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Google Play Services for Android reaches version 5.0

Major release adds wearables and Android L
Thu Jul 03 2014, 16:47
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GOOGLE HAS ROLLED OUT a milestone release of its Google Play Services framework for Android devices.

Google Play Services 5.0, which includes APIs for all core and many third party apps, has a lot of new functionality, as well as support for the upcoming Android L mobile operating system and Android Wear for wearables.

The dynamic security component has been updated to reflect the post-Heartbleed changes to OpenSSL. Google recently announced its own fork of OpenSSL to be known as BoringSSL, which is likely to feature in future editions.

Game developers can take advantage of two new features to enhance their apps. For the first time, game data can be saved to the cloud, allowing end users to pick up from where they left off on different devices or after a hard reset.

Quests are a new type of time-based goal that uses triggers to update the game online, after reaching goals such as level completions and object collections offline. This is particularly significant in large scale roleplaying games, allowing them to reduce data use.

The App Indexing API makes it easier for developers to integrate the contents of their apps into Google's search, meaning that results can include data from within the app. This has previously only been available to select partners.

Minor tweaks mean that Google Cast now supports closed captioning for Chromecast, Drive can sort query results and create folders even while offline, and Wallet supports vouchers and loyalty cards that are automatically used when valid.

There are also updates to analytics and advertising APIs. Google Play Services is being rolled out silently now to certified Android devices, and full details and access for developers can be found in the Android SDK Manager. µ


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