Google Play Services 8.3 simplifies Android sign-in to a single tap

Android app sign ins became as simple as one-click Chrome web logins. Location, invites, and wearable synching were also updated.

Google has updated Google Play Services. Users will notice changes from these updates in their apps quickly. For most Android users, Play Services remains out of sight and under the hood, serving apps with application programming interfaces (API), OAuth 2.0 identity services, security, malware scanning, and other mobile services.

With the release of Google Play 8.3, Google has changed the sign-in button to make it work more like Chrome's web sign-in. When a new app that uses this updated Play Services release is downloaded, the developer can present the new branded sign-in button:

android sign in google screen shot Google

This is a big interaction fix for users who previously had to select from multiple accounts, create new profiles, and grant user permissions just to sign into an app. It wouldn't be noticeable except for all the streamlined web sign-ins available, such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter, that reduce sign-in to a click. Now Android sign in to apps is reduced to a tap.

Programming apps with Google's identity management was possible before this release, but it was comparatively complex and required writing additional software to manage error conditions. Enhanced Play Services reduces the amount of code developers needed to write to deliver an improved sign-in experience. On first sign-in, users will recognize that Android has caught up to Chrome.

Other enhancements were introduced that users will notice as app features when their apps are updated.

The Fused Location Provider (FPL) combines cell tower, Wi-Fi, and GPS data synthesizing the most accurate estimate of location under current conditions. FPL was updated to extend its low-power batch mode to retain batched location to reduce redundant operations and save battery power.

Developers can more easily add a feature to their apps that allow the user to invite friends to engage in their app whatever it may be: gaming, messaging, or any other type of collaborative app.

Wearable devices often require the synching of multiple apps between the wearable and smartphone. This is important because successful user experience with smartwatches depends on the right interruption with accurate and timely information.

Easier sign-in, less battery drain from location services, more engagement with friends, and improved wearable interactions sum up this release.

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