+ Wednesday June 26th, 2019


Google announced a number of enhancements to Google Play Services at their 2013 I/O keynote today. These new features will roll out to all Android devices running Froyo and above, today.

Location APIs

Play Services is rolling out three new location-specific APIs today.

Fused Location Allows the use of whatever available sensors to get the best location, including mobile location, wifi positioning and GPS sensors. Hopefully, it’ll also give you a better location fix when you’re trying to hack that portal in Ingress. It also introduces a new background location service that uses 1% battery life per hour.

Geofencing will allow applications find out when you go to specific locations or areas and perform actions. This is a much-requested feature, and should make developers’ lives easier.

Activity Recognition allows your device to recognise what you’re actually doing – eg, running, cycling, driving. It doesn’t need to turn on the GPS, and will use your device’s accelerometer. (Given the current US focus on texting-while-driving we might find better support for rejecting incoming calls or silencing notifications automatically while driving in a future Android release)

Google Cloud Messaging

Google’s version of Apple’s “push notification” service is currently delivering 200,000 messagers per second – if it takes a few seconds to get your notifications this is probably why 😉

Cloud Messaging is getting an upgrade today to allow your device to send messages back upstream, providing apps a new way to send communications to servers.

It’s also adding Notification Sync, so dismissing a notification on one device will cause it to go away on others. No more

Google Play Games

As reported several times now, Google is rolling out a set of new services to support gaming. The gaming services didn’t get a lot of airtime in the keynote – there’ll be other sessions to go into this in more detail, but the previous leaks have been proven to be accurate.

The new services are not just limited to Android – they’re iOS and Web compatible too to enable cross-platform gaming.

Jason Murray   Assistant Editor

Jason Murray

Before discovering the Nexus One, Jason thought he didn't need a smartphone. Now he can't bear to be without his Android phone. Jason hails from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane depending on his mood and how detailed a history you'd like. A web developer by day with an interest in consumer gadgets and electronics, he also enjoys reading comics and has a worryingly large collection of Transformers figures. He'd like to think he's a gamer, but his Wii has been in a box since he moved to Sydney, and his PlayStation Vita collection is quite lacking. Most mornings you'll find him tilting at various windmills on Twitter - follow @JM77 and say hi!

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