Google makes way for wearables with Play Services update

New APIs make it easier it to communicate with apps running on Android-based wearables.

Google has released a new version of Play Services that opens the door to more smartwatch apps and cooler games.

Play Services is a set of features used to integrate apps with Google's services. Version 5.0 is now rolled out to devices worldwide, and it includes a number of APIs (application programming interfaces) that developers can use to improve their apps, Google said in a blog post on Wednesday.

The company has been working hard to convince developers to customize their apps to integrate with Android Wear-based smartwatches such as the G Watch from LG Electronics, Motorola's Moto 360 and the Gear Live from Samsung Electronics.

That work continues in Play Services 5.0 with APIs that make it easier to communicate with apps running on Android-based wearables. Developers can take advantage of persistent storage that's automatically synchronized, and a low-latency messaging interface.

Google has also added two new features for game developers. "Saved Games" is an improved way of saving a player's progress to the cloud for use across different devices. A player can start a game on an Android phone and continue on a tablet, web browser, or iOS device. The new service allows developers to tag each saved game with a screen snapshot showing where the player had got to.

Google wants game developers to migrate from the existing Cloud Save service to the new Saved Games service as soon as possible, it said.

Developers can also send game activity data to the new Quests service whenever a player "successfully wins a level, kills an alien, or saves a rare black sheep," Google said. That data can in turn be used to build time-based challenges within a game, for example.

More information about Play Services 5.0, including developer guides and API references, can be found on the Google developer website.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags smartphonestabletsGoogleAndroidhardware systemsconsumer electronicsAndroid tablets

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?