In addition to Google Play Music All Access, Google is announcing a wide variety of updates at their I/O conference. Many of them are of little interest, at least to me, or not relevant enough to post on, barring anything Android related.
And today I learned that Google has plans to vastly improve Android’s locations services. First off, they’ve created something called Fused Location Provider. This basically combines all of your phones sensors that can detect location (proximity to a cell tower, WiFi, and GPS) and in turn greatly reduces battery consumption when an app, such as maps requires your specific location. Apparently this new mode will reduce battery consumption to just “less than one percent of battery per hour while active”, or so says Gizmodo writer Kyle Wagner. It’s a pretty astounding claim, and one that I’ll welcome with open arms, as my Nexus 4′s battery burns through energy like there is no tomorrow.
Also announced was the implementation of geofencing. Apple’s iOS has long been able to notify you of a task based on your location – Android lacks this feature. That is until now, or I should say soon…when the feature rolls out. In other words, your Android phone could periodically check your location and turn on functions, notify you of points of interest (something it already does in Google Now) and perhaps alert select users when you’ve left a zone (parents would use this latter feature). Apple’s iPhone sucks down battery life when a reminder is attached to a location, so let’s hope that Google uses some intelligent ways to help manage this, in addition to Fused Location Provider.
Sorry, no word on when these features will roll out.