Today at its I/O event, Google announced three new Android APIs as part of its set of developer tools for mobile developers. Combined, these APIs will help applications track user location without heavy battery use, will enable the use of virtual fences, and will track user physical activity with new accelerometer tools.
The Fused Location Provider rewrites the algorithm by which sensors take in data, which will help mobile devices more quickly find the location of users. Also, a new low-power “finding solution” will apparently draw less than 1% of battery life per hour, while in use. As you may know, location services are notorious for cutting battery life significantly.
On to the new Geofencing API, Google claims it will allow developers to set up virtual fences around geographical areas, triggering when users leave set locations. Developers can use more than 100 per application. According to Google, this has been a “big ask” among its developer community.
Finally, the Activity Recognition API will help users track their physical activity. The new API uses the accelerometer and machine learning to discern if a user is cycling, walking, or driving.
According to Google, these new APIs will allow for a “whole new category of awesome apps.”