Will Verduzco · May 7, 2014 at 11:30 pm

[Updated APKs] Google Play Services 4.4 Brings Street View API, Activity Recognition, Game Services Update, Wallet Fragments, and More

Update: Many thanks once again to XDA Portal Supporter MihirGosai, who has sent in the APKs for all the screen size variants of Google Play Services 4.4. They can be found at the bottom of this post.

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Today, we’ve seen a spattering of first-party Android application updates. We first were given a nice update to the Google Camera application, which restored the ability to take still snapshots while recording video. We then saw several minor application updates to Wallet, Search, YouTube, Docs, Sheets, and Cloud Print. Now capping off today’s Google Update Wednesday, we have an update to Google Play Services 4.4

For those who don’t remember, Play Services was originally conceived to abstract several key APIs away from any particular Android version. In doing this, Google severely limited the effects of OS fragmentation on application developers. This is of course made possible by the fact that Play Services both receives frequent updates and because it is updatable outside of OEM and carrier control.

Google Maps Street View API

First off in Play Services 4.4, we have a brand new API for Google Maps Street View. This will allow application developers to embed Street View imagery into any Android application activity. Doing so, your users will then be able to have the same in-app experience as what’s currently possible through Street View in Google Maps, including 360 degree panning, zooming, and so on.

Activity Recognition

Next up, we have Activity Recognition. No, this isn’t regarding Android application activities. Rather, a new feature in Google’s Location API is able to detect whether you are running or walking, given sensor data. This is in addition to the API’s previous ability to tell if you’re driving, biking, on foot, still, or actively tilting. This functionality can also be combined with the new Street View API for highly immersive mapping-based apps.

Game Services Update

You may recall that Google Play Services 4.3 brought Game Gift functionality. Today’s update changes the sending UI to allow users to select multiple game gift recipients for added collaboration and social engagement.

Wallet Fragments

Play Services 4.4 refines the preexisting Instant Buy API to reduce the amount of work involved in placing a “Buy With Google” buttin in your app. This is all thanks to the new WalletFragment API, which allows you to simply configure the provided fragments and add them to your app.

Mobile Ads

Finally, there’s a new set of APIs for app developers to display in-app promo ads. These new promo ads allow developers to target particular subsets of users, and only send the ads to users who may be interested in purchasing.

You can read up on everything Play Services 4.4 has to offer by heading over to the Android Developers Blog. The update will gradually (and invisibly) make it out to end user devices via the Google Play Store, and there’s no real incentive to getting in on it early. However, we know that quite a few will want to update before it officially makes its way to your device, so we’ve gone ahead and mirrored the APK for your sideloading pleasure:

[Many thanks once again to XDA Portal Supporter MihirGosai for the tip!]


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Will Verduzco

willverduzco is an editor on XDA-Developers, the largest community for Android users. Will Verduzco is the Portal Administrator for the XDA-Developers Portal. He has been addicted to mobile technology since the HTC Wizard. But starting with the Nexus One, his gadget love affair shifted to Google's little green robot. He is also a Johns Hopkins University graduate in neuroscience and is now currently studying to become a physician.
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