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google play services

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Google App v5.10 Adds Option To Open Links In Chrome Custom Tabs

The Google App's version 5.10 update rolled out to the beta channel yesterday with a new waiting animation, but one change that was lurking behind is the option to open links from search results and Now cards in Chrome Custom Tabs instead of redirecting to the full Chrome browser (or your other default browser).

The option was first discovered by Cody in the APK teardown of version 5.5, but it appears to have just been activated now in the app. But, as with all things Google, there are a few asterisks attached to when it does and doesn't work. I have a Nexus 5X (Marshmallow 6.0.1) and an LG G4 (Lollipop 5.1), both running the Google App 5.10.23 and an old version of Play Services 8.4.89.

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Play Services v8.4 Exposes Many Details About Family Groups, Teases Nearby For App Invites, Tweaks Smart Lock And Android Auto [APK Teardown]

A fresh update of Google Play Services is headed out to our Android hardware around the world. This brings the framework package up to v8.4 and actually carries a couple of user-facing changes for us to check out. There's nothing too big, which is pretty normal for a Play services update, but there are some nice visual touch-ups for Smart Lock and a new option in the Android Auto developer options. But that's not all, a teardown shows that we're getting much closer to family organization (yes, for family sharing) and app invites will finally become useful as they can finally be sent to the people that need them most – the people right next to us.

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The Google Play Services v8.1 SDK Is Now Available, Includes A Few Enhancements And A Couple Breaking Changes

The rollout for Google Play services v8.1 is complete and now it's time to open the floodgates for developers to begin working with some of the changes. When new versions come out, it's fairly common for Google to hold back a few extra details to be announced after the rollout has completed. This time around, there are improvements for the Maps API, Nearby API, and App Invites. The previously announced Play Games Play Stats API has been added, and Google has advice on properly handling Android 6.0 permissions. There are also a couple of minor breaking changes that have to be dealt with too.

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Google Play Services v8.1 Begins Rolling Out To Prepare For Android Pay, Changes Variant Naming Scheme For Lollipop Devices, And More [APK Teardown + Download]

Android Pay has been a hot topic in the last weeks after a series of memos and promotional materials turned up with the supposed August 26th launch date. As it turns out, Google hadn't yet distributed the necessary software to enable Android Pay for use on phones. That changes with version 8.1 of the Play services apk, which began rolling out Friday afternoon. A look around inside of the app also suggests there has been a bit more progress on the long-anticipated Kid Accounts. As of this release, there is also an important change to the convention Google uses for identifying Play services apk variants for different devices.

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Google Play Services v7.8 Completes Rollout, Adds New Mobile Vision API With Face Detection And Barcode Reader, Improves Cloud Messaging With Priority And Localization

It has been almost a month since Google Play services 7.8 began rolling out to users, and as of yesterday, it is in wide release to everybody. A previous blog post by Google discussed the big new feature for developers would be the Nearby Messages API, but it turns out there are a couple of other additions worth checking out. In a new post on the Android Developers blog, Google announced a new Mobile Vision API with the ability to detect the presence, orientation, and some details of faces when they are in frame on an active camera.

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[APK Teardown] Google Play Services v7.8 Makes Significant Progress On New Location Sharing Feature, Improves Smart Lock Features, And More

The long-awaited Nearby is on the horizon, and it will be launching with Play Services 7.8. The APK is in the midst of its rollout right now. It contains a few elements of Nearby, and surely plenty of bug fixes and tweaks, but there are also plenty of interesting pieces hidden inside, as well. After a quick long examination, we've got the interesting bits and pieces ready for viewing, along with some theories about what it all means. It's time for a teardown!

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Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong.
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Google Play Services v7.8.87 Begins Rolling Out With Support For Nearby API And New Account Management Links [APK Download]

Google finally let the curtain fall on the long-anticipated Nearby API that enables detection and easy connection with other devices in close proximity. The new API was announced with Play services v7.8, but the SDK won't be released until that version has gone into wide release, which will happen in about two weeks. This gives Google a chance to identify some of the bugs that may have slipped through during development, and collect feedback from a larger set of devices in the real world. Of course, we've also got links to download the apk if you don't feel like waiting.

What's New

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Like most updates to Play services, there's not all that much to see on the user-facing side.

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Nearby Is Now Official, API Enabling Proximity-Based Connections Will Come Included With Google Play Services 7.8

Last year we received information that Google was working on an initiative called "Nearby" that would enable Android devices to communicate with people, places, and devices that were in close proximity. In the time since, things have mostly been silent. We've seen similar functionality pop up in the likes of Chromecast guest mode and trusted devices, but not the full shebang.

Now, Google is taking the feature public. In a post over on its developers blog, the company details ways in which Nearby will make sharing information with someone nearby easier than exchanging account information or scanning QR codes.

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Google Confirms App Invite System For Developers To Promote App Sharing To User Contacts

We spotted the groundwork for a new "app invite" system when Cody Toombs checked out some of the hidden code in Google Play Services back in April. In a detailed post-Google I/O story on some of the new features in version 7.5, Google Developer Advocate Ian Lake made the feature official. App Invites, basically a method by which developers can directly advertise apps and give users rewards for installing them, are coming soon (if they aren't available to developers already).

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Here's the basic idea: developers give their users a prompt to share the app with other people, specifically those in their Google Contacts registry.

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