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Google Play Services 7 Rollout has Begun

| by Sergio De Simone Follow 21 Followers on Mar 03, 2015. Estimated reading time: 2 minutes |

Google has announced the release of Google Play Services 7.0, which brings new APIs inside of Google Places, Google Play Games, Google Fit, and improvements to existing features.

Places API

Places is an API aimed to extract data from Google's database of places and business and thus provide the relevant information associated to a given location.

The new API provides a default UI but it also provides a getCurrentPlace() call which returns places directly around the user’s current location.

The Places API is not tied to Android and, according to Google's announcement, it will also be made available on iOS in a matter of days.

Play Games

Google Play Games is a service that provides real-time multiplayer gaming capabilities, cloud saves, social and public leaderboards, and achievements. New in Play Services 7 is a new Nearby Connections API, which allows to connect smartphones and tablets as second-screen controls to the game running on your TV. This means that the device will both act as a second-screen and as a remote control for TV playing.

Furthermore, players will have the possibility of inviting other players that are physically nearby to their multiplayer games.

Google Fit

Google Fit is a health-tracking platform which used to offer a single Fitness.API. Now, it has been replaced with a number of different APIs providing access to sensor data, recording, history and more. According to Google, the new Google Fit "significantly reduces the memory requirement for Google Fit enabled apps running in the background."

Additional features

The new Google Play Services 7 also provides:

  • better integration of Google Analytics into Google AdMob;
  • a simplified AppIndexing API, which lets Google index apps just like websites;
  • improved location settings dialog, which allows an app to check if the current location settings are the best possible, and in case they are not, to display a dialog allowing the user to quickly change them.

According to Google, Play Services 7 is already being rolled out to devices. The SDK and full documentation will be made available once the rollout is complete.

Google Play Services is a background service and API that has system-level privileges and is upgradeable. As InfoQ reported, "with this concept, it is possibly for Google to roll out new functionality within days after it was announced," without this requiring an update of the underlying Android version. Since Play Services are entirely under Google control and cannot be modified by any OEMs, it plays a key role in mitigating the software fragmentation problem.

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