In addition to Android operating system proper, Google is focusing hard on giving the developers new tools to make their projects better and to fight against the growing problem of Android version fragmentation. Over the next few days, Google will be releasing an update to Google Play Services 6.1, which brings many new API enhancements to the platform independent of main Android version.
The Google Play Services 6.1 update isn’t quite as big as some would expect. Google has added Enhanced Ecommerce analytics support from Google Tag Manager and improved the Google Drive Android API. The new release also puts a great emphasis on the new Google Fit.
So far the biggest update for analytics was introduced in Play Services version 5.0. The goal was to help the developers understand how different user acquisition campaigns are performing at a granular level. The new update adds a few components like the ability to update and manage tags on mobile apps more easily. This is aimed to give developers (and Google) the best tools to monetize their apps. With the updated Google Drive API, Google allows developers to see when actions are committed to the server and improve the response time to conflicts.
The new version of Google Play Services should start to roll out in the next few days, and we’ll be sure to share the APK once it’s available. Some Material design elements have been also incorporated into the File Picker UI. With the new update, some new methods have also been added. You can learn more from the Google’s official blog entry.
September 2, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Xposed Modules are usually pretty simple. There are a few out there where a Smali edit or a change in build.prop would produce the same result. However, sometimes you just don’t have the time or desire to dig through mountains of build.prop fields to find what you are looking for. But that’s alright, Xposed Module creators have found and shared their tweaks for us.
In this episode of XDA Xposed Tuesday, XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviews an Xposed Module that lets you change the duration between wake locks for one of Google’s location services. XDA Senior Member cryptyk created the NLPUnBounce module. TK shows off the modules and gives his thoughts, so check out this Xposed Tuesday video.
June 25, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
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.
March 17, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
For some time now, Google has been combating Android fragmentation by delivering key developer services and frameworks independently of Android OS versions through Google Play Services. And over the past year and a half, we’ve seen several key updates roll out, which have enabled developers to target a wider range of Android devices. Now with Play Services 4.3, Google has incorporated a few additional developer APIs and updated some of their existing services.
January 9, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Google is in a seemingly never-ending battle against Android platform fragmentation. They’ve approached this problem in many ways, such as KitKat’s focus on lower end devices and the decentralized update process for key developer APIs through Google Play Services.
Now, Google has begun rolling out an update for its Play Services to version 4.1. This comes just a little over two months after the release of Play Services 4.0. Today’s update brings a few new features that may be of importance if you’re an app or game developer.
The biggest addition is that Play Games now supports turn-based multiplayer. This allows game devs to use Play Services for asynchronous multiplayer support for up to 8 players. This allows players to take turns, with each round’s data uploaded to Play Services and shared with the other players automatically.
There’s also a developer preview of the new Google Drive API, which allows app developers to more easily read and write to files on Google Drive. There is also offline support, whereby the changes are synced with Google Drive when Internet connectivity is reestablished.
The update also brings improved support for mobile ads with DoubleClick for Publishers, DoubleClick Ad Exchange, and Search Ads for Mobile Apps. Furthermore, you can now provide Google with your users’ locations to deliver location-based ads for improved monetization. Finally, the update makes for a better Google+ sharing experience, as it allows for a better auto-complete with suggested recipients from Gmail contacts, on-device contacts, and Google+ contacts.
Are you an app developer currently using Google Play Services? Has this decentralization helped your fragmentation struggles? Are you excited about these new changes? Let us know in the comments below!
[Source: Android Developers Blog]