Today was the first day of Google I/O and it was full of news and updates in the Android world, we went ahead and found two of the best APK’s in the mess. The two APK’s we speak of are for the new Google Search and Google Play Services apps that began their rollout today. Both updates are pretty significant so we are going to go ahead and briefly go over the updates for you.
First up is the Google Play Services “app” that adds many new features and API’s, here is a full changelog for version 5.0:
- Services for Android wearables — Your apps can more easily communicate and sync with code running on Android wearables through an automatically synchronized, persistent data store and a reliable messaging interface.
- Play Games services — Build a great gaming experience with Quests, which allow event-based challenges for players to complete for rewards, Saved Games (a snapshot API allow synchronization of game data along with a cover-image and description), and Game Profile (providing experience points for players).
- App Indexing API — Surface deep content in your native mobile applications on Google search and drive additional user engagement.
- Google Cast — Use media tracks to enable closed-caption support for Chromecast.
- Drive — Sort query results, create offline folders, and select any mime type in the file picker by default.
- Wallet — Build a “Save to Wallet” button for offers directly into your app; use geo-fenced in-store notifications to prompt the user to show and scan digital cards. Split tender allows payment to be split between Wallet Balance and a credit/debit card in Google Wallet.
- Analytics — Get insights into the full user journey and understand how different user acquisition campaigns are performing with Enhanced Ecommerce, letting you measure product impressions, product clicks, and more.
- Mobile Ads — Use improved in-app purchase ads and integrations for the Play store in-app purchase API client.
- Dynamic Security Provider — Offers an alternative to the platform’s secure networking APIs that can be updated more frequently, for faster delivery of security patches.
Next up we have the new Google Search app that expands a current feature in a pretty awesome way. The update allows users to use the “Okay Google” hotword anywhere on your device as opposed to only on one of your homescreens. It’s important to note though that despite installing the latest APK for the app the new “Okay Google” feature will not be available until Google activates it through your Google account. Right now there appears to be only a handful of people who have the feature working on their devices and we are hearing mixed stories about how the feature works. We know you can say “Okay Google” anywhere when your device is on but it’s the device being off that gets tricky. Some people are claiming that you can say “Okay Google” while your device is on as long as it’s plugged in and charging, while others claim they can do so while not charging. I guess we will just have to wait for the feature to become more widespread.
Below you can find the APK’s for both the new Google Play Services and Google Search apps courtesy of the great guys over at Android Police.