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Google today released Google Play Services 3.2 for Android devices around the world. Among the improvements are better performance, greater power savings, as well as enhancements to Location Based Services, Maps, InstantBuy, Google+, and Photo Sphere.

First up, Location Based Services includes a new Fused Location Provider that supports the selection of a low-power mode option when requesting location updates and the ability to inject mock locations. The latter lets developers more efficiently test their apps in a variety of simulated conditions.

Google has also updated the geofencing APIs to support hardware-based GPS geofencing on devices that have the needed hardware. Hardware geofences consume significantly less battery, and can automatically be used on supported hardware without developers having to make any changes to their apps.

As for Maps, the API now has a new Snapshot feature to let developers capture a bitmap image of the current map in order to improve performance when an interactive map isn’t necessary. Last but not least, there’s a new listener for the My Location button.

The other three features are as follows:

  • Google+ sign-in has received a new simplified sharing control that can be embedded directly within apps, simplifying the process of sharing content directly to Google+, and a smoother animation.
  • The Photo Sphere viewer has been extended to include a compass mode that allows users to explore Photo Spheres by moving their phones.
  • The InstantBuy implementation has been improved to increase efficiency with improved latency, a cleaner UI with contextual text and assets for the holo light theme, and support for passing through loyalty and offers information.
  • Last but certainly not least, Google also released an updated Google APIs emulator image that includes Google Play Services 3.2. Developers can download the image through the Android SDK Manager to ease their testing.

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