Google unveils new APIs to help developers use location services effectively

location APIsApart from all the consumer-centric services and products, Google has also unveiled quite a few developer specific features at the on-going Google I/O 2013. We have already told you about Google Play games services and Google Play for Education and now it is the turn of new location-related APIs. Google is aiming to help app developers in building better apps and still not eat up all of user’s smartphone battery life with these APIs.

Google has announced three location related APIs – Fused Location Provider, Activity recognition and Geofencing. Let us look a little deeper:

Fused Location Provider API:

This new location API helps developers in finding out the user’s location in a more efficient manner. According to Google, it uses less than one per cent of battery per hour. It will use they use all the phone’s sensors—not just GPS—to more quickly and accurately target user location.

“The Fused Location Provider intelligently manages the underlying location technology and gives you the best location according to your needs. We’ve simplified the location APIs and completely rewritten our location algorithm to make location more accurate, flexible and use less battery,” Google wrote in a blog post.

Activity recognition API:

This new API allows developers to know whether the user is walking, cycling or driving using the accelerometer data and machine learning. It should help developers in building more contextual apps.

“New activity recognition API makes it easy to check the the user’s current activity — still, walking, cycling, and in-vehicle — with very efficient use of the battery. We use low-power sensors and machine-learning classifiers to recognize the activity, giving you both both high accuracy and low battery usage,” Google noted.

Geofencing API:

The last of three new APIs, geofencing allows developers to create virtual boundaries (geofences) using real world geographical data and trigger actions when the user enters of leaves these.  This API makes it easy for devs to create up to 100 map-based triggers.

“Using the new geofencing API, your app can set up geographic boundaries around specific locations and then receive notifications when the user enters or leaves those areas,” Google explained.

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