Right off the bat here at Google I/O, the company is telling developers about some awesome new tools for apps. A new series of APIs will enable a variety of new services for both developers and end users. Here are some of the highlights.


Version 2 of the Location API, which includes:

  • Geofencing (assigning triggers to specific geographical locations) and up to 100 fences per app


  • a fused location provider, which should allow for active location gathering at just 1% battery drain per hour or increased accuracy
  • Activity recognition - API can recognize if users are walking, biking, driving, et cetera. Advanced applications can read confidence values for different activities.

Authorization API:

  • cross-platform simple sign-on

Google cloud messaging (now part of Google Play Services)

  • Persistent connections between Google and API servers
  • Upstream messaging! Use GCM to send data from devices to servers
  • Cross-device synchronized notifications! You won't have to dismiss an alert on both your phone and tablet.


Google Play Game Services (See full Games post)

  • Achievements
  • Leaderboards
  • Cloud game saves
  • Multiplayer auto-matching and invites

Google Location APIs

Authorization API

Google Play Game Services

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Craig Simpson

    Synchronized notifications is a big one for the multi device person

    • http://www.facebook.com/MMinton06 Michael Minton

      +1 on that.

  • http://twitter.com/misterE33 Mr E

    i just hope they can make Maps/location services stop chewing up my battery life

    • TheCraiggers

      Did you not read the text above? 1% an hour is a huge improvement.

      • http://twitter.com/misterE33 Mr E

        I did, but we'll see. I randomly get 30% or higher usage for Maps, for no apparent reason.

        • TheCraiggers

          I'm not sure how much this would improve Maps' battery drain. There are various levels of location retrieving in the API. The more specific of a location you need, the more battery drain.

          And since Maps uses the full "give me the most accurate info ya got every half second" implementation (for obvious reasons) I'm not sure how well it will improve battery drain. GPS is just damn expensive, and it's likely more of a hardware thing.

          I'm picturing this is more for things like Latitude, and checking in when you go to Starbucks or whatever you kids do. You probably wouldn't have your Navigation query the cloud every half second- the battery drain would likely be worse, as you'd have your radio active as well.

          • Matthew Fry

            No... I think Mr E is saying he is getting 30% or higher usage for Maps when he's not using it.

          • TheCraiggers

            Quite possible, and probably caused by Latitude, which is technically part of Maps. I turn it off because I don't use it, and it eats too much battery.

  • abqnm

    Who needs a new version of Android?

    This is really what they needed to do. Bring all the core apps together and with a uniform design and build out the backend. Google has always had an advantage in data synchronization however this is where they need to be going. Actions on one device negate them on the other. Cross-device cloud backups need to be next. Much of the pieces are already there but they just haven't come together yet. We should be able to access all backup and cloud sync options from one place. I shouldn't have to go to G+ to manage photo uploads, etc. I should be able to just go to my Google account in settings and have full control over all syncing. Where and when photos upload. Location data. What apps should be able to be backed up to Google. I think they are getting there and this shows they are moving in the right direction. Here is looking to the future.

  • http://www.facebook.com/hferreira14 Hélder Ferreira

    The Google needs to bring to Android a system to find the phone, like Find My iPhone, but with great accuracy using the Maps service.

    Why we need to use 3rd party apps for this job, if Google can develop and include this feature?

    The Android needs more useful features / apps, like, options to customize the stock launcher (icons size, grid size, opacity of app drawer, etc), possibility to use themes (is a good deal), a good file manager with options to connect to FTP servers, etc.

    But the essential, Google need change his policies and force the manufacturers to give more time of updates.
    Okay, almost everyone can use Android and create devices or create versions for non-ARM devices, the fragmentation is the Achille's heel of the Android, but please, Google can have better control of this situation, is a situation of "just wanting to do".

    While Google does not change the policy and take the reins, manufacturers do what they want and update the equipments when they want. It's not right.

    Is needed right rules.

  • http://www.hopy1.com/ hopy

    The details are well-explained and very concise.

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