Will Verduzco · Jun 25, 2014 at 06:30 pm

Google Play Services 5 Brings Wearable Support, Play Games Improvements, and More!

Google talked about plenty of its popular products and services at the I/O 2014 opening keynote earlier today. Most notably, we caught a few first glimpses of Android L, its revamped UI, and its new permissions system. However, the platform’s progress isn’t limited to those with devices set to run the Android L developer preview. Rather, Google Play Services brings many key APIs and software advancements to users, regardless of target device platform version.

Today, Google has begun rolling out Google Play Services 5, which brings several key enhancements such as Android Wear support and improvements to Google Play Games such as Quests, Saved Games, and Game Profile. Play Services 5 also brings a new App Indexing API that allows you to find deep content within your native apps using Google Search, and the Drive API now allows you to sort results, create offline folders, and select any file type. According to the official announcement:

  • Services for Android wearables — Your apps can more easily communicate and sync with code running on Android wearables through an automatically synchronized, persistent data store and a reliable messaging interface.
  • Play Games services — Build a great gaming experience with Quests, which allow event-based challenges for players to complete for rewards, Saved Games (a snapshot API allow synchronization of game data along with a cover-image and description), and Game Profile (providing experience points for players).
  • App Indexing API — Surface deep content in your native mobile applications on Google search and drive additional user engagement.
  • Google Cast — Use media tracks to enable closed-caption support for Chromecast.
  • Drive — Sort query results, create offline folders, and select any mime type in the file picker by default.
  • Wallet — Build a “Save to Wallet” button for offers directly into your app; use geo-fenced in-store notifications to prompt the user to show and scan digital cards. Split tender allows payment to be split between Wallet Balance and a credit/debit card in Google Wallet.
  • Analytics — Get insights into the full user journey and understand how different user acquisition campaigns are performing with Enhanced Ecommerce, letting you measure product impressions, product clicks, and more.
  • Mobile Ads — Use improved in-app purchase ads and integrations for the Play store in-app purchase API client.
  • Dynamic Security Provider — Offers an alternative to the platform’s secure networking APIs that can be updated more frequently, for faster delivery of security patches.

The rollout is scheduled to begin today and continue over the course of the next few days. Head over to the Android Developers Blog to learn more. And as always, we’ll be sure to share the APKs as soon as they’re available.


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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. View willverduzco's posts and articles here.
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