Nestled somewhere between the details on the Android L developer preview and all the great stuff to look forward to from Android Wear, Google announced the latest changes to Google Play Services at I/O this afternoon. The new update, version 5.0, is already headed out to users now, so let’s take a quick look at the features that arrive with it.
Those improvements to Play Games we just told you about, including Quests and that much-needed cloud save overhaul arrive as part of this update. With Android Wear smartwatches just now going up for sale, Play Services 5.0 delivers more of the back-end sync and notification interfaces they’ll need.
Remember how we just saw Android 4.4.4 arrive shortly after 4.4.3, only to fix an overlooked security issue? The new Play Services release changes the platform’s secure networking framework to allow Google to deploy future fixes like 4.4.4’s without needing to do a full-on system-level update.
Payment changes allow shoppers to split bills between Wallet and payment cards, add new location-based tools, and let apps offer users the ability to save offers to their Wallet accounts.
There are also better sort tools for Drive, closed captioning for Chromecast, and search indexing enhancements. If you haven’t seen the new Play Services 5.0 yet, keep on the lookout over the next few days (or just hit up that APK link below).