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New Google Play Services Update Receive Better Google Maps and Photo Sphere Viewer APIs

December 3, 2012 - Written By Christina Gardner

One word, APIs. What is an API? API is an acronym that stands for Application Programming Interface. What does an API do? It is a specification that allows the software components (on your mobile devices) and interface to communicate with each other.

Now that we got the understanding of APIs out-of-the-way, Google has updated their Google Play Services to now include “vector-based embeddable Google Maps view.” What does this mean? Have you ever had an application you were using portray a map to click on and it brings you to an irritating map through the browser instead of just using the Google Maps? It’s definitely happened to me once or twice, and I would instead just close the browser and open it back up in Google Maps where it works appropriately.  This latest update will make it so there is no more browser visit to maps, but instead opens up the actual Google Maps. Pretty nice hey?

What does this new update for Google Maps include? It will introduce the following features:

  • 3D Buildings
  • Tilt and Rotate
  • Layers

There is even more I’m sure! Most applications will be rolling out the new API feature into their apps. One specific application is Trulia, which will be rolling out the feature tomorrow. The API update will work on android API application level 8 or higher.

Next we have Photo Sphere, which will now have an API update as well. What will this update do for developers? It “should” allow Photo Sphere to be accessed from almost every application. This isn’t guaranteed as of yet, but this is the hope. Unfortunately, the API is very limited. It would be essentially the same idea as Google Maps, but with Photo Sphere instead.

There is little known right now about  Photo Sphere and its API and not much word from Google. So developers will have to do their best and continue to wait on Google to provide fixes should this not work.

In order to test these new API update features you will need the most recent Google Play Services application. This can be downloaded from App Brain for free >>Here<<

Does the most recent API development make anyone excited? Being directed to an application through a browser instead of just opening the perfectly good applications Google has provided us with is a bit strange at times. I hope this update works out the way it was intended to.

Sources: Android Police