Google has just posted on their blog that Google Play Services version 6.5 will be rolling out to the public very soon. The update to Google Play Services will bring with it new features to Google Maps, Google Drive, Google Wallet, and last but not least, the Google Fit API. These new goodies are focused on giving developers more control of the little details in the Google Play services that their apps rely on. So, let’s jump straight to talking about all of these new goodies!
Let’s start off with the app where the most additions have been added, Google Maps. The Google Maps API now offers a ‘map toolbar’ which developers can add into their apps and allow users to click and get instant turn-by-turn directions to a specific location. There is also something new for developers in Google Maps called ‘lite mode’, this is essentially a bitmap image of a map that developers can add into their apps. Lite Mode will allow developers to easily create a sort-of list of locations with map thumbnails, a feature which can be quite useful.
Next up we have some additions to Google Drive. The big change here is the ability for developers to now create public and private custom file properties for Drive files, this lets developers deeper integrate Drive files into the apps they create. On top of this, there are now options to choose when files are uploaded and options to cancel pending uploads if desired. Also something worth noting is that the Google blog post claims that syncing files to Google Drive should now be more battery friendly, something that is always welcomed.
Now we are left with Google Wallet and Google Fit, two great Google apps that have just been made slightly better. With Google Wallet, we have a newly added ‘Donate with Google’ button that will live alongside the already-existing ‘Buy with Google’ button. As for Google Fit, this update makes it easier for developers to add activity segments, which makes it easier for apps to support pauses in workouts and multiple activity type workouts. These are all great additions and improvements that Google Play Services 6.5 brings and we are very glad to see them. This update to Google Play Services should start rolling out over the next couple of days so keep your eyes peeled for the update.