After the announcement of the Google Play Games updates this morning, the Android developers blog has updated to advise that Google Play Services version 4.3 is now rolling out to Android phones world-wide to bring those features announced this morning, further improvements to the Drive API as well as three new APIs – Google Analytics API, Tag Manager, and the Address API.

As described earlier today, the Google Play Games updates include the ability to send Gifts to friends attached to compatible Games, and the cross-platform gaming with iOS. The real cross-platform gaming will of course require some time to appear when developers begin adding it to their games, but after the update, you’ll be ready for it.

The Google Analytics API and Tag Manager are very developer focused services. The two have been standalone within Android for sometime but will be rolled into Play Services allowing developers to call them at will, but Google will be able to update them without having to wait for OS updates. The actual services are for Analytics to check on their Apps, and Tag Manager allows developers to ‘change characteristics of your app on-the-fly, for example colors, without having to push an update from Google Play’.

The Address API is pretty simple, it basically lets developers fill in forms by requesting access to addresses. It’s essentially the Auto-fill capacity you’re familiar with from Chrome browser, end result is – convenience for you the end user.

Google has been gradually introducing and improving their Drive API for a couple of versions now and this update is no different. The Play Services 4.3 update includes three important new features :

Pinning – You can now pin files that should be kept up to date locally, ensuring that it is available when the user is offline. This is great for users that need to use your app with limited or no connectivity
App Folders – An app often needs to create files which are not visible to the user, for example to store temporary files in a photo editor. This can now be done using App Folders, a feature is analogous to Application Data Folders in the Google Drive API
Change Notifications – You can now register a callback to receive notifications when a file or folder is changed. This mean you no longer need to query Drive continuously to check if the data has changed, just put a change notification on it

There’s nothing particularly ‘sexy’ about the Google Play Services 4.3 update, but it’s updates like these which include features and services that make developers work easier and adds function in the long run. The rollout has begun and it will reach your device soon, there are places to download it if you so wish.

Source: Android Developers.
Via: AndroidCentral.