Google Play Services 6.5 now available for developers

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Google have released Google Play Services 6.5, which is available for developers via the Android SDK Manager.

The biggest updates are to the Google Maps API. Developers now have the option of using Lite Mode Maps. This allows you to serve users a static image of a map, eliminating the need for a continuous connection with the server while maintaining important aspects of the Maps experience, like user location and markers, and different map types (terrain, satellite, etc.).

Users can access the full version of Google Maps with a single tap on the map. There’s also a new toolbar feature that offers direct access to navigation and directions. This is available on both Lite Mode and the full version of Maps.

Google has also tweaked the Google Wallet and Google Drive APIs. Developers of apps that upload lots of Google Drive data can now specify whether they want this activity to only happen when connected to a power source or WiFi network in order to cut down on the resources their apps absorb.

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Google Wallet now has an option to Donate with Google that sits along with the previously available ‘Buy with Google,’ and ‘Save to Google’ options.

Finally, Google has unbundled the Google Play Services AAR, which means developers can pick which APIs they want to use instead of having to use the entire package.

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