We have been working the last couple months to create a new version of our Android plugin. During the design of this plugin we worked hard to make use of the latest features related to location accuracy and battery efficiency. Today we released the first alpha version of this plugin. Since there are a couple small breaking changes in the API for some users, we bumped the version number to 2.0.
Sending location based notifications has never worked so well. There is no longer a long running service running in the background, but instead everything is started on demand. This reduces the memory footprint of our library. Furthermore we ensured, even more than the current plugin version does, that the library now does as little as possible in the background, only triggering faster when something should happen. This decreases battery usage, while improving accuracy.
Because a lot of the innovation in Android has moved to the Google Play Services, our library starts making use of that as well. There are for example features that help with reducing battery usage, better location services and working with beacons. The good thing about innovations in the Google Play Services is that those improvements are also available for older Android versions, not the ones running on Android Nougat. Therefore the improvements can be used straight away by everyone. Is a dependency on Google Play Services not possible for your app or does the device not ship with Google Play Services? No problem, we will then fallback to the existing Android APIs.
Aside to the geofencing notification improvements, this version will work better with iBeacons. Beacon support is now available by default if you add Google Play Services as a dependency. We no longer depend on a library of another third party. Also this means no extra integration steps are required to make use of beacon triggers in your app.
Want to try it out? You can download the AAR file from the Developer Tools page in the dashboard. The guide is available here. In the future the library should also be available from a repository, so you no longer have to copy the library files yourself. The library is no longer available as a separate JAR file, only as an AAR package. The alpha version of this library is not available for Phonegap/Cordova/Ionic, Appcelerator Titanium and Xamarin yet. These come available when a beta version comes available.
We have been testing the plugin internally already for quite some time, but we would like to hear what you think about this plugin version. You can leave us a message through the dashboard chat or send us a message through the contact form.