- better battery life
- more efficient data usage and transfer
- new robust APIs
- improved app performance
- an easier developer enrollment process.
One stand-out feature that's interesting for us: GCM will allow developers to notify their apps that there is new data to be fetched from the server without actually downloading the data. Instead, the app (for example a messaging app) can tell a user that he/she has a new message, which the user can retrieve manually. This will reduce data transfers and battery drain while still leaving users’ app information up to date.
There were a number of other mobile app-related announcements including notification improvements (for example letting users open up a notification with a two-fingers swipe revealing a bigger view with more content) and Smart App Updates. Smart App Updates make it possible to download only what has changed in an app, rather than download the entire app again. This will save time and also cut down on unnecessary data costs.
C2DM will be phased out and developers will need to migrate to GCM. Xtify is currently testing the GCM service and will replace the current Android C2DM SDK with GCM support in the coming weeks. Xtify will send an email to its developer community when the GCM-enabled SDK is available for download.
About Google Cloud Messaging:
Google Cloud Messaging for Android (GCM) is a service that helps developers send data from servers to their Android applications on Android devices. This could be a lightweight message telling the Android application that there is new data to be fetched from the server (for instance, a movie uploaded by a friend), or it could be a message containing up to 4kb of payload data (so apps like instant messaging can consume the message directly). The GCM service handles all aspects of queueing of messages and delivery to the target Android application running on the target device.