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Google Unveils Android Awareness API

Google Unveils Android Awareness API
Google wants to make your apps smarter, and it has just released a new API for developers to do just that.

(CCM) — On Thursday, Google announced the new Android Awareness API, which gives apps a basic understanding of your device's surroundings. Awareness collects and aggregates data from seven data points: current local time, location, specific place and type of place, activity, nearby beacons, headphone use, and current weather conditions. The API is actually two interfaces: Fence API and Snapshot API. Fence API is triggered when one or more conditions are met, such as plugging in your headphones and starting to jog. The second API, Snapshot, is the part of Awareness that requests user information, allowing the Fence API to respond. "You can use this information to build more assistive and aware applications," explained Google's Bhavik Singh, Product Manager for the Awareness API. Google is accepting applications for early access to the API now.

The new Awareness API is essentially an extension of the context awareness built into Google Now and Assistant, bundled into a package that app developers can easily deploy. The Google Assistant was also unveiled this week, as part of the 2016 I/O developer conference. "The assistant is conversational — an ongoing two-way dialogue between you and Google that understands your world and helps you get things done," explained Google CEO Sundar Pichai in a blog post. "It's a Google for you, by you." The assistant works across devices and contexts, including the newly unveiled Amazon Echo competitor Google Home, and the upcoming Allo and Duo apps.

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