What is Google Play Services and what is it for?

What is Google Play Services and what is it for?

A few weeks ago we explained how to update Google Play and why. Well, the fact is that many have seen this app on their mobile phones, but not everyone knows what Google Play services are. And often the problems on Android are related to Google Play Services, but what exactly happens? Below we explain what it is, what it is for and why it is essential.

Google Play Services: what is it?

You've seen it around. Not in the app menu, but in the list of installed apps when you enter Settings. This is because Google Play Services isn't an app like most people think of apps.

When you try to open it, nothing happens. However, it is installed by default on all Android devices. It is constantly updated and the number of permissions it asks for is impressive. It has it all: access and control via SMS, access to confidential registration data, access all information from Google applications and so on.

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In short, Google Play Services is an application that is closely related to the Android system itself. It is a package of APIs (elements that help programmers and allow applications to communicate easily with other applications, including the system) that ensure that fewer applications rely on Android OS updates to run.

I bet you will now be more concerned with Google Play services. Thanks to it, many things arrive on your smartphone even without having to wait for the next Android update.

What does Google Play Services do?

Indeed, Google Play Services represents a small revolution for smartphones. Take the example of Google Maps: Before Google Play Services, this app was only updated when the Android OS was updated.

And the worst is that we all know how operators and manufacturers can be slow when it comes to rolling out updates. You no longer have to wait for updates on Google Maps today - they are done automatically through Google Play Services.

Google Play Services allows your smartphone to take advantage of the latest versions of apps without upgrading to the latest version of Android. This does not include all apps, this is the case for Google home apps (like Gmail, Google+, Google Play, etc.). However, apps that use Google's services, of which there are many, may be affected.

Essentially, this means that any version of Android, since Android 2.2, can benefit from new applications and features, regardless of OS updates. It's essentially a way to reduce fragmentation and ensure that as many users as possible can take advantage of Android and its new features.

This is a change in the operating system released with Android 4.3 and which has continued to gradually grow with new Android updates, particularly with the arrival of Lollipop and Marshmallow. Currently, with Android 9.0 Pie, Google Play services have become an essential part of the Android ecosystem.

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Can I delete the Google Play services?

In no way. As much as you do not like or use Google apps on your smartphone, it is absolutely not recommended to delete Google Play Services. Basically, you can't delete it, and Google blocks it from being uninstalled, so those who are unaware of the system will accidentally delete it. You can only delete it if you have root access on your smartphone.

Can I disable the Google Play services?

While it was possible in the past to disable Google Play services, today it's a bad idea to disable it - all your Google apps require block-free operation. However, it is possible to have the smartphone without Google applications and services, thanks to the availability of custom ROMs, such as LineageOS.

Why does Google Play Services drain the battery?

Google Play Services generally consumes a small amount of battery power, only a few percentage points. However, in some cases, users have seen Google swallow an exaggerated amount of battery after an Android OS update. The most likely reason is an incompatibility issue between your Android version and Google Play services.

The fastest solutions for this are:

  • Remove application updates (Settings> Applications> All> Google Play Services> three-dot menu> Uninstall updates). You may need to go to Settings> Security> Device Administrators and disable Android Device Manager first;
  • Disable Google Data Sync (Settings> Accounts - Scroll down and disable “Sync data automatically”).

We hope this article helped you to know more about Google Play Services and its importance. Do you have any other questions? Let us know in the comments.

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