Google has decided to launch the new Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 KitKat today at a quiet press event and alongside those announcements is also releasing Google Play Services 4.0. The update to the developer services platform includes the integration of Google Mobile Ads SDK, and also offers new features for Google+, Google Wallet Instant Buy APIs, and geofencing.
Google says the new Google Mobile Ads SDK lets those using AdMob to monetize their apps provide “seamless improvements” to users. For example, pushing bug fixes automatically. The new Play Services also include new Maps and Location features:
You can save power by requesting larger latency values for notifications alerting your app to users entering or exiting geofences, or request that entry alerts are sent only after a user stays within a geofence for a specified period of time. Setting generous dwell times helps to eliminate unwanted notifications when a user passes near a geofence or their location is seen to move across a boundary. The Maps API enhances map customization features, letting you specify marker opacity, fade-in effects, and visibility of 3D buildings. It’s also now possible to change ground overlay images.
WIth Google Play Services 4.0, Google is offering Google Wallet Instant Buy APIs to everyone with a simplified API. New Wallet Objects means “you can award loyalty points to a user’s saved rewards program ID for each applicable Google Wallet Instant Buy purchase.”
The the new Google Play services SDK is available to download now for developers to start developing with the new Android 4.4 APIs. You can learn more in Google’s blog post here.
Google also noted that it’s dropping support for Froyo in this release now that “over 97% of devices now running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) or newer platform versions.”
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