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Teardown of Play Services v7.8 improves Smart Lock

July 20, 2015 - Written By Alexander Maxham

Google Play Services v7.8 started to roll out last week. As usual, the folks over at Android Police have taken the APK and torn it apart to see what other gems they can find inside there. And there are quite a few things inside, that you’ll be interested in. Smart Lock also gets some improvements in this update. There are some improvements coming to Trusted Places as well as on-body detection. One of the improvements is discovering trusted places. There’s a string in the APK that comes up when you unlock your device often at a certain location, and it’ll prompt you to add that as a trusted place. Now that’s pretty cool.

New Location Sharing is also present in this version of Google Play Services. In short, it’s going to be similar to what Google+ offers for location sharing, but without the Google+ aspect. In this new version of Google Play Services, you will be able to temporarily share your location with others. And have it expire after a certain amount of time. Almost like Snapchat for location.

The third major feature shown in this APK is for Android Auto. It appears that you’ll be able to set your phone to never connect to Android Auto in a particular car. Of course, you’ll still be able to connect it to your own car, but not when you hop in your friends car to drive to the movies or to dinner, and you plug in your phone to get some juice. It’s not a huge change, and probably more of a first world problem than anything really. But Android Auto is changing, little by little.

So there’s not a lot of huge changes coming soon to Google Play Services, at least that we can tell from the code in the current version of the APK. But there are some smaller things that are getting better, like Smart Lock, Android Auto and Location Sharing. Smart Lock is definitely something that everyone should be using, as it makes it easier to secure your device without the hassle of having to input your pin or code every time you use your phone.