Understand the history of Google Play Services, what it is and what it does, what the benefits of using it are, and what technologies the library encompasses
- [Voiceover] Today's Android users have a lot of expectations of their apps. They expect apps to be able to work with the Google services they already know and use. Such as, using Google Drive to store information. Or, maybe they want to use their existing Google identity to let them sign up for and into their favorite apps. Android developers themselves can also leverage these Google services. Perhaps, you want to be able to use Google Cloud Messaging, to send messages from your app server, to your client apps.
Or maybe use AdMob to monetize your app through advertising. With Google Play Services for Android, your app can provide all of these features, and many more, without writing a lot of complex code. Google Play Services was introduced in 2012, and originally provided a way for developers to use Google+ and OAuth APIs. Since then it has expanded to cover many of Google services. Recently, Google has tended to follow an aggressive release schedule with the library, usually around four to six releases per year.
Generally speaking, Android devices running at least version 2.3, which is API level 9 or later, can use Play Services, which is delivered to users via the Play Store, and is updated by Google independently of any OEM, or wireless carrier update schedule. Play Services relieves your application of having to figure out device support and provides a clean, consistent way to access Google Services APIs across different versions of Android.
From the developer's point of view, Google Play Services has two parts. The first is a client library that you include in your applications, and that handles the communication process with the Play Services Android package that lives on the device. The client library has a specific version number, which you can update in order to access new APIs as they become available, or to receive bug fixes. Or, you can just leave it as is, and use the APIs provided by that particular release version.
The Play Store handles the process of keeping the Android package for Play Services up to date. The Play Services APK also handles the process of communicating with a back-end Google Services, and provides nice, high-level APIs for doing so.
Programming expert Joe Marini covers how to retrieve and work with a user's location and get continuous location updates with Location services; target and authenticate users and access their profile information with Google Sign-In; and work with the Google Drive API to store and retrieve content. Joe also shows you how to use the Google Places API to get information about places such as addresses, phone numbers, and website URLs, along with how to send messages to individual devices using Google Cloud Messaging. By the end of this course, you should be able to incorporate Google Play services into your own apps and take advantage of the various features it provides.
- Using Google Play services in your Android project
- How the Google Play services life cycle works
- Retrieving the user's location with Location services
- Working with location data
- Performing a geocoding operation
- Using Google Sign-In to access user information
- Storing information with the Google Drive API
- Working with the Google Places API
- Communicating via Google Cloud Messaging (GCM)