Google Play Services 5.0 update is now seeding throughout the world and the latest iteration features a number of major enhancements.
A major enhancement that the latest version of Google Play Services features is according priority to Google's Android Wear.
Google Play Services 5.0 features support for devices running Android's Wearable platform, with the Android Wear API. This should let developers bring out greater number of apps for Android Wear gadgets.
Android Wear API provides developers an automatically synchronised, persistent data store and a low latency messaging interface, using which data synchronisation, transferring of application assets and exchange control can be accomplished effectively.
Another interesting enhancement that the latest Google Play Services update features is the App Indexing API. This API lets app developers report to Google deep links that need to be embedded within native apps. Reporting deep links generally drives increased user engagement on applications.
Deep Links reported to Google via App Indexing API results in the search engine indexing the application content, which is then displayed as deep links in Google search results.
Google Wallet API now incorporates the "Save to Wallet" button, which lets users save offers to Google Wallet. In-store notifications let users show and scan digital cards at the respective point-of-sale. This enhancement eliminates the process of having to carry around loyalty cards and offers.
Finally, there is the update to Google Play games services. A new API set called "quests" runs time-based goals for players, and rewards them without having to separately update a game. Players can send game activity to "quests" after winning a particular level.
With "Saved Games", players' game progress can be stored and accessed via the cloud.
Apart from these, there are also various updates for developers such as updates to Google Cast, Drive and Wallet APIs.
All in all, developers have a potential feature-filled software development kit to take advantage of, and develop apps for future Android iterations.
Google Play Services is a proprietary software development kit (SDK) and API set that lets developers bring out apps to enhance functionality for various Google offerings such as Google Maps, Google Play Games and Location APIs among others.