Google Play Games is great and all, but where’s the hub app?


Leading up to Google IO, we learned about Google Play Games. Most described it as the “Game Center for Android,” which it sort of is. It enables friends-based leaderboards, achievements, multiplayer and more in any game that implements the new service. Well, once Google actually unveiled the service it seemed to be missing one key thing: where’s the hub?

Where’s the app I can use to keep track of all my achievements and compare them to that of my friends’? Where can I view the leaderboards for every game I’ve played, and compare my ranking to both my own friends and those around the world? Why can’t I “nudge” one of my friends to play an online game without having to go into the app to orchestrate that connection?


As it stands, if I want to view anything regarding my Google Play Games history I have to go into a Google Play Games game, and I’m only shown information about that specific game. It works, but it’s cumbersome when all I’m trying to do is check out my progress.

The service requires Google+ and supports sharing via the social network, so why not have a link to this on people’s Google+ profile page?  The old games tab is being decommissioned next month anyway, so why not re-purpose that for the web-based portal Google Play Games deserves?

Of course, Google could be working on a companion app for the service as I type. Unfortunately my attempts to get this particular question answered have been futile, but I’m willing to give Google the benefit of the doubt and just assume that means they’re working on something like this and aren’t interested in spilling the beans at this time.

Android is a great platform and Google does a great job innovating, but it’s time to start bringing things around full circle from the get-go. Almost every casual Android user I know hasn’t heard of Google Play Games, and even with the new features in some of their favorite games they didn’t realize what the driving force behind those features were.

It’s time to change that, Google — put it in their faces, and let them know that Google Play Games is the definitive experience for social gaming. Pull an Apple, for once, and shove it down everyone’s throats, because that’s the only way this is going to take off just as fast as Android did. Do you wish Google Play Games had its own dedicated app?

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. I was actually expecting Google to release its own Google Games app. It makes sense to have one, and I don’t see why Google wouldn’t make one.

    1. me 2! but hopefully we’ll get all the juicy details of how to see all the achievements of every game we have played so far!

  2. More important is a gaming console with Google TV (+dvbt tuner of course)
    We just want to watch usual tv + now and then just to buy a movie

    We don’t want to plan every show….. Just watch TV and play!
    And it’s enough for homes!

    Don’t make it complicated or diversified, please, just ONE unit :-)

  3. Exactly what I was thinking Quentyn Kennemer, the fact that we sign in to Google+ and there is no such thing as a centralized game achievements where we can see all the games we play and use all this services(leaderboard, achievements) is something we will be expecting soon.

  4. I already expected Google+ games to become the hub when the current version is taken down.
    Hope I am right….then again I hardly play games that much….and most people I know either don’t play games…..own an iOS device (hopefully that won;t be a restriction soon) or a BB/WP device or an older android phone not capable of handling the cooler games.

  5. Did you read this? Ron hinted of a possible games client to launch with all the extras bundled into the google play services.

  6. just put this on G+ app

    1. Wouldn’t be a bad idea actually

    2. That should help G+ adoption, which is a service I’m starting to learn to like.

  7. Google play isn’t the only thing. Google now has lack of handsfree interaction for responses and follow up, lockscreen and notifications can have better customization. Hangouts app is cool, yes, they are adding Google voice, but how about a true unified inbox with all that including phone calls, mms, social networks, email, and etc. So many other Google services that people don’t know about simply due to to many separate apps versus fewer apps with better efficiency and integration.

    1. How would that work with emails in there as well? How does unified inbox work? Are you saying all the threads would be a mix between emails, sms, messages? Like I’m just scrolling down and see all that?

      I sure hope not. That sounds horrible and cluttered. I’ll like my emails separate, thank you.

  8. I didn’t even know Google Play Games went live.

  9. Right now I’m using HeyZap. Is that what Google Play Games is supposed to be like?

  10. There’s very few games that use the Games Services at the moment, so a releasing an app at this time would give a poor user experience. There’s a reason they made the announcement at I/O to an audience of developers, they want people to actually start integrating the service into their games before releasing a consumer-focused app.

  11. They just announced it to developers. Catch your breath and give Google and the developers a chance to actually mature the platform a little before trying to have it shoved down anyone’s throat.

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