Google Play Services Stories September 17

Last year, Android 11 introduced a clever privacy feature that removes permissions granted to “unused apps” that haven’t been opened in some time. Google is now bringing this auto-reset to older phones and tablets via Play services over the coming months. 

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Google Play Services Stories July 8

Google Play services is responsible for a slew of userfacing capabilities, like account management and Chrome OS integration, while also providing third-party app developers with a number of background features. Google announced today that Play services is dropping support for Android Jelly Bean next month.

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Google Play Services Stories June 18

The latest beta version of Play services rolled out last evening to reveal that Google is working on a “Find My Device network” capability named “Spot” that leverages your Android phone to locate other devices. 

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Google Play Services Stories June 2

Android 12 will feature a slew of privacy features from a new Setting dashboard to the ability to disable app access to the camera and microphone. Another update later this year will make it so that users are better able to opt-out of personalized ads in Android applications.

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Google Play Services Stories May 24

Google and Qualcomm partner to bring faster neural network updates to Android users

The news slipped through the cracks last week with the madness that was I/O 2021, but Google had another notable announcement. Starting with future versions of Android, Google and Qualcomm will offer a faster way to roll out neural network updates to Android users on Snapdragon chips.

Google Play Services Stories February 8

Ahead of the launch of the Pixel 5, the Google Camera and Google Recorder apps, among others, became unable to be sideloaded due to verification errors. Thankfully, a solution — if, perhaps, a temporary one — has been discovered.

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Google Play Services Stories November 13, 2020

This week, those enrolled in the Google Play Services beta received an update to version 20.45, which includes work to sync Wi-Fi passwords between your Android phone to your Chromebook.

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Google Play Services Stories October 21, 2020

For a few months now, we’ve been keeping an eye on a new feature for Chrome OS called “Phone Hub” which will deeply connect your Chromebook to your Android phone. Now we’re beginning to see the feature come to fruition on the Android side by way of an update to Google Play Services.

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Google Play Services Stories August 28, 2020

With App Preview Messaging, the person you’re contacting doesn’t need to have that app installed to receive a message. Available on Android, Google leveraged Play Services and the capability saw a notable launch with Allo and Duo. Google earlier this month announced that it has “deprecated” APM.

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Google Play Services Stories July 30, 2020

Google Play Services hits 10 billion installs, the first Android app to do so

Being pre-installed on most Android devices, Google’s apps rack up quite a lot of downloads and cross milestones on occasion. Now, for the first time ever, an Android app has crossed 10 billion installs on the Play Store — Google Play Services.

Google Play Services Stories June 30, 2020

Earthquake early warning systems (EEW) can quickly detect tremors and provide a warning before shaking arrives. ShakeAlert is the system funded by the United States Geological Survey and other partners for the West Coast. Google now looks to be building earthquake alerts from that system into Android as part of Play Services.

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Google Play Services Stories May 4, 2020

Instead of requiring a full OS update, Google is bringing exposure notifications to Android by leveraging Play services. Ahead of this month’s launch, the two companies are previewing contact tracing apps and what settings Android users will have to control COVID-19 contact tracing.

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Google Play Services Stories April 29, 2020

Google and Apple earlier this month announced a partnership to build contact tracing into iOS and Android. Ahead of the capability launching in mid-May, both companies are previewing the exposure notification API for health agency developers.

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Google Play Services Stories April 13, 2020

On Friday, Google and Apple announced a surprise collaboration to integrate contact tracing for COVID-19 into iOS and Android. That first phase of this plan is coming next month, but deeper OS-level integration is also planned. In rolling out these features to Android, Google will be bypassing the platform’s usual update process by leveraging Play services.

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Google Play Services Stories February 10, 2020

If you’re practicing good account security, you may have your phone number attached to various accounts as part of two-factor authentication. Google Messages is rolling out a new feature to autofill any one-time security codes that your apps may need.

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Google Play Services Stories August 5, 2019

ARCore is Google’s platform for mobile augmented reality. It was announced in 2017, with Google later deprecating Tango for the current solution that does not require specialized sensors, cameras, or other hardware. Google today renamed the ARCore app on Android to “Google Play Services for AR.”

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Google Play Services Stories June 29, 2019

Google appears to be working on a new and simple way to share files between a variety of devices, including Android and Chromebooks. We’ve managed to fully enable “Fast Share” on Android today, and here’s how it works.

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Google Play Services Stories March 7, 2019

Google testing Material Theme tweaks for ‘Help & feedback’ pages on Android

Every mobile Google app on Android and iOS lets users quickly get help and send feedback about the service. Google is now testing a Material Theme revamp of these two pages to match the company’s latest design language.

Google Play Services Stories December 7, 2018

Slowly but surely, older versions of Android are disappearing from the active monthly user list, being replaced with newer releases. This week, Google Play Services is officially dropping support for Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich.

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Google Play Services Stories May 4, 2018

Google’s casting platform is massive, and works with hundreds of apps and services, and just as many different types of hardware. Google introduced a tool over a year ago which made controlling cast media a bit easier on Android, and now that notification is getting a big revamp in functionality…

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Google Play Services Stories April 23, 2018

Over the weekend, we spotted a Material Design “refresh” for Chrome on Windows, while we’ve previously managed to enable “Material Design 2” in the Google app and Feed. Today, we’ve been able to access it in Google Play services with revamped “My Account” settings in what is likely our best look at Google’s future design language.

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Google Play Services Stories February 6, 2018

The “Check for update” button on Pixel and Nexus devices finally works with the latest Google Play services. Version 12.2.09 hit the beta channel this evening and many are reporting that tapping the button now pushes the latest Android security patch to their phones.

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How to join the Google Play Services beta on Android

Typically, when Google rolls out an update to Play Services, it introduces new features or functionality to Android. One instance of this was when Google rolled out Assistant to most modern smartphones. If you want these updates even earlier, you can enroll in Google Play Services beta track. Here’s how…

Google Play Services Stories February 1, 2018

How to update Google Play Services on Android

Google Play Services, just like most apps, gets updated through the Play Store. And just like with some apps, Play Services doesn’t get updated on the device as soon as a new version is available. Here’s how to manually update Google Play Services…

A few weeks ago it was discovered that Google’s popular Chromecast and Google Home devices were causing outages with wireless routers due to a bug. While router makers tried to fix the problem, it came down to Google to get a proper fix out, and now, that fix is rolling out to all users.

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Google Play Services Stories January 18, 2018

Latest Google Play services beta rolling out w/ fix for Chromecast-caused Wi-Fi issues, download here

As promised yesterday, Google has begun rolling out a Google Play services update to users that should fix the reported Wi-Fi slowdowns and outages cause by Chromecast built-in devices (Google Homes, Android TVs, Chromecasts, etc.). In case it hasn’t reached your device yet, you can download the update below…

Google Play Services Stories January 11, 2018

Earlier this week, Google announced that it was merging Android Pay and Google Wallet. The new Google Pay brand is simpler and centralizes the company’s payment services for consumers. At the time, the company noted a rollout in the “coming weeks,” with the first signs of it now going live.

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Google Play Services Stories December 7, 2017

Back in September, a Googler noted that the “Check for update” button on Pixel and Nexus devices would work to offer any available OTAs for download. This has clearly not been the case in recent months, but it will finally work again in 2018.

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Google Play Services Stories December 1, 2017

One of the main reasons I love Google’s Pixel 2 and specifically the Pixel 2 XL is the battery life. These phones have some serious endurance, but a recent update seems to have messed that up a bit.

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Google Play Services Stories August 4, 2017

A couple of months ago it was discovered that an update broke the ability to power a Chromecast with a smartphone’s hotspot. While that seems like a minor thing, it annoyed quite a few customers. Recently, an update to Google Play Services finally fixed this problem, restoring the ability to use Google’s streaming device on a hotspot. expand full story

Google Play Services Stories July 31, 2017

At I/O 2017, Google announced an upcoming revamp to its Nearby API that powers the Bluetooth beacons that are increasingly found in stores to serve deals and other notifications. Version 2.0 of the Nearby Connections API is now available to provide a “fully offline, high bandwidth peer to peer device communication.”

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Ever since the release of the HTC Dream back in 2008, Android has been growing steadily. Over the weekend, the platform achieved a pretty major milestone when Google Play Services crossed 5 billion downloads on the Google Play Store.

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Google Play Services Stories July 19, 2017

Announced at I/O 2017, Google Play Protect is essentially a rebrand of the company’s existing suite of security services for Android devices. In a statement, Google notes that it is beginning to rollout today in the Play Services app and coming soon to the Play Store.

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Google Play Services Stories June 15, 2017

Android Things Developer Preview 4.1 features new IoT-optimized Play Services variant

With Developer Preview 4, Android Things added support for the Google Assistant SDK on all certified boards. Today, the preview is getting a minor update to 4.1, which brings an Internet of Things variant of Google Play Services.

Google Play Services Stories June 9, 2017

CAPTCHAs are a particular nuisance on the web, and even more so on mobile devices with smaller displays to read and type. However, they are a necessary annoyance, with Google now bringing it to Android as part of Play Services.

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Google Play Services Stories January 20, 2017

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Tethering your various devices to your phone to get connected to the internet is a common use case for many people these days, but the experience in getting it set up definitely has room for improvement. Now, there’s a new feature rolling out through a Google Play Services update (it seems to be version 10.2 in this case) that will let you tether your devices to a hotspot hosted on your phone with just a single tap…

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Google Play Services Stories November 7, 2016

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If you’re using Google’s latest software, Android 7.1, you may have noticed that Google removed the button to check for new system updates. However, that button is coming back with the latest update to Google Play Services.

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Google Play Services Stories September 22, 2016

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Allo’s launch very much came and went, but not before introducing a very nifty — or depending on how you look at it, annoying — feature. App Preview Messaging allows those who don’t use Allo to send replies when messaged by someone from the app. Google is now opening up the Google Play Services feature and letting other messaging apps implement it.

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Google Play Services Stories August 1, 2016

Android Notifications

With the way security currently works, Google alerts users of new sign-ins to their account via email. The measure is a means of keeping users secure by informing them of what’s happening with their accounts in real-time. Starting today, users will be alerted of new sign-ins through notifications sent directly to their Android device.

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Google Play Services Stories June 27, 2016

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Announced last August, the Mobile Vision API allows app developers to detect faces in images and video. The API was briefly removed, however, and today it makes a return as part of Google Play Services 9.2. A new Text API has also been added and will give developers access to optical character recognition.

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Google Play Services Stories June 9, 2016

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One of Google’s approaches to the Internet of Things involves placing low-energy Bluetooth beacons that can communicate with devices. Google is announcing new partners today who have updated Android apps that can talk to beacons placed in stores, museums, and airports.

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Google Play Services Stories January 11, 2016

Lenovo chief: Google Play Services will be in China this year

According to a report by Tech.Sina, Google will finally bring its services in to China. Lenovo chief, Chen Xudong claims Google is on track to bring its Play Services to the nation at some point in 2016, and that its desire to do so isn’t a secret. Google wants its services back in China, but has faced strong opposition from the government in the past, heavily restricting its presence there.

While Android has long been the dominant smartphone platform in China, Google’s presence there is still very limited. In fact, Google Play Services are practically non-existent. Before the Nexus 6P was built, it was rumored by a reliable publication that Google had chosen Huawei specifically because of its influence in China. With Huawei being a Chinese brand, and the biggest seller of smartphones in the country, its influence is huge. What’s more, Google also recently partnered with (and took a minor stake in) Mobvoi, one of the most widely-used and advanced Chinese AI and voice recognition companies.

Clearly, with Android being the most widely-used smartphone OS in China, Play Services aren’t required or critical to the platform’s success. Bringing Play Services in to China would mostly be an effort to help end fragmentation in a country where multiple app stores exist for Android.

No specific timeframe was given in terms of when we might see Google Play back in China. One can only assume getting the service approved takes multiple jumps over political hurdles and cutting through endless miles of red tape. We’ll keep you updated when/if there’s any more to share on the issue.

Google Play Services Stories December 18, 2015

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With the latest version of Google Play services rolled out, the Android Developers blog is detailing what new features this update brings. Version 8.4 introduces an easier way for users to share their favorite apps, a more accurate way to determine location, and new APIs for fitness data.

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Google Play Services Stories November 6, 2015

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Google has updated its Play Services to allow developers to make use of some very useful new enhancements to the overall experience of using Android. Google Play Services 8.3 includes updates to the way users sign in to apps, as well as new functionality for app invites, wearable data layer APIs and improvements to location services…

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Google Play Services Stories August 31, 2015

PSA: Android Pay infrastructure is included in Google Play Services v8.1, download it here

If you’ve been waiting patiently to get your grubby hands on Android Pay, it looks like your time is coming. While it’s not exactly functional quite yet, the latest version of Google Play Services — version 8.1 — includes most of the Android Pay infrastructure baked in. You can launch a lot of the functionality, but as of this writing, setting up your credit cards is going to fail before you get a chance to use them…

Google Play Services Stories June 10, 2015

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Speaking to Chinese media, He Gang, the head of Huawei’s mobile division, has said that the launch of the company’s first smartwatch, called Huawei Watch, has been delayed until at least September or October, pushing its launch to the latter half of the year. The Huawei Watch was unveiled back at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona with the company having said at the time that they were planning for a launch sometime “around the middle of the year.”

The delay can largely be attributed to “incompatibility issues with Android Wear,” according to the reports. In other words, Google Play services being unavailable in China due to strains between the Mountain View company and the People’s Republic of China has meant that Huawei has to build its own smartwatch services to match those built and offered by Google. expand full story

Google Play Services Stories April 15, 2015

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Google’s Update Wednesday routine is in full swing today with a variety of updates rolling out to the company’s apps. Earlier today, Chrome 42 for Android made its was to the Play Store. Now, several other Google apps have been updated. Google has pushed updates to its Docs, Slides, Sheets, and Google My Business apps. The company also today released Android for Work app to the Play Store.

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Google Play Services Stories March 2, 2015

Google has started rolling out an updated version of its Play Services package for Android devices. The update includes several new features for developers to take advantage of in their applications. The first of these is the new Places API, which provides access to point-of-interest information:

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