Google Play services 7.8 SDK now available for developers

Google has announced that they have completed the roll-out of Google Play services 7.8, adding two new APIs. The Nearby Messages API allows you to build simple interactions between nearby devices and people, while the Mobile Vision API helps you create apps that make sense of the visual world, using real-time on-device vision technology. Optimization and new features has also been added to existing APIs.

Nearby Messages

Nearby Messages introduces a cross-platform API to find and communicate with mobile devices and beacons, based on proximity. Nearby uses a combination of Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and an ultrasonic audio modem to connect devices. And it works across Android and iOS.

Mobile Vision API

Mobile Vision has two components.

The Face API allows developers to find human faces in images and video. It’s faster, more accurate and provides more information than the Android FaceDetector Face API. It finds faces in any orientation, allows developers to find landmarks such as the eyes, nose, and mouth, and identifies faces that are smiling and/or have their eyes open. Applications include photography, games, and hands-free user interfaces.

The Barcode API allows apps to recognize barcodes in real-time, on device, in any orientation. It supports a range of barcodes and can detect multiple barcodes at once.

Google Cloud Messaging

Google Cloud Messaging – Google’s simple and reliable messaging service – has expanded notification to support localization for Android. When composing the notification from the server, set the appropriate body_loc_key, body_loc_args, title_loc_key, and title_loc_args. GCM will handle displaying the notification based on current device locale, which saves you having to figure out which messages to display on which devices!

Getting ready for the Android M release, Google has added high and normal priority to GCM messaging, giving you additional control over message delivery through GCM. Set messages that need immediate users attention to high priority, e.g., chat message alert, incoming voice call alert. And keep the remaining messages at normal priority so that it can be handled in the most battery efficient way without impeding your app performance.

The Google Play services SDK is available now from the Android SDK Manager.

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