Google Play services has been an integral part of the entire Android ecosystem and sometimes ends up being a crucial factor when it comes to customer experience of the OS. With its latest update, the search giant has updated the background service to version 9.8 and added several features to it.
Notably, post the Google Play services 9.8 update, users will be able to fill in the phone numbers associated with their account with a single tap, in apps that use the Credentials API, the company said in its release note. The updated Cast API improves the appearance of the 'seek bar' and blurs the background while playing ads. It further adds the ability to customise the style of mini controllers.
Google Fit app on Android will now be able to read the fitness goals set by the users, thanks to the Goals API introduced to the app. The Google Play services 9.8 update also brings hands-free support for Nearby Messages, which allows message exchange between two devices using a combination of Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, and Wi-Fi.
Nearby Notifications feature, which was muted by the company starting September 21, has not been re-enabled with the Google Play services 9.8 update but is expected to be re-enabled with a future update.
Apart from the aforementioned features, the update for Google Play services also brings along bug fixes and performance improvements. Google Play services 9.8 will be updated in a phased manner across the globe, and there is no simple way to sideload the update.