A library used by Google apps and many third-party apps to provide location and social functionality
Google Play Services is a package created by Google to allow them to update Google apps and provide new APIs even on devices that no longer receive Android updates. The Google Play Services package includes functionality for other apps including:-
- Google Cloud Messaging (for push-notifications)
- Google Maps Services, for embedding google-maps views in other apps
- location functionality including geofencing (notifying apps with the appropriate permission when you've entered or left a given physical region), and activity detection (e.g. walking, driving)
- Google's mobile ad network
- Google Analytics (including crash reporting)
- Google Cast (a.k.a. chromecast)
- google-drive integration
- google-plus integration
- Google Play Games Services, which provides game developers with multi-player match-making, saved game syncing, leader-boards, and Google+ integration for games: games which use this functionality show up in the Play Games app
- Google Tag Manager
- google-wallet integration
Google Play Services is distributed as an app package, so it can be updated directly, outside the normal Android update process. This means that an app developer can choose to use some or all functionality from this package and know that it will be available even on devices running old Android versions.
Apps that use the features listed above won't work if you disable or uninstall the Google Play Services package.
Google Play Services doesn't have an activity you can run from the launcher (i.e. there's no icon to start it). It isn't an app that you use directly: it's only there to provide the above functionality to (Google and third-party) apps that use it. For that reason, you probably only need this tag if something has gone wrong.
Here's what it looks like when you select it from Settings → Apps:
- Google Play Services Has stopped message continually popping up on my Samsung phone
- Google Apps crashing, Play services crashing
- Where is data of Google Play Services located in device? Can I safely delete it? ("space hog")
- How can I uninstall updates to Google Play Services? The buttons are greyed out
- Is it safe to uninstall Google Play Services App?
- Google Services battery drain on Galaxy devices