Google Play Services Get Serious

It may have flown under the digital radar of developers, but Google has unveiled a new release of its Play services, which includes the Google Mobile Ads SDK, and offers improvements to geofencing, Google+, and Google Wallet Instant Buy APIs.

Those using Admob, Google's product for monetizing applications, will be pleased at the improvements that include the ability for developers' bug fixes to get pushed out automatically to users. Developers will also be drawn to the improvements to the Maps and GeoFencing APIs that have been updated to improve battery efficiency and responsiveness in general (which should be welcome by both developers and users). 

Perhaps most interesting however are the improvements to Google+ and Google Wallet Instant Buy. Apps that are enabled with Google+ Sign-In will be updated with a simplified sign-in consent dialog. Google Wallet Instant Buy APIs are now available to everyone to try out within a sandbox, with a simplified API that streamlines the buy-flow and reduces integration time. Google Wallet Instant Buy also includes new Wallet Objects, which means you can award loyalty points to a user's saved rewards program ID for each applicable Google Wallet Instant Buy purchase.