The news out of Google is coming rapid-fire with the Nexus 5 going on sale, KitKat becoming a reality, and now the rollout of Google Play Services 4.0. The updated framework comes with a host of improvements to Google+ Sign-In, Wallet Instant Buy, Location Based Services, Maps, and comes with a brand new Mobile Ads SDK.
One of the most popular features announced during Google I/O 2013 was a massively improved set of tools for Location Services, which included geofencing and substantially improved location discovery. Read More
In our recent APK/website teardown, we unearthed Android's upcoming remote device lock functionality through Google Play Services, and now it has quietly gone live in the Android Device Manager. Just head to the management interface and you'll have a new Lock button. Click it, and your lost device can be secured instantly.
The functionality is incredibly robust. Even if you have your device locked with a pattern, PIN, or other method, the Device Manger will instantly override it. Read More
Google Play Games has done wonders to tie game scores and achievements to our Google+ profiles and show us who's kicking the most butt in any particular title. Yet information has thus far been scattered across individual apps and Google+, limiting the value of the experience. Today Google is rolling out a standalone app consolidating all of this content in one place.
The new app can display achievements unlocked in individual games, those that a player has yet to unlock, and leaderboards for every different map within a specific game. Read More
You might not have noticed, but a fresh version of Google Play Services started silently rolling out a few days ago. Google I/O came and went without an Android version bump because Google wanted to send a message: Google Play Services is the single most important APK on your device. It was recently used to roll out Google Play Games, cloud app data storage, and the fused location provider. Read More
Sometimes, updates break things. That seems to be the case for some HTC owners who, upon receiving a silent update to the newest version of Google Play Services, are having trouble using apps that rely on location data. According to HTC phone users in this support thread, Google Now continually asks to turn Location Services on, location-dependent applications like Foursquare and WeatherBug don't function properly, and Maps is unable to lock onto a location. Read More
The new activity recognition features introduced in the latest Google Play services update are just two days old, but SmarterApps has already released an AutomateIt update in the Play Store that takes advantage of the new functionality. The latest version touts the ability to make your phone smart enough to automate different tasks depending on if you're walking, running, biking, or driving.
The new sync adapter brought in via Wednesday's Google Play services update introduces a location reporting API, a task that previously was performed within apps themselves locally. Read More
Remember how we told you Google Games was coming, and how it's going to pack multiplayer functionality, leaderboards, achievements, and stuff like that? That's happening. There are going to be cloud game saves too.
Fresh out of Google HQ, we've managed to score a copy of the new Google Play Services v3.1.36, which is very slowly rolling out to devices right now. For comparison, the current Play Services that most people have is v3.0.27. Read More
Do not freak out. Yes, a big green icon has magically popped up in your app drawer; no, it isn't bad; and yes, it is pretty much useless.
If you caught the announcement of Google Play Services 3.0, aka "Google+ Sign-In," you're already halfway up to speed on this. Google Play Services is an APK that many of Google's apps rely on to hook into Google+ and, just like the Play Store, Google has the ability to silently update it. Read More
OK, stay with me here - APIs are important. Case in point, ever notice how whenever one of your favorite apps uses a built-in Google Maps viewer, you suddenly want to open up the real Maps app? (Read: because the web maps viewer is old and ugly and terrible.) Today, that's all about to start changing. With Google Play Services 2.0[.10], Google's introduced a brand-new vector-based embeddable Google Maps view. Read More