Google Play Services 8.4 update details family groups, app invites, and other new tweaks

Google has cranking out the new features through Play Services rather quickly as of late, dishing out version 8.4 about three weeks after the 8.3 update.

The good news is that if you’ve been impatiently waiting to share your apps and other purchases with family members, such a feature may finally be near. According to an APK teardown, there are several more details about how such a plan would look.

The update specifies that a family group creator must be at least 18, and can only tag one individual to be the family manager. There’s a reference to some type of limit to the number of those who can be in a family, but it isn’t spelled out just yet. It’ll also only work with personal Google accounts: so no luck for those using Google for Work or Google for Education.

Also, there’s a string that details some type of app invite feature that’s part of the Nearby API. You can currently share an app via SMS or with Android’s sharing tool, but this may allow for an over-the-air handover, much like Apple’s Airdrop.

Google also added in some icons to make the Smart Lock screen easier to navigate and an option for 720p video out with Android Auto.

You should get the new Play Services update over the air, or you can grab it now from APK Mirror.

Why this matters: Google Play Services is the primary tool Google uses to get new features out to developers. Unless you have a Nexus device, you’ll see capabilities come through here much faster than you would with Android OS updates. It’ll be nice to see the family account manager feature go live soon, as it’s a big missing piece from Google’s digital storefront, in comparison to Apple’s App Store.


Derek Walter

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