With the latest version of Google Play services rolled out, the Android Developers blog is detailing what new features this update brings. Version 8.4 introduces an easier way for users to share their favorite apps, a more accurate way to determine location, and new APIs for fitness data.

In Location settings, users can choose whether they want a more accurate location or better battery life. The latter option forgoes GPS and just uses cellular networks and Wi-Fi to determine location. With this version of Play services, your phone can use more than one cell tower to better determine location. Additionally, location detection from Wi-Fi access points is also improved.

Developers have long been able to add App Invites to their applications that allow users to share an app with friends. In this update, developers can better customize the email. The example given is a cooking app that can now share the full recipe in addition to a link to the app.

An update to the fitness APIs allows third-party apps and Android Wear watchfaces to show a more accurate step counts. Developers can now also easily add text auto-complete to their apps with a few lines of code. Rounding up the rest of developer updates is background beacon scanning, support for more types of bar codes, map API improvements, and analytics to help game developers.

Developers and users can take advantages of the new features in Play services 8.4 now.

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Abner Li

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