Updated Google Play Services 5.0 rolls out to nearly every Android device

Google Play Services 5.0
Google prepares Android for wearables

Along with announcing the availability of Android Wear apps earlier today, the search company also pushed out Google Play Services 5.0 to almost all Android devices.

There's no need to download it either. The services update comes through the Google Play Store to almost all smartphones and tablets running Android 2.3 Gingerbread to 4.4 KitKat.

Google Service 5.0 brings with it an API designed to make it easier for users to communicate with apps running on Android Wear devices. In a developer update Google wrote that the 5.0 update allows apps to sync data, exchange control messages, and transfer data between wearables and compatible phones.

Matchmaker, make me a match

The Android Wear specific updates will only work with devices. What's more, smartwatches and activity trackers running Google's wearable OS will only work with certain handsets.

To help users make sense of whether devices can pair properly, the Mountain View company launched an Android Wear Check website. The online tool allows users to check the compatibility of their smartphone before trying to find a match.

Everything else

Aside from all the Android Wear specific tools, the updates services also adds a dynamic security provider allowing developers to rapidly deliver security patches. A necessity in today's world when it seems like some other app has been breached every week.

A tweak to Google Wallet adds the option to save offers or deals to users' wallets. At registers and online carts users can now pay for goods with both their Google Wallet Balance and linked credit or debit cards in case they don't have enough virtual currency in the bank to make the purchase.

The virtual wallet will also know when users have walked into a store by tracking their location data to automatically pull up loyalty cards and offers. Google hopes this will save the user the hassle of digging and carrying around the items physically when they can simply scan codes from their phones.

On the developer side app makers will be happy to hear Google has improved analytics capabilities for e-commerce sites. The updated tools include new ways to measure marketing and merchandising strategies, and search for the app like a webpage with an updated indexing API.

  • Google preps for Android Wear but what of Android L?
Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee was a former computing reporter at TechRadar. Kevin is now the SEO Updates Editor at IGN based in New York. He handles all of the best of tech buying guides while also dipping his hand in the entertainment and games evergreen content. Kevin has over eight years of experience in the tech and games publications with previous bylines at Polygon, PC World, and more. Outside of work, Kevin is major movie buff of cult and bad films. He also regularly plays flight & space sim and racing games. IRL he's a fan of archery, axe throwing, and board games.