The updated to Android L might be several months off, but the good news is that several notable changes our heading our way sooner rather than later, with the arrival of Google Play services 5.0.
One of the most crucial changes for Play services 5.0 is the new services for Android wearables, which allow you to “easily communicate and sync with code running on Android wearables”. While this change doesn’t have immediate affect for Android fans, it opens up the door for upcoming wearables — which can be ordered starting today.
Equally important is the new extended Play Games features, which bring a new Game Profile feature for features and for leaderboard use. There’s also the addition of Quests and Saved Games, with the former allowing time-based goals to be added into games without having to update the app each time to do it, and the later simply bringing unified cloud save games that follow you on all your devices.
Here’s a complete list of features added into Play Services 5.0:
- Services for Android wearables — Your apps can more easily communicate and sync with code running on Android wearables through an automatically synchronized, persistent data store and a reliable messaging interface.
- Play Games services — Build a great gaming experience with Quests, which allow event-based challenges for players to complete for rewards, Saved Games (a snapshot API allow synchronization of game data along with a cover-image and description), and Game Profile (providing experience points for players).
- App Indexing API — Surface deep content in your native mobile applications on Google search and drive additional user engagement.
- Google Cast — Use media tracks to enable closed-caption support for Chromecast.
- Drive — Sort query results, create offline folders, and select any mime type in the file picker by default.
- Wallet — Build a “Save to Wallet” button for offers directly into your app; use geo-fenced in-store notifications to prompt the user to show and scan digital cards. Split tender allows payment to be split between Wallet Balance and a credit/debit card in Google Wallet.
- Analytics — Get insights into the full user journey and understand how different user acquisition campaigns are performing with Enhanced Ecommerce, letting you measure product impressions, product clicks, and more.
- Mobile Ads — Use improved in-app purchase ads and integrations for the Play store in-app purchase API client.
- Dynamic Security Provider — Offers an alternative to the platform’s secure networking APIs that can be updated more frequently, for faster delivery of security patches.
- We expect the rollout of Google Play services 5.0 to take several days, after which time you’ll be able to get started developing with these new APIs.
As always, the update will be rolled out in stages, so don’t be surprised if it takes at least a few days to reach you.