Google I/O 2016 edition has surely brought some innovations for developers and has gotten end-users excited about releases scheduled later this year. One interesting new API that Google has showcased is Awareness API, and it basically allows apps to open automatically based on the user’s surroundings.

Information on Awareness API has already been posted on Google’s developer website, and developers can use the data to make their apps take into consideration the user’s surroundings. There are seven types of context data, namely Time, Location, Place, Activity, Beacons, Headphones, and Weather.

Using Awareness API, the smartphone can automatically open dedicated music applications when headphones are plugged in or provide suggestions. The API also allows developers to manage how much battery life and data usage the application needs. This would enable developers to create more efficient applications, without worrying about battery drainage.

Awareness API comes with multiple benefits and advantages for developers, but the focus is on the fact that they only need to add a single API to their applications, thus simplifying integration and improving productivity.

Apps will get information on the user’s location

The API provides better context data, in the sense that raw signals are processed, and advanced algorithms are used for determining the user’s activity with a higher level of accuracy.

Awareness API consists of two specific APIs. Fence API allows developer apps to respond to current contextual signals and provide notifications to the app. Specifically, the app can receive information whenever the user is running and the headphones are plugged in so that the designated music application can launch automatically.

The second component, Snapshot API, allows apps to request information about the user’s current context, including weather conditions and location.

Contextual data found inside APIs includes sensor-derived data like location, place and even activity. Google developer’s page has also released a table with contextual data that can be used for sending application user information like location and activities that they are doing.

Google’s Awareness API paves the way for more intelligent applications that can meet the needs of users, regardless of whether apps are running or not. However, it also implies that applications will be aware of the user’s surroundings, which could pose some privacy issues.

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