The annual Game Developers Conference descends on San Francisco this week, and Google's wasting no time in sharing its news. For gamers, Mountain View's said it'll be launching a "game gifts" service for sending in-game swag to other players, and increasing the number of game categories in the Play store to 18 in the hope you'll stumble upon titles you might like easier. More important, however, is what devs can do with the new features of Google Play game services, a back-end tool for managing leaderboards, achievements and more in Android, iOS or web games. Multiplayer support has been added for iOS games, and via an update to the Unity plug-in, cross-platform multiplayer between Android and iOS devices is now possible. These features have to be implemented by developers, of course, but next time you see that friend who's always arguing the merits of one mobile OS over another, you might just be able to settle the discussion in-game instead.

Update: A new version of Google Play services is rolling out to support the new features. Version 4.3 supports the new gifts feature, as well as tie-ins to Google's recently updated Drive API for storage.

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Google helps devs create cross-platform Android and iOS multiplayer games