Google Play Services v4.4 Now Rolling Out

May 8, 2014 - Written By Alexander Maxham

Google has just started pushing out a new version of the Play Services framework, which is needed for a bunch of Google apps and services to run. Some of the new features, or APIs in this update to 4.4 include Google Maps Android API, Activity Recognition, Games Services Update, Mobile Ads, and Wallet Fragments.

As far as the Google Maps Android API goes, it’s basically there for Street View, we’ll let Google explain:

“You can now embed Street View imagery into an activity enabling your users to explore the world through panoramic 360-degree views. Programmatically control the zoom and orientation (tilt and bearing) of the Street View camera, and animate the camera movements over a given duration. Here is an example of what you can do with the API, where the user navigates forward one step”

For the activity Recognition API, Google has added a few more activity detectors, which are running and walking. So now your device will be able to tell whether you’re running, walking, driving or anything else. Which is great for apps that track your runs, or GPS that gives you turn by turn navigation. Now onto games, Google has added more collaboration and social engagement for games that utilize Google Play Games and it’s APIs. Then there’s the Wallet Fragments:

“For the Instant Buy API, we’ve now reduced the work involved to place a Buy With Google button in an app. The WalletFragment API introduced in this release makes it extremely easy to integrate Google Wallet Instant Buy with an existing app. Just configure these fragments and add them to your app.”

So there’s everything that’s new in Google Play Services 4.4. I’m sure we’ll see a tear down from Android Police soon showing us what else is new. But as for now that’s all we’ve got. We don’t have the APK just yet, but as soon as we do we’ll add it into the post.