On my Sony Xperia Z1 Compact running CyanogenMod, I had the Google Play Services installed as an APK. At the time I must have thought that this was better than installing GApps - for being able to pick packages myself.
Since a recent update (of either Google play services or CyanogenMod) I get the error "unfortunately Google play services have stopped working".
Google play store also requires these services because it relies on these services. In the end I removed both the Services and the Store.
I have tried installing the a number of versions of the Services (from 7.3.xx to 8.3.xx) but they also report the same error message after a while.
Does the app need some sort of reset before it will work again? Each time an APK is uninstalled then its cache etc must be removed?
Or should I install a very specific version of the APK? my build is
cm_amami_userdebug 5.1.1 LMY49J d8f66af955
For flashing GApps, I would choose Open GApps pico for Android 5.1 on ARM(32), does that sound right?
Flashing the GApps above worked. I would still like to know the answer to the first question - whether an APK could have solved it (and which)