May’s Google Play system updates for Android phones add self-sharing to Nearby Share, a redesign of the Google Help app, Android 13’s photo picker, and more.
Google Play Services Stories May 16
Google Play Services Stories April 25
The April Google Play system updates for Android phones will bring new Play Pass and Play Points features, ways to discover apps, and more.
Google Play Services Stories April 19
The security industry, as organized by the FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance, has been working to replace passwords given people’s tendency to use weak ones or reuse them. Two-factor authentication (2FA) has helped to remedy that but the future is “passkeys,” with Android and Google readying support.
Google Play Services Stories March 29
While Apple in no way invented Bluetooth trackers, AirTags undoubtedly popularized the category this past year. There are ongoing concerns about these readily available devices being used to track people, and tag makers have taken steps to counter that. Google might soon add a Bluetooth tracker detection capability directly into Android.
Google Play Services Stories March 22
In response to a research paper outlining the data collected by Google’s Phone and Messages apps, including call and text records, the company has updated both apps to better respect privacy.
Google Play Services Stories October 21, 2021
Google Play Services Stories October 12, 2021
Smart Lock dates back to Android Lollipop and was Google’s solution for reducing the number of times users had to enter their passcodes before the ubiquity of fingerprint readers. Smart Lock in Android Settings was recently updated with a much-needed modern UI.
Google Play Services Stories September 17, 2021
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.
Google Play Services Stories July 8, 2021
Google Play services is responsible for a slew of user–facing 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.
Google Play Services Stories June 18, 2021
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.
Google Play Services Stories June 2, 2021
Google Play Services Stories May 24, 2021
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, 2021
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Google Play Services Stories April 29, 2020
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Google Play Services Stories December 7, 2017
Google Play Services Stories December 1, 2017
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.”
Google Play Services Stories July 19, 2017
Google Play Services Stories June 15, 2017
Android Things Developer Preview 4.1 features new IoT-optimized Play Services variant
Google Play Services Stories June 9, 2017
Google Play Services Stories January 20, 2017
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…
Google Play Services Stories November 7, 2016
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.
Google Play Services Stories September 22, 2016
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.
Google Play Services Stories August 1, 2016
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.
Google Play Services Stories June 27, 2016
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.
Google Play Services Stories June 9, 2016