Google has made the Transition API available to all Android developers. What does that mean?
Google has been quietly using the Activity Recognition Transition API since last year to power the Driving, Do-Not-Disturb feature that was introduced on the Pixel 2. The Transition API allows the phone to recognize changes in activity. Activity such as when the user gets into a car, when the car is moving, and when the car is parked, as opposed to simply stopping for a red light. Through sensor data and machine learning, Google has produced an algorithm which they feel confident can tell the difference between activities such as these.
There are any number of apps that provide functionality in which information such as this is required. Up until now, app developers have had to code methods to obtain this data into their apps. Google states “We’ve heard from developer after developer that they’re spending valuable engineering time to combine various signals like location and sensor data just to determine when the user has started or ended an activity like walking or driving.” Now, developers can rest easy simply calling upon the transition API for this needed information.
Additionally, users may very well see quite the impact from this. Users can have multiple apps on their phones calling upon various sensors to obtain this information. If this information is delivered to multiple apps from one source, instead of each app polling the individual sensors, users could see a significant improvement on battery life as less resources are being used.
A welcome addition for sure.