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Google I/O: New Google Maps APIs

Google has announced three new Google Maps APIs for developers during the Google I/O keynote speech.

Google Maps will be updated with three new location APIs making the service better for users and developers.

Part of the new Google Play Services, the new Google Maps APIs will work across all devices and Android platforms. The new APIs are part of Google Maps Android API v2, “a major user interface upgrade”.

Fused Location Provider

The first new Google Maps location API is called the Fused Location Provider and was created by Google to take advantage of all location sensors.

The search engine giant rewrote all its location algorithms so that locations are now acquired faster and more accurately by Google Maps. Google has also added a new low power location mode that uses less than 1 per cent of the device’s battery per hour, making it more energy efficient for smartphones and tablets to use Google Maps both independently and within other apps.

Secondly, Google has added Geofencing to Google Maps. This location API allows developers and users to define virtual fences around geographic locations.

These fences recognise when the Google Maps user steps in and out of those boundaries. The new location API allows up to 100 geofences to be active simultaneously per app, something that developers have been requiring for some time.

Activity Recognition

The final new Google Maps location API is Activity Recognition. This allows Google Maps to help users track their physical activities, much like a fitness app or sports device like FitBit or the Nike FuelBand.

Activity Recognition uses accelerometer data and “machine learning classifiers” to automatically discover whether the user is walking, cycling or driving.

The really clever feature is that it does this without turning on GPS, meaning the Activity Recognition API is very battery efficient. Google is already predicting a wealth of new fitness apps that take advantage of this Google Maps capability.

For more Google I/O news stay tuned with TrustedReviews or watch the Google I/O keynote live.

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