Google Play Services 5.0 brings Android Wear APIs and new gaming abilities

Google Play Services 5.0 has been fully rolled out to all Android devices in order to bring fresh interaction with the Android Wear range of wearables that are set to take the market to the next level.

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Details of the update from 4.4 to 5.0, which were first explained at Google I/O last week, were explained on the Android Developers Blog with a refresh for all parts of the OS.

The headline feature of the update is a new set of APIs that make it easier for apps to work together with Android wearables. The APIs give an automatically synchronised, persistent data store and low-latency messaging interface that allows you to sync data, exchange control messages and transfer assets.

Updates to the gaming abilities of Android are another key part of the update and take the form of Quests and Saved Games. Quests APIs let developers bring in time-based goals for players and if met players are rewarded with new content. Saved Games, meanwhile, basically does exactly what it says on the tin and the feature gives developers the chance to allow players to store progress in the cloud and access it from other devices.

Security hasn’t been left out of the update in the form of the dynamic security provider API that means apps can install a dynamic security provider and thus make it more simple for Google to bring in fixes for apps and devices.

Google’s Cast SDK is updated to include media tracks with closed caption support for Chromecast, and the Drive API now has the ability to sort query results, create folders offline and select any mime type in the file picker to default.

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Google Wallet, meanwhile, now includes a “Save to Wallet” button that allows an offer to be saved to the cloud and then used at a later time. There are also updates to the Play Services analytics, mobile ads and app indexing API, and Play Services 5.0 is available on devices on now