13
May
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Welcome back! Google Play Services 3.1 is such a ridiculously huge update; I had to stretch it out over two articles - that's a first for APK Teardown. If you somehow missed the Google Play Games extravaganza, part one is right here.

Part two is all about the non-games discoveries, which there are a lot of.  Before we get into that though, there is one detail I left out of the games article that I really should mention:

The Play Games Codename

nsmb-mushroom-1up

Google always comes up with the coolest code names for projects, and the Play Services games client is no exception. The internal name is "OneUp."

Four New Sync Adapters

Sync adapters are the things listed in Settings -> Google -> [your email] (at least, these are the Google sync adapters; anyone is free to write one). The job of a Google sync adapter is to ship data back and forth between you and the Google mother ship. Sync adapters make sure that that Gmail message that you archived on your phone is also archived on your desktop, and your tablet, and anywhere else you access your data. They sync stuff. Google likes to have one sync adapter for each Google service. When Google launches a new app or service, they usually include a new sync adapter in the app package.

wm_2013-05-10-20.52.02-copywm_2013-05-11-16.16

Google Play Services can include sync adapters, too, and the most visible parts of the 3.1 update are these two new sync adapters: "App Data" and "People details."

2013-05-12_13-05-32

The thing is, Play Services 3.1 actually shipped four new sync adapters: App Data, People Details, Game Data, and Location Reporting. It turns out Sync adapters can be flagged as invisible; a simple "android:userVisible="false"" will send them into hiding, so, while you can't actually see Game Data and Location Reporting, I assure you they are there.

App Data Syncing

2013-05-12-12.54

Yes, that "App Data" entry in the sync settings means all the things you think it means. Provided the developer supports it, you'll be shipping your app data off to Google, and it will sync just as reliably as your Gmail data does.

<string name="appstate_sync_label">App Data</string>
<string name="appstate_clear_app_data_dialog_title">Clear app data?</string>
<string name="appstate_clear_app_data_dialog_description_single_account">You are about to delete all third-party app data stored with your Google account %1$s. This data will no longer be available on any of your devices.</string>
<string name="appstate_deleting_app_data">Deleting app data…</string>
<string name="appstate_could_not_delete_data">"Couldn't delete data."</string>

Google will, of course, give you control over your cloud data. The language used here is particularly interesting: they call this data "app data stored with your Google account," which means it's the same "app data" we all know and love from the "clear app data" button. That means all your 3rd-party app data in the cloud, seamlessly synced across devices.

Most of the big questions with this will not be answered with code, but with policy: How much data can developers store? How often can they access it? Is there a limit on users-per-app? Does it cost money? Etc. Having limits or charging for this doesn't seem very Googley, so for now I'm expecting that Google will allow you to store whatever you want and sync it however often you want, as long as you are under a certain storage limit. Most app data is microscopic, so a storage limit wouldn't be a big deal.

There's also a question of how they're going to deal with multiple devices - for instance, the launcher data on my phone would be very different than the launcher data on my tablet. There's an I/O session called "From Nothing to Nirvana in Minutes: Cloud Backend for Your Android Application," and after reading the description, it sounds like this is the "Cloud-Stored App Data" talk:

The best Android applications take full advantage of the cloud to power great user experiences. This talk shows, in detail, how to use the server-code optional backend on the Google Cloud Platform to store application and game state in the cloud. We will then walk through adding your own custom logic via Google Cloud Endpoints and the Google Plugin for Eclipse.

Hopefully all of that "server back end" functionality allows this to differentiate between devices.

This would be a huge game changer. You're basically looking at fully cloud-stored Android devices at this point. Every useful piece of data on your phone would be continually, automatically backed up using the rock-solid Android sync framework. That is just awesome.

Besides being completely amazing for users, this has the bonus side effect of making a forked version of Android even more unappealing; this is one more killer back-end feature that you wouldn't have access to. Good luck replicating this, Amazon and Samsung.

Game Data Syncing

This is the last games thing, I promise. There's a separate sync adapter for games data, but, uh, games are just apps, right? So what's with the extra adapter?

localaia.a("games", "game_icon_image_id");
localaia.a("games", "game_hi_res_image_id");
localaia.a("games", "featured_image_id");
localaia.a("game_badges", "badge_icon_image_id");
localaia.a("players", "profile_icon_image_id");
localaia.a("players", "profile_hi_res_image_id");
localaia.a("achievement_definitions", "unlocked_icon_image_id");
localaia.a("achievement_definitions", "revealed_icon_image_id");
localaia.a("leaderboards", "board_icon_image_id");
localaia.a("leaderboard_scores", "default_display_image_id");
localaia.a("notifications", "image_id");
localaia.a("participants", "default_display_image_id");

It looks like the App Data sync adapter is for third parties, and the Game data adapter is specifically for Play Games. According to the content provider, this is for shipping out achievements and leaderboard status and other Play Games data. It looks like games will use the App Data sync adapter for cloud saves.

People Details

<string name="people_service_title">People Service</string>
<string name="people_sync_service_title">People details</string>
<string name="people_content_provider_title">People details</string>

There is a new "people details" sync adapter, which seems to be all about syncing Google+ data to your phone. There is already a sync adapter for basic contact information, so this would have to be something else.

<string name="people_avatar_dialog_title">Set profile photo</string>
<string name="people_avatar_dialog_item_take_photo">Take photo</string>
<string name="people_avatar_dialog_item_pick_photo">Choose photo</string>
<string name="people_avatar_progress_message">Setting profile photo…</string>
<string name="people_avatar_preview_accept_button">Accept</string>
<string name="people_avatar_error">"Couldn't save profile photo."</string>
<string name="people_avatar_error_not_plus_user">You need a Google+ profile to set a profile photo.</string>

This all seems to be stuff the Google+ app already does, but moved from the G+ app to Google Play Services, nothing groundbreaking.

Activity Recognition And Push Location

There's a new sync adapter for location reporting, which is completely crazy. Currently, shipping out location data is an app-based process. Apps request location data from the system however often and for however long they want. Developers that screw that up can often reduce your battery to nothing in an hour - that's bad.

<string name="location_ulr_sync_label">Location reporting and history</string>

I'm not an expert on Android location services or anything, but having a location sync adapter seems like a huge change from the current way Android handles location information. (If you're a developer, feel free to chime in in the comments.) A sync adapter would presumably push your location information to the cloud, and apps would ping that cloud information. I not sure why apps would want to get information from the cloud that is already available on your device, perhaps this is for a social service, or apps on other devices, or something like that.

It could be a boon for the upcoming wearable computing revolution. Something like Google Glass or a smartwatch would want my location, but power and/or size requirements mean they don't have a GPS chip. Right now, Glass's solution is a 24/7 Bluetooth connection, but if Glass and my phone are already pinging the internet all the time, why not get location updates that way, too?

<string name="activity_recognition_permission_label">activity recognition</string>
<string name="activity_recognition_permission_description">Allows an app to receive periodic updates of your activity level from Google, for example, if you are walking, driving, cycling, or stationary.</string>

Google is cooking up a use for this, and it is called "Activity Recognition." Apps will be able to tell if you are "walking, driving, cycling, or stationary" and do something with that information. This says apps will get your activity level "from Google" which backs up my theory that this is a cloud-based, push location service.

There's a session at Google I/O called "Beyond the Blue Dot: New Features in Android Location" where they will probably announce this. Start practicing your "surprised face" in the mirror now.

Download

Google Play Services will not do anything on its own - everything requires some kind of support from other apps. For some reason though, people keep asking for it. So if you would like to poke around, here it is: Google Play Services 3.1.36.

Conclusion

Whew. Well, this easily qualifies for the longest APK Teardown ever, and I even left out some items. There was also lots and lots of Wallet movement. It's probably just for in-app purchases in games though, nothing exciting.

In one update Google shipped a games service, app data cloud storage, and a new push location service. It's crazy to think that there will be even more goodies waiting for us at Google I/O; which is in just 2 days. Wow.

Ron Amadeo
Ron loves everything related to technology, design, and Google. He always wants to talk about "the big picture" and what's next for Android, and he's not afraid to get knee-deep in an APK for some details. Expect a good eye for detail, lots of research, and some lamenting about how something isn't designed well enough.
  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    All praise Ron, Android APK Whisperer.

    • Abhijeet Mishra

      Yes sir, all praise Ron, Lord of the APKs and opener of secrets and sweet candy.

    • iamnotfan

      "One up" for you message

      • TY

        The codename is ironic in that the mobile game industry plays a heavy role in the decline of traditional game consoles... not that it's Apple or Google's fault. Nevertheless, hope Nintendo, Sony (and alike) can find a way out.

        • QwietStorm

          Find a way out? I don't think we're anywhere near there yet. If the PS4 and Nextbox do Wii U numbers, MAYBE there will be concern.

        • http://gamingirl.com Twinkling82

          I don't think there's a decline in console gaming, and certainly not because of mobile gaming. The reason the sales suffers stemming from two places: Nintendo forked their presentation and confused even tech savvy journalists and then we have the recession. People are taking care of their money.

    • JonJJon

      APKs should be renamed APRs, All Praise Rons.

  • Abhijeet Mishra

    Hmm, very, very interesting. I/O, Y U NO START SOONER?!

    • Vandré Brunazo

      Seriously, why does it take them so long to get us to wednesday? What happened to do no evil google???

      • PhoenixPath

        Hey, they *tried* to skip December, man. What more do you want??? ;-)

        • http://profiles.google.com/davidcesarino David Sousa

          Google playing Grinch was epic indeed...

  • http://twitter.com/dexbg Gauravssssssssssssss

    Great job guys.. Woohoo for datasync

  • gspida

    Thank you Ron for all your hard work. :)

  • Danny Theriault

    ...Whoa. These are all killer features in their own right.

    Still, it sounds like this is all reliant on developers picking it up. As we've seen with menu buttons, that might take a while.

    • Abhijeet Mishra

      iCloud on iOS has not seen that great an uptake thanks to its issues, but if Google manages to make cloud sync work right, I'm sure we'll see devs taking advantage. But yeah, I guess it'll be a while before it happens, lots of lazy and uncaring devs out there.

      • XBIRDIE98

        I'm worried about this as well - both iCloud Backup and Google Backup failed to find widespread acceptance among developers. Sometimes, like worth Rovio's syncing service, there are legitimate reasons for not using platform-dependent services.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      There are a couple of really big differences between the menu button and most of these services. To begin with, a lot of developers were working with different hardware and didn't personally observe the reasons that the menu button was a problem. Of course, it's now completely obvious and inexcusable that apps are still coming out with the classic menu button. Every phone with the Play Store will have the same version and accessibility to these services, which means it will be a level playing field, regardless of how old a device is.

      The other thing to consider is that we're talking about new and powerful features. The menu button was just a change to the interface, not something that mattered to most people. Now we're talking about features that are important to developers, and even noticeable to moderately skilled users. That's the kind of change that developers tend to jump on more rapidly.

  • Drew M

    This probably explains the timing of the very recent Drive update where Google account storage is unified, beginning at 15 GB.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      Oh right, that came out after I had written this section. Man stuff is moving quickly.

    • Dinofan01

      Your theory is app data will be saved to drive then? I wouldn't mind that so long as it's organized unlike my internal memory... Can't devs actually have all their data in one central folder? For the love of organization, stop putting folders everywhere!!

      • PhoenixPath

        This times a million!

        /sdcard/android/data

        or /data/data

        This is not rocket science, people.

        Stop putting your sh*t in /sdcard/speedsoftware/ (as an example) for f*ck's sake!

        (I'd tell you how I really feel, but this is a family site.)

    • http://gamingirl.com Twinkling82

      I'd be happy with this, as long as my device makes a folder for apps, and for games, so my drive won't get too messed up.

  • Dan

    This should make moving from one ROM to another easier. Correct?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      Yep. If all your apps support it, it would be a pretty seamless transition.

      • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

        Does this mean none of the current apps do this? To support this, the developers will have to bake it in now and update their app?

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

          Yep. Start petitioning devs.

    • Daniel Wiggins

      as far as games go, i would assume so.

    • LazarusDark

      That is one of my most consistent issues with Android. I absolutely hate having to manually backup all kinds of junk and reload it when a new android version is out. I don't know if I'm doing it wrong (I looked for various guides but there really aren't any, or werent last time I checked) but Titanium Backup has never worked for me. Whenever I'm upgrading to the latest version of Android, it breaks everything, so I can't just load everything from the backup and I never know what to pick and not pick to restore. Maybe thats how it is, it only works when going from one rom to another in the same android version? But I mostly only want a new rom when there is an update, and I suspect that is the majority people. The people who just like trying lots of roms have got to be a minority.

      • Casen Brashear

        With titanium backup, just backup all user apps, then restore only user apps with data. Do not do system apps ever if upgrading.

  • XBIRDIE98

    Awesome.The app data syncing sounds a lot like the Google Backup service on steroids. Except I don't believe that you can delete backup data from the Google Dashboard page.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      FYI, the page to see the data right now is https://www.google.com/dashboard/b/0/

      • XBIRDIE98

        Something else (I can't believe I didn't immediately see this!) - The location sharing thing sounds like a unification of Location History, Latitude, and Google+ Location Sharing, which we've been expecting for a while now. This would definitely fit with the "moving stuff out of the G+ app" theme.
        Edit: The activity level thing sounds like the walking/biking Google Now card - I was wondering when we would get more control.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

          A unification of Google's various location services is more of an organizational thing than a technical hurdle.

          They could do it with this, but they could have done it a million years ago without it, too.

          • Lalit Mali

            In love with million eh Ron?
            "The Glass Team is still extraordinarily messy; any new file usually has copies in a million different locations."
            "Depressingly, there are also about a million strings for Bluetooth connectivity issues."
            "I'll have a full review and a million other articles about it."

            I've been observing :P

  • http://twitter.com/Meleagru Cristian Borsa

    What about calls and text messages ?

    • JonJJon

      I guess all we have for the time being is using an SMS backup app like "SMS backup+" which can backup and restore sms and call logs from Gmail (don't use it myself but my mate showed it to me and it looks to work very well) https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.zegoggles.smssync&feature=nav_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDMsImNvbS56ZWdvZ2dsZXMuc21zc3luYyJd

      • Andrew Underhill

        If you have a Samsung running 4.1.2 its built in.

      • Marcos Amano

        I use the "SMS Backup & Restore" app to backup my SMS before install a new ROM. Works great. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.riteshsahu.SMSBackupRestore

        I'll take a look at this one. =D

        • JonJJon

          Yeah I actually used that when I moved from my GS3 to my Nexus 4, and it is a good app indeed.

        • Nasko Hristov

          The point is to get away from 3rd party applications. We all know that there is app for almost everything Google is making.

          • JonJJon

            Yup I understand and agree with that, it's why, for example, so many of us want SMS integration with "Babel/Hangouts"

          • Nasko Hristov

            Exacly, and Google Drive also. I must say that Google has finally taken the right /unification/ path.

          • Nasko Hristov

            Well, there are rumors that they will make it avaiable, so I hope if they are true to see the update ASAP.

      • http://www.facebook.com/sfreemanoh Steve Freeman

        It works as advertised, it just doesn't backup MMS images (or at least it didn't when I last used it).

    • David Loring

      well, they're all "apps" so app data sync should back them up. As for syncing across devices, do you really have two phones on different numbers and want your text messages synced between them? A unified messenger that does SMS kind of like iMessage would be a good way to do this better, and I hope that's what we're getting with Babel.

  • Grimmjow

    What i'd like is to switch off location for some apps.

    • JonJJon

      This is something along the lines of what I was wondering, no being a developer and understanding of this level stuff well, if our location information is uploaded to the cloud and apps can access it, will there still be a "firewall" of sorts that allow us to control what apps we have installed have access to the cloud location information. I hope so as I have uninstalled several apps that wanted location information for apparently no important reason....that and I got fed up of the continuous GPS polling.

      • Grimmjow

        right now, some apps give you the option to disable location reporting but a lot don't. by that i mean facebook. i dont want to uninstall them, just turn location off kinda like iOS. I think location is a sensitive info which the end user should have complete control over.

        • JonJJon

          Completely agree with you, I only really put up with Google having access to and using my location all the time because I have tried to make sure it is all private and shut off to all but my own access as it were. I'm not big on sharing it with every app or business I use on my phone, like Facebook (I'm not one to allow all the people I have on there to effectively know where I am all the time) hence why I uninstalled it, so an app by app control centre for location and perhaps other privacy related aspects would be great for Android.

    • XBIRDIE98

      Indeed. While I normally wouldn't make a comparison to iOS, the granular location services settings are something I'd like to see in Android.

    • http://gamingirl.com Twinkling82

      I am not too happy to know that somewhere, someone will know where I am at all times. Even if it's a big company as google.

    • tyguy829

      definitely. facebook is the worst abuser of this.

  • http://twitter.com/alawi1992 S Mahmood Alawi

    YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    iOS user can suck on that very soon!!!

    • http://twitter.com/alawi1992 S Mahmood Alawi

      this is genuinely the only feature i wanted from iOS....
      cloud app data backup... umm would it double as i backup?? i'd presume so!!

      • Chris

        right so why should they "suck on it"? Are you tring to be cool and throw in a bashing apple comment?

        • http://twitter.com/alawi1992 S Mahmood Alawi

          while i am taking a bash at apple...
          with years of argument(ok months)... iOS backup option became the only argument a friend use..

          and while i agree with him, it was impressive...
          it was his last argument...
          oh... there is always the lag thing as well..

    • Chris

      Suck on something they already have? Your comment makes no sense...

  • Grimmjow

    The App data backup APIs were there earlier as well. As far as i understand, this solution still relies on Devs to have to integrate it with their apps, which they haven't been doing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/supersanborn Michael Sanborn

    All power to Hypno-toad.

  • Angel Penabad

    Seriously Ron, you work in AP is top notch, all that from a single apk. O_O

  • heat361

    The blue dot session has to do with Google maps indoors, they were talking about it at sxsw.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      Really? The description says "Location is not only at the heart of maps, but increasingly it's becoming critical to a new generation of contextual apps that are more aware of where the user is and what they're doing. Join us as we explore some of the new applications these APIs make possible."

      "Contextual apps" sounds a lot like activity recognition.

      • Grimmjow

        " more aware of where the user is and what they're doing".

        This sounds like more granular location.

  • zachary

    um when i download this apk, it says that its a bad file, is that normal

  • GreatNews

    Amazing job, keep it up!

  • James Jun

    Aggregation of data and cloud-backups all (theoretically) under one, easy-to-understand umbrella. This is one of the points that I wanted Google to meet, and I've think they've nailed it absolutely spot on. If the API is just a magical as all this sounds...

    We developers are going to have loads of fun >:D

  • Tom

    Does anybody reckon the location work could be the start of Google creating some kind of "Where's my phone" service? Location sent up into the cloud, can log in online and see where your phone was last/where it is now?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      Thats a fantastic idea. Location sync would fire off on its own. Perfect.

    • http://www.binarytuberculosis.com BinaryTB

      They've had one for Google Apps Business customers for a while now:
      https://www.google.com/apps/mydevices/b/0

      I'm surprised they haven't extended it to regular Gmail users, but maybe they were waiting for a general implementation instead of using Google Apps Device Policy app (I *think* that's needed for the Google Apps implementation).

    • Freak4Dell

      I think this may be it. It doesn't seem to me like putting the location on the cloud will really do much in the way of battery life. The phone would still have to upload to the cloud constantly, and on slow network connections, that might actually make GPS less accurate than just getting the information from the phone itself. I don't know if I see developers tapping into this so much. A find your phone service is a necessity for Android, and it makes perfect sense with the cloud location thing.

  • PhineasJW

    Cloud sync for app data. FINALLY.

    You shouldn't lose all your app settings/data when you get a new phone.
    You shouldn't need to back up this crap manually.

    This is SO overdue.

    Next -- back up my home screens for me.

    • andy_o

      If you're backing up apps, I guess most launchers would also be backed up, which would back up the homescreens.

    • Cherokee4Life

      Titanium Backup? :)

      • QwietStorm

        Kind of proving his point. All this is overdue for Android, homescreen backups included.

  • IncCo

    Samsung hasn't forked Android like Amazon, so why are you saying that they have? "Good luck replicating this, Amazon and Samsung." Doesn't make sense..

    • http://www.dsaif.com/ Saif

      If they try to fork Android, they can't.

    • Vandré Brunazo

      But Samsung replicates everything Google does anyway. s-calendar, s-beam, s-translate etc, they even have their own app-store on touchwiz phones. Everything Google does and opens for everyone to use, Samsung then builds its own version and try to move users into their own ecosystem.

      Samsung will try to copy this 100% guaranteed.

  • http://twitter.com/alltechinside alltechinside

    Thank you google. Data syncing was one of the features I wanted and it's coming!

  • http://www.bordersweather.co.uk/ Andy J

    If Google are actually addressing the biggest gripes people have with Android - then there is a chance - however small that AppData backup simply relies on a manifest change - like when they introduced the terribly implemented (IMHO) Apps2SD in Froyo

    (and the backup would be diff'd uploading of changed local appdata files)

  • QwietStorm

    If someone wants to go ahead and pinch me, it would be greatly appreciated.

  • QwietStorm

    All the app data on your device is directly communicating with your account and device ID already, so why can't Google just aggregate and backup our data automatically? Why do developers have to "opt in?" I hope its not just something about being open and not using unified control. That makes such a necessary feature very disappointing for me.

  • Wesley Marks

    I've noticed some problems with this update already: multiple devices on the same google account at my work have been having data errors in a program we use, and the only common thread is this update and the app data sync. It seems as though there isn't a differentiation between devices; they all get the same app data when sync is activated whether we like it or not.

  • Göran sävström

    Ok, I admit that I just skimmed through the comments, so sorry if someone already covered this:

    Would this app data sync be optional and user controllable like syncing of gmail, facebook, contacts etc is today?

    I'd hate to think that my phone would be shipping data back and forth each and every time I'm connected to a network... because I don't know about the rest of the world, but here in some data plans start at 100mb pr month (quite common limit actually). I'm on a 800mb plan which is a bit better, but I'd still hate to see parts of this "allowance" being devoured by app data syncing...

    • http://gamingirl.com Twinkling82

      You know, you COULD turn off your data when not using it. But anywho, I know what you mean. We have too little control over the data useage.

      • Göran Sävström

        Sure, I could turn my data on and off, but then I wouldn't be able to browse the web or stay connected through for example Whatsapp either...

        - You're completely right when you say we have to little control over some things.

        • Ajanu

          You can just disable sync, or disable sync for any of the available options. Ones like location that are hidden you are stuck, but I assume if you turn off location data altogether in settings it would stop the sync.

          • Göran Sävström

            Well.. as long as I can disable the app data sync I'm ok. I don't really sync anything automatically today. Gmail, Facebook etc is something I check manually.

    • Chris

      800mb? Are you in some forigen country? I fell sorry for you...

      • Göran Sävström

        Ooops... Not until now did I realize that Spain "fell" out of my post.

        But anyway - yes it's true. The plans with some carriers here start at 100mb and the cost for that is ridiculously high... I think my wife pays 8€ for 100mb (she can continue surfing after reach that but at a much lower speed)

        I used to pay 12€ to get 300mb with my previous carrier, but now I'm paying 6,90€ for those 800mb which is as cheap as it gets here. Both broadband (ADSL - not many have fiber) and mobile internet in Spain is very expensive.

      • Grimmjow

        Don't understand your question " Are you in some forigen country?".

        You are more likely to meet a guy on the internet from some other country than your own wherever you might be from. Also, to increase your general knowledge, data plans are expensive in most countries around the world. I too have a 1gig/month plan.

        • http://gamingirl.com Twinkling82

          100mb is not 1gb, 1000mb is 1gb. I have a 3gb plan for 7 euro a month.

    • Grimmjow

      some questions are unanswered for which we will have to wait till tomorrow

    • http://gamingirl.com Twinkling82

      How's the contract? Most contracts on dataplans in my country does have limits, BUT you're not paying for the extra useage, but the speed limit is decreased once you hit the limit.

  • Melissa Peterson

    On Thursday, Google will have a show called What's New in Google Play Services at 12:45pm PDT.

  • arafsheikh

    "Every useful piece of data on your phone would be continually, automatically backed up using the rock-solid Android sync framework."

    AMUSING!!

  • hero

    Easy for Samsung and Amazon to reproduce, as Google itself are asserting against Oracle APIs aren't copyrightable

  • Richard Tan

    I think the app data is huge! If you check my Google+ page (http://gplus.to/richardtan) I wrote a whole bunch of things I want to see at IO which was unlikely to happen, and this is one of them. I do hope this is true because then there is no reason for me at least to Root my Phone and restore data via an 3rd Party App.

    The location settings is a bit weird, but I guess it may help developers do some Google Now type stuff. Maybe allow 3rd Parties to add cards to Google Now. It would be great if Foursquare could suggest something in Google Now for example.

    Also maybe it is for quickness as well. Usually you launch an app and have to wait to figure out where you are. If this location thingy is store data every 10 minutes, you could easily just ping this service to get you your rough location quickly. But who knows...

  • Kurt

    With location data going to the cloud it would probably allieviate the battery drain with a bunch of apps requesting/being sent location data all the time. The phone would upload it however so often and all apps would get the data from the cloud.

    • crankerchick

      Why is that less battery drain? Apps using data connection to get information that is already present on the device doesn't sound like it would *save* battery, but waste battery. Ron's example sounds more likely, as does the "Where's my phone" app that Android is missing (when compared to iOS).

      • Kurt

        Because apps like maps, foursquare, twitter, facebook, you name it, request location data all the time. They don't actually need it all the time so they can just grab the last data from google instead of waking the phone often or if the phone awake then turning on gps data all the time. They don't need the exact to the second data so this kills the battery. Now navigation does need this so it wouldn't be useful there.

        • Grimmjow

          That makes a lot of sense. Apps should be fetching the last location from the cloud. It is the location service's responsibility to keep it updated with some given frequency. So direct access to location should/would be disallowed from the API? If yes, how would apps like Google Maps work which needs real time location?

          Now, i am assuming they are not going to cut-off direct access to GPS for backward compatibility but give it as an option to devs who want to make their apps battery efficient and don't need real time location.

          • crankerchick

            Maybe I'm interpreting wrong (not a developer), but it seems to me the same thing you guys are saying could be accomplished without going to the cloud (using data) every time an app wants your location. Make the app request the location from the system and the system provide the last location (instead of going and fetching a new one). It's the same thing you all are saying, except not adding another path for battery drain to the loop.

  • http://www.facebook.com/archercc Ryan Stewart

    God that app data sync is gonna change the ROM game. I imagine there would be almost no downside to flashing a ROM if your SMS and Angry Birds saves were synced.

  • Nasko Hristov

    I just realized, most of the big companies have already cloud saves and multiplayers, like Rovio, EA's Origin, so what will hapen in the future, they sure won't use Google's Play Games, when they have their own service for that?

    • http://gamingirl.com Twinkling82

      Depending on the contract and price with google to use their cloud service, they probably will. Less responsibility, since they don't have to secure usersata and save games themselves, but letting google taking care of it instead.

      • Nasko Hristov

        Isn't the service completely free?

        • http://gamingirl.com Twinkling82

          I am not a developer, so I actually have no idea.

  • http://www.kizi-2.org/ Kizi 2

    The Play Games Codename. Thanks

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  • valapsp

    How should I delete my app data if I want?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1157851424 Scott Beeson

    Should I see a "Play Games" icon after installing this APK?

    • http://gamingirl.com Twinkling82

      Not on your phone. Find the newest APK for google play services and google play store. Then you will be able to see the icons on the enabled games - in the play store from your phone, they won't show on the browser version of the store.

      List of games with the play games enabled service: http://goo.gl/Dp3RE

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  • Tiago Azevedo

    Do developers already have access to this?

  • pewee

    Big brother is watching you! Where's the privacy of everyone gone?

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    chia

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  • D4niel

    Regarding the "content://" URI, that's just a content provider, not necessarily a new APK. Check the "Content URI patterns" section, here: http://developer.android.com/guide/topics/providers/content-provider-creating.html

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    Great, that's what we can feel.

  • frivnguyen

    I use the "SMS Backup & Restore"
    I like the convenience that it brings 3.1
    http://frivchannel.com/

  • Pagla

    I became curious about the App Data Sync feature recently when I purchased a new phone and wanted to install my existing apps with their existing data.

    I had completely synced the app data part on my old phone (CM 7.2 / Android 2.3.7, rooted) and had high hopes that when I install the same app from the Play store on my new phone (4.4.2, unrooted), my existing app data will be automatically transferred.

    But alas, that didn't happen. And I'm not sure now if this thing works at all...