat on dedicated handhelds. And, particularly in the case of Nintendo, "It's the software, stupid." They've the best franchises in the industry.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply
post #25 of 27

It's not very good journalism on Business Insider's part, the headline: "

GOOGLE AIN'T PLAYING: Will Clone A Key iPhone Feature

Is pretty telling of how they feel on the subject.  CLONE has a lot of implications that I'm doubtful are true.

post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Phones don't have squat on dedicated handhelds. And, particularly in the case of Nintendo, "It's the software, stupid." They've the best franchises in the industry.


Sure, for now, I think the majority of games on mobiles are weak.  But the market is growing rapidly, and more serious "real" games are being developed and released on the platforms.  I loved my game boy when I was younger but carrying a device dedicated to gaming just doesn't make sense for me.

post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

Google copying Apple who copied Microsoft.

 

Now that is shocking! :)

I thought the same thing.

 

Are we pretending that Game Center wasn't at least inspired by Xbox Live?

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