Google Unveils New Google Play Ad Identifier

Google is replacing its Android ID with a new Advertising ID in the latest version of its app store SDK, a move that echoes Apple’s abandonment of its UDID.

The update in Google Play services v 4.0 aims to ensure users cannot be tracked down to the individual device and comes with added advertising controls for users, including ID reset, similar to clearing cookies, and an ad opt-out. App devs can update from now but will have to comply by this time next year.

The company has simplfied the Google+ sign-in process for apps and is testing Google Wallet Instant Buy APIs, including Wallet Objects, which enable devs to award loyalty points to people who make an applicable Google Wallet Instant Buy purchase.

The update also includes improvements to geofencing so devs can set a preferred dwell time before a notification is shown, which aims to ensure messages arent sent to people who simply pass by the area and will help improve users battery life. The Maps API has also been improved to offer customised features like marker opacity, fade-in effects, visibility of 3D buildings and image overlay.

Devices running Android 2.2 – Froyo – will not be able to upgrade to the new SDK.