Google Play update brings Google+ sign-in, expanded app install options
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is rolling out version 3.0 of its Google Play Services platform, highlighted by integration with its new Google+ application sign-in service.
Google+ Sign-In, introduced Tuesday, leverages the company's social media platform to enable consumers to connect their user profile with third-party apps written for the Android mobile operating system, Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) rival iOS or the Web. Signing in with Google+ credentials enables consumers to review app permissions before sharing information, content, achievements and calls to action like "listen," "RSVP" and "check-in." All activities are visible exclusively to the Google+ circles that users specify (if any), reducing social spam.
"When you share from an app that uses Google+ Sign-In, your friends will see a new kind of 'interactive' post in their Google+ stream," explains Google+ Director of Product Management Seth Sternberg. "Clicking will take them inside the app, where they can buy, listen to, or review (for instance) exactly what you shared."
With Google+ Sign-In integrated into Google Play Services, consumers may now install Android apps over-the-air directly from the developer's own Website. Partners including Shazam, Banjo, Flixster, TuneIn and OpenTable have already updated their respective sites to support the new Sign In with Google button. The new Google+ Platform Insights also allows developers to measure and monitor downloads, total users, interactive post performance and other metrics.
Google introduced Android app install links within Google+ timelines late last year. Users may recommend apps and games to their social networking contacts by pasting Google Play storefront URLs directly into their feed: Google+ automatically embeds an Install button, and clicking the button generates the app's Google Play page as well as a prompt asking the user to confirm installation and identify which Android device should download the app.
Google Play Services v3.0 additionally touts fixes for more than 20 bugs, targeting a series of Google Maps API issues like map rendering and the behavior of markers and infowindows. Also new: Native support for new map shapes including circles and anti-clockwise polygons.
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