Google announced a number of adjustments to its Play Games API that should cut down on sign-in difficulty and unnecessary permission requests. The tweaks come via an API model change that includes new interactions. Wolff Dobson, Google Developer Advocate, described the new interaction in a blog post announcement:
- Players are prompted to sign-in once per account, rather than once per game
- Players no longer need their account upgraded to Google+ to use Play Games services
- Once players have signed-in for the first time, they will no longer need to sign in to any future games; they will be automatically signed in
- Note: Players can turn off auto-sign-in through the Play Games App's settings.
What do the adjustments mean for users? For starters, gamers should see much fewer Google+ sign-in requests. Further, since Google+ is no longer required, users will no longer deal with unwanted permission requests (caveat: existing players will continue with the same Google+ player ID). Next, a single sign-in approach allows users to engage with future games without an additional sign-in; instead, users are automatically signed-in to the new game.
Decoupling the social networking flavor of Google+ from the Play Games Services should come as welcome news to many who have complained about privacy concerns associated with the required integration of Games and Google+. Google assures developers that in most scenarios, games will experience no interruption when the model changes. In a few circumstances (e.g. when a game asks for Google+ scope unnecessarily), users will experience issues if some changes are not preemptively made. For the avoidance of doubt, developers should check the blog post for potential problem scenarios and the solutions to such problems. Generally speaking, users should see no functionality change and enjoy a better sign-in experience.