Google looks to replicate iOS Game Center, app purchasing

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    nkingmannkingman Posts: 44member


    Google copying Apple? Well I'm shocked.

  • Reply 2 of 26
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    This comes COMPLETELY out of left field!

  • Reply 3 of 26
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,449member


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

  • Reply 4 of 26
    tcaseytcasey Posts: 199member


    Google should stick to search or copying apple.

  • Reply 5 of 26
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    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.

  • Reply 6 of 26
    absolutedesignzabsolutedesignz Posts: 1,930member

    Quote:

    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.

  • Reply 7 of 26
    ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member


    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.

  • Reply 8 of 26
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    One idea vs hundreds is not equivilence.
  • Reply 9 of 26
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,229member

    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.

  • Reply 10 of 26
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member


    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.

  • Reply 11 of 26

    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..

  • Reply 12 of 26

    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?

  • Reply 13 of 26
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nkingman View Post


    Google copying Apple? Well I'm shocked.



    Google copying Apple who copied Microsoft.


     


    Now that is shocking! :)

  • Reply 14 of 26
    lostkiwilostkiwi Posts: 587member

    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.

  • Reply 15 of 26
    habihabi Posts: 317member

    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.

  • Reply 16 of 26
    kotatsukotatsu Posts: 1,010member


    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.

  • Reply 17 of 26
    enjournienjourni Posts: 254member


    Google, start your photocopiers.

  • Reply 18 of 26
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,775member

    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.

  • Reply 19 of 26
    red oakred oak Posts: 640member


    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  

  • Reply 20 of 26
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    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.

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