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Google Wraps Up Play Services 8.1 Distribution

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Sep 24, 2015, 1:56 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Google today said most Android devices should be updated to Play Services version 8.1. The latest build of Play Services helps developers build new capabilities into their apps. For example, app invites let developers expand their user base by letting people extend app invites to other Android and even iOS users. Play Services 8.1 brings with it Ambient Mode Maps, which lets a low-power version of Android Maps run on Android Wear devices. The Google Nearby function lets Android devices see and interact with one another in developer-defined ways. The new Play Services also a refreshed API governing Play Games Player Stats for experiences tailored for different level players. Most importantly, Play Service 8.1 heralds the arrival of Android 6.0 Marshmallow and the way 6.0 handles app permissions. Developers can download the latest Android SDK from Google, which includes all the new and changed APIs. End users don't need to do anything to update their devices; Play Services 8.1 should already be automatically installed.

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