Google IO lifts veil off new location, messaging API tools

Hugo Barra unveils Google Maps API v2
Hugo Barra unveils Google Maps API v2

Google Maps Android API v2 was unveiled at the Google IO conference today with new tools for developers that build maps directly into their Android apps.

The first of the three new location APIs is fused location provider, which is a rewritten alogrthm for all of a device's sensors.

"Location is going is now faster to acquire, more accurate and we're also adding a new low-power location mode that uses less than 1 percent of power," said Hugo Barra, Google vice president of product management to applause.

The second new location-based API is geofencing that lets developers define up to 100 simultaneous goefencing locations per app.

Activity recognition, the third location API tool, will be able to tell whether a user is walking, cycling or riding in a car.

Google Cloud Messaging

Google Cloud Messaging, unveiled last year, is now delivering more than 17 billion messages to Android users per day.

Now, Google Cloud Messaging is part of Google Play Services with persistent connections. This will enable users to send a large number of messages to many devices very quickly.

Second, Google's messaging service adds upstream messaging, which allows developers to send messages from their apps to services just as seamlessly.

Third, Google Cloud Messaging via Google Pay Services will make it so that users only have to dismiss a message on one device if they own multiple Android smartphones and tablets.

Bara said that all of these services are rolling out progressively and that developers can start signing up for them today.

"We really want you to thrive," said he told developers.

Matt Swider