Google Play Services 5.0 update rolling out, Google offers details on changes

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from  Omaha, NE
| July 2, 2014

Google Play Services logo Android Developers

Just a week after Google I/O went down, Google has announced that a major update to Google Play Services is rolling out.

Google says that an update to Google Play Services 5.0 has been rolled out to Android devices worldwide. As you might expect in a jump from version 4.4 to 5.0, this is a pretty big update. Here’s what’s included:

  • Android wearable services: APIs that make it easier to communicate with apps running on Android Wear devices. Includes low-latency messaging interface for syncing data and more.
  • Dynamic security provider: API that can be used by apps to install dynamic security provider. Current version includes OpenSSL fixes.
  • Google Play game services: Quests are APIs for time-based goals that can reward players for performing tasks in a game. Meanwhile, Saved Games enables game saves in the cloud for accessing across multiple devices.
  • App Indexing API: Notify Google about deep links in native apps to help grow user engagement. This is done by allowing Google Search app to serve app info as instant search suggestions.
  • Google Cast: Includes media tracks for Chromecast closed captioning.
  • Drive: Google Drive API allows users to sort query results, create folders while offline and more.
  • Wallet: Wallet objects takes things like loyalty cards and offers and stores them in the cloud. Save to Wallet button enables users to save offers to Google Wallet. Users can also use Google Wallet balance to pay for Instant Buy transactions.
  • Analytics: Measure product impressions, product clicks, view product details, add product to shopping cart, initiate checkout and give refunds. Helps users to gain more info about their business, like how far consumers get in purchase process and where they abandon it.
  • Mobile Ads: New default implementation for consumable purchases using Google Play In-app Billing.

As with previous Google Play Services updates, this announcement doesn’t mean much for us regular users right now. This update is a big deal for developers, though, adding in a multitude of new features that can be added into apps. Perhaps some of the most important consumer-facing additions are for Google Play Games, which give users Quests to get more out of their games and the ability to sync their game progress across devices.

For a deeper dive into the Google Play Services 5.0 update, you can check out Google’s video below.

Via Android Developers