Google has changed the way the Android operating system handles permissions for game players so that it becomes a lot easier to sign players up for transactions.
The company (which is changing its formal name to Alphabet) said today it is changing permissions for Google Play games by altering the model for games applications programming interfaces. The company is addressing “friction,” a common complaint from developers about how it takes too many steps to sign players up and handle transactions.
Google also announced on Monday new features for its player analytics. With the improvements, developers will be able to use predictive analytics to engage players before they quit a game.
Apple has an advantage on this front because it has signed customers up for more than a decade to iTunes accounts. Those users have their own sign-ins and credit cards on file, so they can immediately start making in-app purchases in games. Google’s own direct history with users is shorter, and that’s why it has more friction.
Under the new model, players will be 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 for any future games. They will be automatically signed in. (If they wish, players can turn off auto-sign-in in the Play Games apps settings.)