As often as Google updates apps and improves their own products and services for users, they also look to make things better for developers. Just one of the ways they do this is with Google Play Services, a framework which has essentially become the backbone for many app functions throughout the Android operating system. The latest version of Play Services is version 8.3, and as Google prepares to push the needed tools out for developers to make use of them, Google has detailed what the changes are that developers can look forward to in this newest release, from iconography tweaks to social aspects.
Google states that a major focus for this version of Play Services has to do with identity, and the biggest part of that will be the switch up Google has made to the sign in button and process. What will be the most noticeable up front is the way the sign-in button now looks, as it appears with Google’s updated branding and logo. In regards to the process, it no longer requires users to first hit a sign-in button and then proceed to follow through with multiple steps like picking a profile and then accepting permissions. This is due to the fact that Google Play Services 8.3 no longer needs device permissions from the user to sign-in to the account, which is an obvious preparation for Android 6.0 Marshmallow and the new way permissions are handled in that version of the Android OS.
In addition to the changes listed above, Google has also improved the way that the Fused Location Provider works as developers now have an additional API to return cleared batch locations. Google has also made updates to the App Invites API and the Play Games Services API, making coding of the app invites process much easier, while the Play Games Services API update can now alert developers if players are close to churning or otherwise discontinuing their use of the app. In this event developers can now use this alert to offer promotions and other rewards to a player who might be thinking of leaving in an attempt to keep that player interested. If you’re a developer, you can check out all of the details in the official Dev Bytes video below about latest Google Play Services update.