Google Play Services 6.5 Update Is Finally Rolled Out To Devices


You may remember back in November we advised that Google Play Services had been updated to version 6.5. At the time, we even provided you with a download link so you could sideload the app for yourself instead of waiting for the OTA. Well, if you did sideload then that was probably a good thing as it seems the OTA has only begun rolling out today. For those, that missed the story the first time around, then this will be news for you. If that is the case then you will want to know what you are getting.

As mentioned, Google Play Services has been updated to v6.5 and if you did not install the sideloaded version then you should be receiving the OTA anytime now. If you haven't already of course. In terms of what it includes, there are updates to Google Maps, Google Drive, Google Wallet and Google Fit. The biggest update out of these is for Maps. More specifically for the integration of Maps with third party apps. The first of the two major updates for Maps allows third-party developers to include Maps more seamlessly into their apps. In particular, to be instantly opened and directions calculated from within the third party app. The second main feature includes a 'lite mode' which allows users to open a thumbnail type turn by turn direction mode. This will be ideal for developers with more lightweight apps.


In contrast, the other Google Play Services update is rather minimal. Wallet now offers a 'donate with Google' button, while Drive has been better optimised for syncing with third party apps and files. Not to mention Google Fit has also received an update to improve how it syncs with third party fitness apps. If you read the last article we also did note that this update includes an update to the Granular Dependency Management (GDM) library which simply allows developers to only include the libraries needed for their app and not the entire catalogue library. All-in-all, this is a developer based update which might not seem that helpful to the user right now. But, as with all these things, they are designed to help developers improve the end-user experience which is always a good thing.

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John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]

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