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Google Glass App Reveals Upcoming Gaming Platform

Android Police recently tore apart the MyGlass "companion" APK that comes packed on the Google Glass specs, and discovered a few Easter eggs that confirms previous reports of Google setting up a gaming service. The site believes the Glass team accidently shipped the full suite of Google Play services with the new companion app rather than just the components the app needs.

As explained in the report, Android apps pull from a shared pool of Google-powered components, aka Google Mobile/Play Services (or GMS), in order to work. It handles account credentials, purchases, map tiles, Google+ integration and other Google-based services. Apps typically only ship with the components they need, not the entire GMS treasure chest.

But that's reportedly what has happened with MyGlass: it contains every GMS component instead of just the ones it relies on. This includes a backend for an "extensive multiplayer gaming service" located in a "games" folder. However that doesn't mean Google Glass will be multiplayer ready: the specs aren't capable of complex apps. Wallet, panorama, and app search don't have anything to do with Glass, but they're made available in the APK as well.

According to what's listed in the games folder, Google's upcoming service will feature real-time multiplayer, turn-based multiplayer, in-game chat, achievements, leaderboards, invitations and lobbies. Android Police didn't see any evidence of an actual name for the service, nor was there evidence of a user interface. The site speculates the design may be left up to the app developer, or could be included in a new version of the Google Play Service app.

News of a dedicated gaming platform surfaced early last year after the company consolidated a number of its primary services into Google Play. Punit Soni, group product manager for Google+, said during the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco that the company will do the same for gaming across its various platforms.

"By next year, we will not be here talking about Google+ Games, Chrome Web Store games, Games for Native Client and Android games," he said. "We will be talking about Google games."

That could mean Google plans to unify its web browser, social hub, and Android-based mobile platforms so that developers have a single, wider audience. Google may accomplish this feat by using HTML5, but Soni added other technologies will be integrated into the platform including Hangouts and Native Client.

"It was very clear games was one of the first things we would put up there on Google+," Soni said at the event. "Games bring people together. They are an important part of how users interact online. Game developers push boundaries, and games are fun. We realize that gaming is at an interesting point in its evolution and we have technology and platforms to push it to the next level."