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What Is the Use of Google Play Services?

Google Play Services is an official Google app for Android devices. It serves as a background service and API package. Initially, it offered simple access to the Google+ APIs and OAuth 2.0 in 2012, but later, it grew to cover a wider variety of Google’s services, making it possible for applications to communicate easily with the service. Basically, it’s the app that’s pulling the strings in the background of your device to make everything run smoothly.


    What is Google Play Services for?

    Google Play Services is tightly integrated with the Android operating system, and it allows you to access Google services easily. It is also used to update Google and all the apps you download from Google Play.

    This element gives essential functionality to the apps in your Android smartphone or tablet, such as the authentication for your Google services, synchronizing contacts, getting easy access to all the latest privacy settings of the user, better quality of the apps, and location based services that are low-powered.

    Google Play services also speeds up offline searches, gives more immersive maps, and improves mobile gaming experience, etc., all to enhance the app experience you are having with your Android device.

    Google Play Services serves a variety of purposes. Furthermore, some of the apps on your device require Google Play Services to keep them up to date in order to function properly all the time. Although Google Play Services is actually removable (if you have root access), some apps may stop working if you remove it from your device.

    In any case, it will be re-installed automatically because it is, in fact, an extension of the Google Play ecosystem, and Google updates it automatically through Google Play on supported devices. What this does is it guarantees the consistency of the API across devices and versions, and facilitates the delivery of updates, bug fixes and new features.

    Google Play Services problems

    If Google Play Services is causing problems, like wake-locks, it is sometimes recommended to force stop the app. This will isolate the recycling on processes that are running rampant and causing the problem, but disabling core functionality to improve “performance” is never recommended because it’s one of the things that are actually needed for the device to work properly.

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    Without these services, a smartphone will be basically a mere touch screen “dumb phone”, and while there are some things that can be done without Google Play Services, removing it can be quite crippling to the overall experience.

    Google Play Services includes multiple tools


    Application developers can use Google Play Game Services to have a more competitive social experience using leaderboards. Whether public or among friends, achievements or multiplayer games, the API of the saved games is available to allow quick syncing and saving on the cloud infrastructure of Google as well.

    If you’ve ever been playing a game on your Android and saw a popup with an “Achievement” from Play Games, that’s Google Play Services in action.

    Location APIs

    The Location APIs sum up details about the technologies of location. It gives geofencing APIs to schedule certain actions according to the user’s entering or leaving certain geographic boundaries. And Fused Location Provider acquires information based on location with power usage as low as possible, and recognizing activity to allow applications to adapt to the user’s ongoing action (cycling, walking, etc.).


    The Google+ platform grants single sign-on, to allow the user to be automatically authenticated inside applications, in order to provide a special personalized experience thanks to the inter-app communication provided by Google Play Services.


    Google Maps API for Android makes it possible for applications to include Google Maps or Street View with no need to use another app. It allows controlling the camera completely, and allows adding custom markers and overlays over the maps.


    Google Drive API for Android allows using Google Drive as a storage service, which gives an easy lookup and document syncing and lots of other tools for manipulating the files. Google Play Services is involved in syncing the stuff you have stored in Google Drive.


    Google Cast API for Android provides additional functionality for casting in order to allow Android apps to use TVs for displaying content using Google Cast, and also assists with common types of audio, video and images.


    Google Mobile Ads puts advertisements into apps, to allow simple monetization by more than a million advertisers and sophisticated ad targeting in Google, according to factors such as location of the user.


    Using Google Wallet “Instant Buy” makes it possible to purchase many services and goods, giving you a streamlined flow at your fingertips, by doing minimized data entry.


    Google Play Services also offers other APIs, like the Google Fit API, Google account authentication methods, and Google Analytics APIs. Almost all Google apps use Google Play Services, whose system-level powers allow for many of the most important internal features on your Android device.

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