Google has just pushed an update this week to their Google Play Services. We covered what the Google Play Services in our previous post. Here’s a quick run down: the Google Play Services are a layer of programming interfaces used by developers to integrate things like Google+ and other Google services with their application which Google recently sandboxed to address the fragmentation of Android.
The main features of this update is that developers will now be able to take advantage of Street View imagery with the update to the Google Maps API (Application Programing Interface). What this means is that developers can now take advantage of rich panoramic images available which Google has been collecting via their Street View Cars. This would be important for developers that would be developing apps for indoor maps of historical places such as the Lurve. Also, this would mean that potentially, apps like Waze can utilize this update to get better images of landmarks on their maps or even for marketers as they would be able to use this update to allow location based advertising of products and services.
Another update was to their Location API in which Google is able to track activities such as steps taken. If you use Google Now and My Tracks, you would have been taking advantage of this API when it gave you your distance walked every month. The accuracy of this API has been increased and is now able to detect whether you are walking, running, riding a bike or even driving. This comes on the laurels of the announcement of Android Wear which Google announced not too long ago and the Operating System which is to power the upcoming G Watch and Moto 360. This also marks a significant step towards health and wearables for Android and Google.
Other updates include an update to Google’s mobile ads API which allows for more targeted advertisements to appear in applications and also updates to the Google Wallet API to allow for easier in app purchases. As a follow up to their previous update, the also included the ability to send gifts via the Google Games API to multiple people.