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Google today announced the availability of two new Awareness application programming interfaces (APIs), which were first unveiled last month at the Google I/O developer conference. The APIs give developers a new way to do things in apps based on information about the context in which people are using Android devices.

The Snapshot API gives developers a way to get information about the current situation for a given device and its users. This applies to activity like walking or driving, the proximity of registered beacons, whether or not headphones are plugged in, location, and weather conditions there. The Fence API lets developers set parameters for getting alerts when certain criteria about location, activity, beacon proximity, and headphone status — an extension of the approach of geofencing.

“As a single, simplified surface, the Awareness APIs combine optimally processed context signals in new ways that were not previously possible, providing more accurate and insightful context cues, while also managing system resources to save battery and minimize bandwidth,” Google product manager Bhavik Singh wrote in a blog post.

These new APIs give developers new capabilities for apps and notifications. Google showed off two apps that are already using the new APIs: Trulia, which tells users when they’re near a house they’d be interested in and when the weather is nice, and SuperPlayer Music, which recommends playlists based on things like user activity and weather.

Documentation is here.


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