Nearby Messages introduces a cross-platform API to find and communicate with mobile devices and beacons, based on proximity. It can be use a Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and an ultrasonic audio modem to connect devices. And it works across Android and iOS.
The Barcode API allows apps to recognize barcodes in real-time, on device, in any orientation.
The new release also has an improved version of the Google Cloud Messaging API.
Announce via the Android Developer blog, Magnus Hyttsten wrote:
It has been almost a month since Google Play services 7.8 began rolling out to users, and as of yesterday, it is in wide release to everybody. A previous blog post by Google discussed the big new feature for developers would be the Nearby Messages API, but it turns out there are a couple of other additions worth checking out. In a new post on the Android Developers blog, Google announced a new Mobile Vision API with the ability to detect the presence, orientation, and some details of faces when they are in frame on an active camera. There is also a new API for identifying and reading barcodes of many different types. Finally, the Google Cloud Messaging API has been enhanced with priority options to better handle messages with different urgency and localization support so users can be shown notifications appropriate to them.
Watch this video to learn more about new APIs: