Google Play services 8.1 now available for developers

Google just announced the rollout of Google Play services 8.1 for developers, introducing Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) permissions, app invites, ambient mode maps, the new Play Games Player Stats API, and more.

Among the more notable new features for developers in this release is support for the new permissions in Android Marshmallow, which we noted previously offer users precise control over app permissions on a case by case basis.

A new App Invites feature allows apps to integrate the ability for users to invite Google contacts from Android or iOS using email or SMS, while a new Play Games Player Stats API will let apps better customize the gameplay experience in relation to the player’s stats and actions.

Lastly, Google Play Services 8.1 brings the ambient mode for always-on apps on Android Wear to Google Maps and introduces Nearby Status Listener for Google Nearby allowing apps “to receive callbacks when an active Nearby publish or subscribe expires.”

The Google Play services 8.1 SDK is available now for developers.