These releases – arguably representing new varieties of Android – seem to be coming at increasing speed as this is the fourth since the New Year (see Google Analytics comes to Google Play Services 4.3, Chromecast SDK, Google Drive – Google rolls out Google Play Services 4.2 and Google rolls out Play Services 4.1)
What’s new in the latest 4.4 release? Changes include enabling Street View functionality for an app, the ability to detect the movement of a device (in a vehicle, on a bicycle, etc), extra support for advertising, and making it easier to integrate Google Wallet Instant Buy with an existing app
In Google’s own words:
- Google Maps – “You can now embed Street View imagery into an activity enabling your users to explore the world through panoramic 360-degree views” and, for indoor maps, finding the currently-active building and floor
- Activity Recognition – In the Location API, “detect if the device is in a vehicle, on a bicycle, on foot, still, or tilting”.
- Games Services – a change to the Game Gifts UI (but no external API changes)
- Mobile Ads – “We’ve added new APIs for publishers to display in-app promo ads, which enables users to purchase advertised items directly.”
- Wallet Fragments – “For the Instant Buy API, we’ve now reduced the work involved to place a Buy With Google button in an app.”