Play-Services-4-4

Google announced today that it’s rolling out Google Play Services 4.4, the latest release of its suite of tools for Android developers. The update adds a number of notable new features that devs can integrate into their apps including Street View and “new features in Location, Games Services, Mobile Ads, and Wallet API.”

For location, Google is now letting developers detect when users are running or walking. Previously developers could only detect if users were in a vehicle, on a bike, or on foot. The big announcement, however, is the ability to embed Street View imagery from Maps:

You can now embed Street View imagery into an activity enabling your users to explore the world through panoramic 360-degree views. Programmatically control the zoom and orientation (tilt and bearing) of the Street View camera, and animate the camera movements over a given duration. Here is an example of what you can do with the API, where the user navigates forward one step… We’ve also added more features to the Indoor Maps feature of the API. You can turn the default floor picker off – useful if you want to build your own. You can also detect when a new building comes into focus, and find the currently-active building and floor. Great if you want to show custom markup for the active level, for example.

Play Services 4.4 also brings new APIs for in-app promo ads that Google says enable “users to purchase advertised items directly.”

Developers should see the new release rolling out worldwide soon. A full list of new features in the latest release is here.

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