Choose your SDK version

Places SDK for Android version 3.4.0 supports two SDK versions: Places SDK for Android is the existing SDK and Places SDK for Android (New) is the next generation version of the SDK.

With the release of Places SDK for Android version 3.4.0, your first task is to decide which SDK to use. This is true if you are a new customer or an existing customer already using the SDK. Use this guide to understand the key differences between the two SDKs.

How to select your SDK version

On the backend, Places SDK for Android relies on the Places API service, either Places API (New) or Places API. Before you can use Places SDK for Android, you must enable the Places API service in your Google Cloud project.

For Android, there are two actions you take to determine which APIs you can use in your app:

  1. In your project, you must enable Places API (New), Places API, or both on your API key depending on which you intend to use in your app.

  2. Initialize your app by calling either the Places.initializeWithNewPlacesApiEnabled() or Places.initialize() method.

Select you SDK

The version of the Places API service that you enable controls the SDK version used by your app:

  • Both: Enables all features for both Places SDK for Android and Places SDK for Android (New). Use the Places.initializeWithNewPlacesApiEnabled() and Places.initialize() method to control the available features.

  • Places API: Enables the existing Places SDK for Android. You don't have access to the new features added in Places SDK for Android version 3.4.0.

  • Places API (New): Enables Places SDK for Android (New) and all new features described in Key features added to Places SDK for Android (New) but does not enable existing features such as Current Place and Place Autocomplete.

For more information on selecting the Places API service, see Set up your Google Cloud project.

Initialize your app

When you initialize your app, you must call either the Places.initializeWithNewPlacesApiEnabled() or the Places.initialize() method.

The following table shows the effects of enabling each SDK and calling each initialize method. For example, if you enable Places SDK (New) and call Places.initializeWithNewPlacesApiEnabled(), you can use all of the new APIs and all of the existing APIs.

If you enable Places SDK (New) and call Places.initialize(), you cannot use the new features of Place Details and Place Photos, but can call the new Text Search. If you don't enable Places API, you cannot access old version of Place Details but you can still call the new Text Search.

Version APIs SDK Enabled on API key Initialization method
Places API Places API (New) initialize() initializeWithNewPlacesApiEnabled()
v3.3.0 Places Details
Places Details (New)
Photo Metadata (New)
Text Search (New) Either method
v3.4.0 Photo Uri (New)
Photo bitmap Either method
CurrentPlace Either method
Autocomplete Either method

Which SDK do you choose?

To help decide which version to choose:

  1. If you are a new customer just getting started with Places SDK for Android, then start with Places API (New) and the new SDK.

  2. If you are a Kotlin developer, you can use either SDK but the new features in Places SDK for Android (New) are only available in Java in version 3.4.0.

  3. If you are an existing customer and are using session tokens, continue using the existing SDK. Places SDK for Android (New) does not currently support session tokens.

  4. If you are an existing customer, you can continue using the existing SDK. However, to take advantage of the performance improvements and the feature enhancements of the Places SDK for Android (New), you can use the new SDK.

    There is no migration necessary when moving to the new SDK. You only have to:

    1. Enable Places API (New) on the API key used in your app. For more information, see Using API Keys.
    2. In the dependencies section of your module-level build.gradle file, update the places dependency and add the kotlin-bom dependency:

        dependencies {
            implementation ''

      For more information on the kotlin-bom dependency, see Usage of the latest kotlin-stdlib version in transitive dependencies.

    3. Update your existing app to call the new Places.initializeWithNewPlacesApiEnabled() method to initialize your app. For more information, see Initialize the Places API client.

    Your existing apps continue to work unchanged, but you can now take advantage of all new SDK features.

Key features added to Places SDK for Android (New)

This section covers key features added to Places SDK for Android (New).

Implemented on the Google Cloud standard platform

Places SDK for Android (New) is implemented on the service infrastructure on Google Cloud. This implementation brings a more secure and trusted platform. This standard design brings a level of consistency across the SDKs that improve the efficiency of development with Places SDK for Android (New).

Improved performance

Places SDK for Android (New) provides improved performance, making it worthwhile to replace apps that use the existing SDK.

New Text Search service

Text Search returns information about a set of places based on a string — for example "pizza in New York" or "shoe stores near Ottawa" or "123 Main Street". The service responds with a list of places matching the text string and any location bias that has been set.

New response data added to Placed Details and Place Photos

New URI response added to Place Photos

You can now use Place Photos to return a URI to an image bitmap. Previously, you could only return the image bitmap itself.

Simplified pricing

Pricing is simplified with Places SDK for Android (New) so that you only pay for the data you use. Simplified pricing is implemented using field lists, also called field masks.

With Place Details and Text Search you use field lists to control the list of fields to return in the response. You are then only billed for the data requested. Using a field list is a good design practice to ensure that you don't request unnecessary data, which helps to avoid unnecessary processing time and billing charges.

For detailed pricing information for both SDKs, see Usage and Billing.

Expanded place types

The new SDK adds the place types shown in the following table. These types are returned as part of the Place Details and Text Search response. You can also use these new types, and the existing types, in a search with Text Search. The new types are included in Table A.

american_restaurant discount_store ice_cream_shop sandwich_shop
amusement_center dog_park indian_restaurant school_district
athletic_field electric_vehicle_charging_station indonesian_restaurant seafood_restaurant
auto_parts_store event_venue italian_restaurant ski_resort
banquet_hall extended_stay_hotel japanese_restaurant spanish_restaurant
barbecue_restaurant farm korean_restaurant sporting_goods_store
barber_shop farmstay lebanese_restaurant sports_club
bed_and_breakfast fast_food_restaurant marina sports_complex
brazilian_restaurant ferry_terminal market steak_house
breakfast_restaurant fitness_center medical_lab sushi_restaurant
brunch_restaurant french_restaurant mediterranean_restaurant swimming_pool
bus_stop gift_shop mexican_restaurant tailor
camping_cabin golf_course middle_eastern_restaurant telecommunications_service_provider
cell_phone_store greek_restaurant motel thai_restaurant
child_care_agency grocery_store national_park transit_depot
chinese_restaurant guest_house park_and_ride truck_stop
coffee_shop hair_salon performing_arts_theater turkish_restaurant
community_center hamburger_restaurant pizza_restaurant vegan_restaurant
consultant heliport playground vegetarian_restaurant
convention_center hiking_area preschool vietnamese_restaurant
cottage historical_landmark private_guest_room visitor_center
courier_service home_improvement_store ramen_restaurant wedding_venue
cultural_center hostel resort_hotel wholesaler
dental_clinic hotel rest_stop
Along with these new types, Places API (New) moved the following types from Table B from Table A. That means you can now use these types as part of a search:
  • country
  • administrative_area_level_1
  • administrative_area_level_2
  • postal_code
  • locality