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Rumor: Google prepping a "Game Center" for Android

May 11, 2012
android games

Apple’s iPhones are by far the most popular smartphones in the world and, while we could go on and on about how that success is based on all the wrong reasons, the fact of the matter is Apple’s iOS has a lot of things that Android just doesn’t.

One of these missing features is a certain connection between the native apps of an iPhone, a connection that has helped Apple build an identity of its own and create a more unitary and friendly ecosystem. I knew this for a while, you probably knew it, and Google seems to have finally found it out too. At least that’s what we can make of the fact that the search giant is reportedly developing a clone of iPhone’s Game Center, an app that consolidates all the gaming apps and leaderboards of a certain user.

The report is far from official and is only based on confidential sources for the time being, but then again, it comes from Business Insider, a website that we can usually trust for these kinds of “exclusive unconfirmed reports”.

According to BI’s sources, Google’s new software, which doesn’t have a name just yet, will include a social achievements system, giving people awards and trophies for doing certain things in games. Google’s game center will also include a leaderboard, that ranks players, as well as an easy to use and accessible friend finder.

These are all functions and features found on Apple’s Game Center, so you might wonder what could Google implement to infuse some originality in the app. Ask and you shall be answered – rumors state that the Android’s social gaming hub will feature some kind of Google+ integration.

I’m not usually a fan of copying others and calling it progress, but Google really needs to make some efforts in the gaming area and especially in social gaming. And if that means they have to clone something from Apple, I can live with that, as long as they are able to tweak things and add a couple of touches of originality.

According to Business Insider’s source, Google is planning to emulate Apple in other areas too. Google Play’s payment system is miles away from Apple’s App Store in terms of “smoothness” and Larry Page’s team seems to have finally acknowledged that. There’s no mention about the search giant’s precise plans for making up the handicap against Apple, but it’s still nice to hear that Google is acknowledging its weak points and working to improve.

Getting back to the Game Center-like native app that Android might feature soon, I would love to hear your opinions on the subject. Will Google manage to come with a better piece of software than Apple? Is it something Android really needs right now?