Google Says Play Services 5.0 Rollout Complete
Google today said the majority of Android smartphones and tablets have been upgraded to Play Services 5.0. The newest version of Play Services, which Google first revealed during its I/O developer event in June, is a major leap forward for developers. Play Services 5.0 supports new SDKs and APIs that will allow developers to be even more creative with their applications. For example, it introduces APIs for Android Wear, Google's wearables platform, as well as an updated Google Drive API, which lets developers bake more features of Google Drive directly into their own apps. Some of the other tools include a dynamic security provider API, which can enable rapid security patches; Quests and Saved Games APIs for Google Play Games, which can be used to save gameplay for later sharing; App Index API for deep linking within applications; Google Cast for improved accessibility services within Chromecast; and updated Google Wallet tools that will make it easier for consumers and developers to make use of loyalty programs, as well as split purchases between the Wallet Balance and an associated credit/debit card. Developers can access these tools via the Android Developer portal. Consumers don't need to do anything to update their device to Play Services 5.0. The update is applied automatically.
Google to Let Android Users Trial Games from Search
Google gave developers a handful of new tools to improve the gaming experience for Android device owners. Perhaps the most significant of the new tools is one that will allow people to trial games for up to 10 minutes directly from Google search results.
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.
Play Services 7.5 Adds Smart Lock and Other APIs
Google today announced Play Services 7.5, an update to the underlying set of code most Android devices rely on for accessing the Play Store and various features within applications. Play Services 7.5 is a big step forward and adds a broad range of new functionalities and associated APIs for developers.
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.
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