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Google Releases Awareness APIs

But the company says mobile development firms should be cautious when using the new tools.


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Google has made good on a promise it made at the I/O development conference, rolling out two new Awareness APIs for Android devices: Snapshot and Fence. The tools make it possible for apps to guess what a user is doing based on the time of day, location, weather and four other context signals. For example, if a user is walking and has plugged in headphones, an app could suggest a song. The Snapshot API allows apps to request information about what the user might currently be doing, and the Fence API allows the app to react to changes in what the user is doing.

However, the new APIs also come with a warning. Google says developers should be careful not to provide too many notifications or to drain battery life by making too many context requests.

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