Google on Tuesday announced Google Play services 7.3 was now available with several features for app developers, as well as some functionality for end users. The updated SDK will let developers to bring extra functionality in the form of APIs to Android Wear, Google Fit, Location and more. Notably, the updated Google Play services will rollout to users gradually, and not require users to update manually.
Under the Android Wear section, Google Play services 7.3 brings multiple device support, alongside the new Capability API that will let users send messages to different types of devices, such as those with a screen, with Internet access, or with the functionality to transcribe voices. The Channel API introduced in the latest Google Play services that makes it easy to transfer large files or streaming data between two wearable devices. If users recall, the latest Android Wear update alongside the updated companion app bumped up Google Play services version to 7.3.27 to support all the features introduced.
For Google Fit, the updated SDK brings an improved selection of data types to track the body fat intake and sleep activities. The function now can furthermore record the protein, fat, cholesterol, sodium and other levels as well. The API aggregates the data for a given data type giving a single DataPoint. Accessing the data, except the step counter still requires authentication from the users.
The Google Play services 7.3 also gives developers some room to optimise their apps bit more when it comes to accessing the user's location data. The SDK now adds a new method where developers receive a batch of updates for more efficient processing instead of receiving location data continuously, which also drains the battery of the device quickly. A new LocationCallBack API is also present as a part of the update that indicates the developers about any changes made in the settings, which might affect the incoming data quality.
Lastly, the latest SDK makes it easier for developers to create apps that are functional across several platforms, with the new addApiIfAvailable() and getConnectionResult() commands. More details are available on the Android Developers blog post.