Announced last August, the Mobile Vision API allows app developers to detect faces in images and video. The API was briefly removed, however, and today it makes a return as part of Google Play Services 9.2. A new Text API has also been added and will give developers access to optical character recognition.

The new Text API gives apps access to optical character recognition technology that can read Latin character text (English, Spanish, French, etc.) in photos and return the text in an organized structure. This allows apps to automate entering credit cards, receipts, and business cards, translate documents, and keep track of real objects, and the API can also organize photos that contain text and provide accessibility features.

Besides the new Text API, Android Mobile Vision also consists of a straightforward Barcode API as well as a Face API that can detect faces and tell what basic emotions a person is feeling. Other features include the ability to recognize facial landmarks and keep track of facial movement in a video.

Google Play Services 9.2 is now fully rolled out and fixes a download issue in version 9.0 that caused a service outage. Additionally, it also fully rolls out the Google Awareness API that lets developers build context-aware Android apps with minimal impact on system resources. Using seven types of context, apps can intelligently react to what users are doing.

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