Google Play Services 6.5
Written by David Conrad   
Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Google Play services 6.5 includes enhanced features in Google Maps, Drive and Wallet as well as the recently launched Google Fit API. For developers it introduces "granular dependency management", a move towards being more lightweight.  

The updated release is currently being rolled out to eligible Android devices and the SDK will be made available once that process completes.

Two new additions to the Google Maps Android API make it easier to provide directions to places within an app. The first is a map toolbar that let users open Google Maps and immediately get directions and turn by turn navigation to the selected marker. This map toolbar will show by default when you compile against Google Play services 6.5.

The second is a "lite mode" map option that displays a bitmap image of a map at a specified location and zoom level without any interactive capabilities, other than launching the Google Maps app. This is useful for situations where you want to provide a number of smaller maps, or display a map as a thumbnail in a list, 


Google Drive now lets developers add public and application private custom file properties to a Drive file, a feature intended to make search queries more efficient.In addition the updated API makes syncing Drive files easier and more battery friendly, with the ability to control when files are uploaded based on network type and the amount of battery charge still left in phone and allowing users to cancel pending uploads.

The new feature in Google Wallet is a ‘Donate with Google’ button interned to provide the same ease of use in collecting the existing ‘Buy with Google’ button gives for purchasing goods and services.

The Google Fit SDK was released at the end of October 2104 after being available in preview since August. A new feature in the API supports the idea of multiple activity workouts or taking breaks during a workout such as a picnic halfway through your hike.

Finally there is the feature titled Granular Dependency Management which means that developers can choose just the APIs they require rather than the entire API library which helps them keep the size of their apps to a minimum. Ian Lake explains it in the announcement of Google Play services 6 saying:

As we’ve continued to add more APIs across the wide range of Google services, it can be hard to maintain a lean app, particularly if you're only using a portion of the available APIs. Now with Google Play services 6.5, you’ll be able to depend only on a minimal common library and the exact APIs your app needs. This makes it very lightweight to get started with Google Play services.




More Information

Google Play services 6.5

Related Articles

Google Fit SDK Preview 

Google Play Publishing API

Google Play Introduces New Analytics

Free Guide For Android Developers



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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 November 2014 )