Google Updates Play Services to Version 4.3
Google announced Google Play Services 4.3, which began rolling out worldwide today. The updated version of Play Services gives developers more tools to use for interacting with the Android operating system, as well as incorporating select features into their apps. This latest version of Play Services builds in the Analytics API and Google Tag Manager, which were previously available outside of the core Play Services suite. Google Analytics lets developers get detailed statistics on how their app is being used by Android device owners. Google Tag Manager lets developers change characteristics of their app on-the-fly without requiring an update from Google Play. Play Services 4.3 also incorporates the changes to Google Play Games, which were announced earlier today, as well as the Google Drive for Android API and the Address API. The Google Drive API lets developers add functions from Google Drive, such as pinning, folders, and change notifications, into their own apps. The Address API lets developers request access to addresses to do things such as fill out a delivery address form. Google Play Services 4.3 is already being distributed to Android devices around the world. Developers will need to snag the latest tools from Google's developer support site.
Google Play Instant Lets You Test-Drive Games Without Downloading Them
Google today announced several changes to the Google Play Store and Google Play Games apps that should entice Android device owners to check out the latest games. A new feature called Google Instant Play lets people tap and try games directly in the Google Play Store and Google Play Games app without first downloading the game.
Google Releases reCAPTCHA API to Improve Android Security
Google today announced a new tool developers can use to authenticate people securely while simultaneously improving the experience for mobile phone users. The company made available the new reCAPTCHA Android API as a part of Google Play Services.
Android 2.3 Gingerbread Officially No Longer Supported
Google has put Android 2.3 Gingerbread out to pasture. The update this month follows an announcement Google first made in November regarding Play Services 10.2, which severs backward compatibility with devices running Android 2.3 and older.
Google Play Services 8.3 Improves Sign-In Experience
Google today announced the availability of Play Services 8.3, an update to the core APIs that allows developers to do new things with the operating system. Play Services 8.3 updates the Google Sign-In API to provide a more consistent look across Google products.