Google has announced the release of Google Play Services 6.5 for developers. Because of the way Google has broken things out of Android and uses Play Services, this makes each and every update a pretty big deal.

The new Play Service 6.5 will allow developers to build better apps for phones and tablets on Gingerbread or higher — which is just about every Android device in use today. The updates to Google Services 6.5 offers more flexibility to developers to use and manage the APIs they need with Drive, Maps, Fit, and Wallet.

With the new Play Services, developers can tell users that they need to be connected to a power source and/or be on a WiFi network, rather than celllular data, if their apps require copious amounts of data to be downloaded. They can also allow users to cancel pending downloads if users want to pursue the download at a later time. Developers can also create empty files and add custom properties.

Here are some of the API changes to expect.

  • Maps API
    • Lite Mode Maps
    • No server communications needed
    • Easy switch to full Maps functionality
  • Google Wallet
    • Donate with Google, along with Buy with Google and Save with Google buttons
  • Google Play Services SDK
    • Unbundling so you can use the APIs you need
    • Easier to manage 16-bit limit of Dex files
  • Google Fit API