Google just announced all of the great new APIs developers would be able to play with from the Google Play services, and now we've got some apks to check out. As usual, there aren't a lot of user-facing features in the GMS package, so don't expect to see any huge changes immediately after installation. However, there are at least a couple of interesting bits and pieces that stand out in a side-by-side comparison.
The only immediately obvious difference (that actually does something) is a relocation of the security code generator. This is a simple little tool Google occasionally uses for creating verification codes for emergency authorizations. It used to be hidden away in the overflow menu at the top of the main screen, but the latest version moves it out of the menu and places it at the top of the Security settings. Also, the generator now has a dedicated screen instead of a popup dialog.
Left x 3: old version, Right x 2: new version
The other noticeably visible change can be found under Settings -> Security -> Smart Lock (if you have a lockscreen with some kind of security enabled). A new member has joined the list of "Trusted" methods to bypass device security: voice. However, it seems that this is a bit of a red herring. Tapping on Trusted voice takes users to the Google Search voice settings screen, and no combination of options seems to enable this feature. It's likely that we'll just have to wait for an update to the Google Search app, which should allow us to use our own voices as an unlock method. (Admit it, that's going to be pretty cool.)
Left: old version, Center & Right: new version
We'll keep looking for more changes, and there may be a teardown coming if anything new and interesting turns up. In the meantime, feel free to skip the wait for the Play services apk to roll out to your gadgets and grab it from the link below. Let us know if you find anything else new and interesting.
The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.
Version: 7.0.86 (1763202)
- APK Mirror – Note: Google Play services is distributed in a number of variants intended for different types of devices. Be sure to only install a variant with a 3-digit code matching the version on your device. You can find your version by going to Settings -> Apps -> All -> Play services, and the current version will be listed just below the app name. The format will be v6.7.74 (1723905-XXX), where the X's represent the code. If you're running Lollipop, you should look for a -4XX version, while KitKat and earlier should have a -0XX version. For example, the Nexus 5 on Lollipop should use -438. Some device variants may not have been uploaded yet. Check back later, or try the larger "universal" -X30 version.