Last month, Google finally got round to releasing games for its new Google+ social network. At the time of this writing, there are currently only 16 games available to play, including Angry Birds (of course). While this may seem like a very small amount in comparison to sites such as Facebook, and not enough to impress reviewers, Google has now announced it will be steadily releasing a developer API.
An API (Application Protocol Interface) is a set of tools, protocols, and so forth, that companies such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ give to developers so they can create applications, be it games or something more useful, like the ability for Tweets to automatically appear as status update on Facebook as well.
However, the Google+ API is not yet a complete package: At present, it only allows developer to access read-only public posts--posts that are not restricted to certain circles only. This means that developers won't be able to make games that can pull all your circles' information or provide you with a decent client just yet. Google's Chris Chatbot is calling this a "first step", adding that Google would rather improve the platform over time than create a "vaccum".
What Google has annouced which may be of some interest to developers though, is the various client libraries it offers. You can program your apps in PHP, Java, Ruby, Python, and .NET, to name a few of the languages accepted. Trusted access data is handled by OAuth 2.
So, while it's a pretty slow start for Google+ and it's API release, considering it will have to play a lot of catchup to be a Facebook contender, expect in the near future more interesting games or useful apps cropping up. Find out more information on the initial release on Google+'s Blogspot, or visit the developer website. Personally, a Google+ desktop client would be a great reminder to actually login once in a while.
What applications would like to see in Google+ beyond the initial API?
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