Unlocking Location Context with the Android Places API (100 Days of Google Dev)

Unlocking Location Context with the Android Places API (100 Days of Google Dev)

[MUSIC PLAYING] Are you interested in
making your app smarter? Understanding your
user’s location is one of the key
ingredients that can help unlock a simpler and more
intuitive user experience. I’m James McGill, and
I’m going to show you how you can use the Google
Places API for Android to intelligently adapt
your app’s behavior based on the user’s current location. For some time,
developers have been able to use the Location
Services on Android to better understand
where their users are. However, our users
and these APIs have been talking in
two different languages. Location APIs communicate
using latitude and longitude. But when you and I talk
about where to meet, we use the name of a particular
cafe or restaurant, not long numbers. The Google Places
API for Android provides the missing key needed
to translate between these two languages and powered by
Google’s database of over 100 million places. So that you can
turn this into this. Let’s imagine that we’re
building an application to improve our users’ well-being
by providing fitness tips no matter where they are. When a user opens
the app, we want to show the information
that is most useful to them at that time, and at
that particular place. We could ask them
where they are, but who needs
another tap getting in the way of using our app? Using the Google Places API
Get Current Place method we can skip that prompt,
and automatically determine which
place the user is at. Get Current Place
returns a list of places based on the device’s
current location and ordered by likelihood. While similar functionality
has been available via the Web Places API for some time,
we have significantly improved both
accuracy and precision in bringing the API to Android. We’ve achieved this by
deeply integrating the API with the wide variety
of sensors available on a modern mobile device,
including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. By combining the
list of likely places with context from the app, we
can improve these estimates even further. In our case, we can use
the place type associated with each entry to filter
down to only fitness venues, like parks and gyms. Along with each place, they
Get Current Place method also returns a likelihood. That’s a value
between zero and one representing how likely
it is that the device is at a particular place. We can use this value as
a threshold in our app to ensure that we only infer
the location when it really makes sense. For our fitness app, a
likelihood of more than 0.7 for a place that is identified
as being either a gym or a park is a very strong
signal, which we can use to avoid having to
ask the user where they are. Awesome. The Google APIs team is invested
in improving the accuracy of these place detection APIs. So over time, you
should expect to see the likelihood of the first
place returned increase. If you want to help
us get there faster, you can by calling the
Report Device at Place method in cases where you
have a strong signal that the user is at a
particular location. Once submitted, this data is
used anonymously to improve our model of the world,
but cannot be retrieved by your application
or end users. So if it’s important to
have access to this data, you should also store in
a persistent data store. The best part is that
this functionality is available for
free up to a default limit of 150,000 queries per
day for verified developers. Need more? No worries. Get in touch with
us at this URL, or check out this
site for instructions on how to verify your
development project. With the Google
Places API, you can bring the intelligence of
semantic location to your app. To get started, check
out the Getting Started Guide at this URL. I’m James McGill,
and I can’t wait to see you going places with the
Google Places API for Android. [MUSIC PLAYING]

8 thoughts on “Unlocking Location Context with the Android Places API (100 Days of Google Dev)

  1. Enjoying the '100 days of Google Dev' videos, but could you please include the links used in the video into the description. Would help a lot!

  2. Do the specified usage limits apply to an app instance or to an app as a whole, i.e. to compound number of requests for all app users?

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