Google today announced that a major update to Play Services is now rolled out, bumping it from version 4.4 to 5.0. Many of the details in this update were announced at Google I/O last week, but the company also broke everything down in blog post today, as well. The update began rolling out after I/O, but now is entirely rolled out to devices world-wide.
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First off, the Play Services update introduces a new set of APIs that improve the ability to have apps interact with Android wearables. These APIs offer a low-latancy, persistent data store that allows developers to easily sync information between their phone apps and wearable devices. Today’s update also provides a new API that allows apps to easily install a dynamic security provider. This will make it a lot easier for Google to deploy security fixes to apps and devices.
Next up, Play Services 5.0 introduces updates to the gaming abilities of Android. Quests are a new set of APIs that allow developers to implement time-based goals for players, and should they meet the goals, reward them with new content. Saved games is another new feature that allows developers to store a player’s game progress in the cloud and access it from their other devices. This means that you can pause a game on one device and resume where you left of on another.
The Google Case SDK was also enhanced with this update, adding the ability to include closed caption support for Chromecast casting. The Drive API was updated, as well, with the ability to sort query results, create folders offline, and select any mime type in the file picker by default. Finally, Play Services 5.0 introduces a new “Save to Wallet” button that allows users to save an offer into the Google Wallet app and view it later.
Google Play Services 5.0 should be rolled out to all devices already. You can read more about the update on Google’s official Android developer blog.
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