Google Play Services 6.1 update brings better Google Fit support, new Drive features

Google has begun rolling out a new version of its Play Services, version 6.1, bringing a number of new features for users and developers.

Meant to bridge the gap between Android versions, Play Services get updated behind the scenes on any device running version 2.2 Froyo or higher, and allow Google’s first party apps, as well as myriad third party ones, to better link to the company’s varied services.

Play Services 5.0 was issued in July, bringing support for wearables along with big updates to Chromecast, Drive, Wallet, Games and more. Now at 6.1, the updates are smaller but no less significant.

Developers can now test their apps against a more robust version of Google Fit, set to roll out with Android L later this year. Google Fit, like Apple’s Health portal, is a place for apps to send fitness and health-related data and store it, securely, in a single place.

Other improvements involve a better Google Drive API, and elements of Material Design have made their way into the File Picker backend.

Along with a preview of a new Material Design-flavoured version of the Play Store, Google is getting its ducks in a row for the launch of Android L in the coming weeks. It’s can’t be long now.

The new version of Google Play Services will begin rolling out in the coming days.

[source]Android Developer Blog[/source]