Google Settings

As part of its new Google+ sign-in initiative that went live today, Google pushed a silent update to the Google Play Services app to support the new feature, which also brought along a new app called Google Settings. Google Play Services updates in the background routinely, much like the Play Store itself, in order to have phones up to date and syncing properly. The updates don't usually install new apps, but there's nothing to worry about here, the Google Settings app is indeed supposed to be there.

That being said, it doesn't seem all that useful, as it just provides shortcuts to the settings menus of other apps on the phone -- like Google+, Maps and Location. These settings could all be accessed previously, but in order to have everything working out of the box and have a settings area set up for the new Google+ sign-in, Google had to push something out there. We may have preferred if there was some kind of notice of what was going on though.

Going forward it's likely that Google will use this app to house more than just a few settings shortcuts -- and the functionality could easily just be baked into the general OS settings as well. For now, just let it be -- at least the icon isn't too ugly.

 

Reader comments

About that Google Settings app that appeared on your device today

63 Comments

It would have been nice if they subtly incorporated a gear into the two circles in the "g" for the icon.

They'll catch you eventually. You'll be setting some service up and they'll sneak it in. I do agree. Not nice Google. Stealth sign ups and installations are Doing Evil.

It's not like they're forcing you to do/use/utilize/look at/view/acknowledge it in any way though.

At least they're not forcing you into an iTunes account or anything.

Optional for now. Slowly but subtly, they're converting all their services to Google+. Can't write reviews in the app store without using Google+ (fine with that, whatever). Now they keep pushing Google+ on youtube (still optional, but aggressively pushed).

Eventually, you won't be able to use any service without making a Google+ account. They're really trying to kill facebook lol.

I tried to review an app and found out it was Google+ only. I hate it. I barely use facebook and certainly don't want Google+. I had to set up a gmail account but rarely ever use it. I will log in on occasion and clean out the so called updates that get sent there.

@jrwatson: Totally agree - it's aggravating, and ain"t gonna happen with me.
Google: you need to pull (attract), not push (force) !!!

They've said over and over (and over and over) again that Google+ *is* Google. It has been 2 years now. It's time to either stop using Google if it bothers you that much or get over it. No one is forcing you to visit plus.google.com, but they've made it clear from the very beginning that there will eventually be only one type of Google account: the Google+ account.

Isn't this kind of like an iPhone user saying "I sure wish Apple would stop forcing me to use iTunes"? I love the integration of all the Google services with my phone and hope to that with the addition of Google+ sign-in I will soon be able to completely dump facebook.

It's actually not an update you'll get from the Play Store. It will happen automatically sometime during the next couple of days. You can force it by going to "Settings->Apps->All->Google Play services" and then Clear Data. Restarting the phone should then force the update.

It appeared this morning with a scary red warning triangle in notifications.
I clicked on it and something happened in the Play store that I didn't quite understand. That scary feeling that something changed somewhere...

Thanks for your article on it. It think its going to spook alot of people.

lol I was freaked out before I searched it up online. I thought it was some kind of vicious malware or something, and I was scared to open it :P.

Hate these silent updates! Always have. It's MY device! I have auto-updates turned off in Google Play (still stupid name) as well as OS updates, yet this crap is still pushed to my device regardless. Not to mention I don't have (and never will) a G+ account! /rant

if you have gmail you have an account on g+ weather you acknowledge it or not i found this out when i made a new email and bam first thing i get is top 3 posts on google+ lol i prefer g+ to facebook though so doesnt bother me too much

My GMail accounts predate Google+ by years, thus are still at the "Join" Google+ stage, so I have no presence on it at all. :)

You can delete your G+ content though, just FYI. It's somewhere in the account or privacy options and it lets you pick either your entire account or just G+. After doing this it goes back to asking you to sign up for G+.

Also, not sure why people are complaining about being forced to use Google+; you don't really have to put any information on there nor do you need to actively use it at all.

We deleted our profile and it keeps asking us to sign up. I don't want to use it and hope it is not forced. It will be tho, photo shop is forcing a change for photo storage and hotmail is forcing an outlook change. Sooner or later so will google+

Read the T&C. The device most certainly isn't yours if you have bought a subsidized handset. I think this was reinforced and reestablished with the recent law that makes it illegal to unlock your handset. If you already have a gmail, you already have or will have a google+. There are other options if you don't like it, but this is the way our world is going.

A majority of the youth (under 30) crowd love the advertising, they love getting their two or ten minutes of fame, they generally love making things easier (a la dumbing it down), privacy is something that only pedophiles need, and generally independent thought has been replaced by "collaborative thinking" where someone on a site like redditt has an idea, thousands of other people agree, anyone who doesn't is demonized and branded with some label by people who absolutely "know" the answer and no intelligent or rational discussion can or will take place.

Our politics is merely a reflection of what's happening in our society as a whole, it's no wonder that we are this disfunctional. Regardless, G+ will make it easier, and isn't really an option. It will continue down this path. Ever tried to activate an older phone without a GPS on Verizon now? They certainly don't like to do it, and they certainly don't want you to have control of when it is off or on, it's better if it just works.

A future lawyer.

Did you really just compare the basic right of privacy to pedophiles? Your message of "you have no choice just accept it" doesn't sit well with the rest of us, who unlike sheep such as yourself, value the freedom of choice and our basic rights. You are everything wrong with society. A "future lawyer"? HAHA yea right, nice try.

Just deleted it ! No thanks Google + ! The fact you have to have it to even comment on a app pisses me off and thus will never sign up.

That's nothing good to go by, seriously imagine if people DID leave.

I got very, very upset when I was asked to join google+ to leave a friken' review on an app. I wasn't told about any of these changes and im starting to dislike google because of all this 'forced' integration with google+ eff off dammit lol

kinda sucks I cant leave any good reviews for apps that really deserve it. I would imagine many others also tapped on cancel and just left the app review.

You do know that you can use G+ for authentication and nothing else... IE, not go into the app, not logon, not use it a all.
I see it as "I need to sign up to Android Central commenting system to leave a comment!!!" Oh, the humanity!

umm, you ARE logged on when you accept to use google+ lol

just the fact that I have an account on google+ it bothers me. all im saying is we shouldn't be thrown these forced options because google swears everyone wants to use google+

I already have a headache with facebook I don't need another one. twitter is enough lol I just feel like google is trying to control too much and post all my activities on this and that ... creepy.

To quote a response I left to a comment elsewhere:

Google has said over and over (and over and over) again that Google+ *is* Google. It has been 2 years now. It's time to either stop using Google if it bothers you that much or get over it. No one is forcing you to visit plus.google.com, but they've made it clear from the very beginning that there will eventually be only one type of Google account: the Google+ account.

Very true, but it's damn near impossible to avoid every google service, considering their extensive list of acquisitions. I'm wondering if Android will even be open-source anymore (e.g. if they'll continue to allow Amazon to strip everything google out of their kindles).

I don't mind Google+ terribly, I just don't like being forced into something or aggressively pushed into it through every service I use.

But if you want to download apps from Google Play, you are forced to have a Google account, right? If you want to use gmail you are forced to have a Google account, right?

Google are just moving towards your Google account being a Google+ account instead. The only difference is the added, easily ignorable benefit of access to the Google+ site.

Half ass'd icon. I know I'm nitpicking but when Google Search, Settings and Plus icons are side by side it's so obvious that Google doesn't pay attention to GUI details and consistency. Clearly made by different groups.

It also contains Google ad mob ads area which comes prechecked. I know a lot of mobile apps have ads but I am now wondering how bad this going to get.

Checking or unchecking it never makes any difference for me, I still always get ads based on my search history. LOL I watched a couple trailers for "Casa de mi Padre" a while back, and ever since I keep getting the occasional Spanish-language youtube commercial :P.

Another usless google app to add to the hidden list along with G+, I don't want G+ and if it becomes compulsory for youtube that will go the by & by too. If I wanted my entire freekin life public I'd do so myself. I will not be forced to share when I'm having a tish with the entire planet, or let everyone know what exactly I think of some apps. If I was allowed to lock my profile from "public viewing" & use a pseudonym I might be enclined to tolerate it but then and only then, until such time googles bully boy tactics will not be tolerated, in the long run it will only harm the Android platform then everyone looses out.

You do realize that it's possible to have an account for something and not share things on it, right? No one is trying to force you to share anything. What they *are* doing, though, is creating a single logon for all of Google's services. They've indicated that they're going in this direction from the very beginning nearly 2 years ago. If the semantics of calling it Google+ bother you so much (because, really, that's all it is: a name), then there are plenty of alternatives out there. Google+ is the umbrella under which all of Google's services come together. Whether you share anything is up to you, but if you refuse to do anything that even connects to Google+ then you might as well start switching platforms now and give yourself a head start.

I'm seeing an ever increasing requirement for having a FB or G+ account to sign up for contests, awards, message boards, comments, etc. They're putting a stranglehold on those of us wishing to participate, and if you're not one of the 1.5 billion, you can't play well with others!

This appeared 6pm on my samsung galaxy mini,
its scary that i just saw this google settings icon
on my phone, no idea when it was installed in my phone
it just popped an icon in the app tray, maybe i'd go delete it
since its useless for me.

update for those who want to delete their google settings app.
so there i was, i deleted it, guess what happened
it also deleted the google play services app.
so i had to install google play services back again
and now it comes with google settings app Lol xD
since youtube app needs it.i guess i will leave
the nice green gear like icon in my app tray.
but still i wont make a G+ account.

Dammit people, stop ranting about G+. Nobody is forcing you to use it anyway, and for Google's stuff you just need a profile instead of having to post stuff and interact with the network. Not to mention it's a good social network. And if you hate Google that much, feel free to leave here. Get a Windows Phone to embrace (or be embraced by) Facebook 100% and BB10 for whatever you want. (Just not an iPhone.)

I was all ready to be like, "I didn't get it on my HOX+." Then I saw that lovely little green icon in my app drawer. Very sneaky Google.......lol

To those defending Google:

Google *IS* forcing users into Google+. Remember when they consolidated all of their privacy policies into one? That was their evil plan! Yes, Google does evil too. It was all a scheme to take away our capability to decide "I want to use this Google service but not this other one."

Have you ever posted pictures on Picassa or on a blog you have on Blogger? Surprise! You're posting to a Google+ album whether you like it or not. Are you uploading videos to YouTube? Surprise, those get posted to your Google+ profile too! So not only is Google forcing users into Google+ so they can brag about how many users they have there, they're making it seem like you're actually using it by populating stuff you do in other Google services into your G+ profile. THAT'S LOW!

The sad part is, Google+ is not a bad service itself -- okay, it's full of Google fanboys ready to jump on your throat the moment you criticize anything Google or praise anything from Apple, but that's the users' fault not inherently a G+ fault. But let's be real: Facebook, Twitter, MySpace (both the classic one back in the days as well as the new one) have had to work hard to earn their users. Google+ is the spoiled rich kid who doesn't need to work because mommy and daddy always give him everything. Google+ doesn't need earn users, they just force them in from other Google services and therefore, G+ deserves and gets absolutely no respect from me.

All of you people need to get over yourselves! I don't care what company it is, Google, Microsoft, Apple...if you want to use the technology, you have to deal with what the company throws at you. If you don't like it then get the hell out! They are businesses...they are here to make MONEY! They are not going to provide you with free services without some sort of payback. You want to use their FREE email services, then you have to put up with them. You want to use their Play Store (yes, I do agree, stupid name) to put apps on your phone, then you have to deal with them.

If you don't want to put up with their shenanigans then dump your cell phone in the trash and start learning how to use the US Postal Service and go back to 1976.

People need to stop being so paranoid...you're not that important.

Bullshit.....
I removed it by uninstalling Play Store Services app. Everything works as before. Dont have to be rooted, just uninstall from apps menu.

All the people complaining about real login Youtube information are probably part of the problem within the Youtube comments section.

Every video I see, whether it be infringing racist propaganda or simply a friendly cat video, it's tainted with simple minded fools creating arguments about insignificant crap that don't belong in YouTube comments.

Therefore I'm gonna chuck everyone who complains about G+/youtube integration, into the same bucket and label them as YouTube trolls.

If you don't like it then you're doing something wrong. Whether it be on youtube or just doing dodgy crap on the general internet.

If you have something to hide, then you've got issues. Get over them and stop exposing the rest of the Android community with your paranoid bullshit.

Otherwise, create an alias you frikken fools. It would take less time then your venting here or anywhere else where you think your opinion counts.

The world's population is getting dumber by the minute and I'm afraid there's nothing we can do to stop it. :|

So then why aren't you using your real name?

I simply cannot accept the argument that anybody who values anonymity online is "doing something wrong".

Only reason I hate it, its because an extra app icon in my phone, they can hide it in original settings, where all settings should be. If I buy a car, I dont want them to get into it while Im sleeping and put stuff inside that I dont need.

How come when I uncheck "automatic check-ins", exit Google Settings, re-enter Google Settings, the check mark is back?

How do I permanently and forever, stop the automatic check-ins?

I do agree that when using these free services, you are the product. It is what it is, if you are willing to give them whatever, you can rest assured that they will use it to whatever means necessary.

Again with the comments from absolutists such as @anoma who feel that if someone doesn't participate in the internet in the terms that he/she deems acceptable, I'm doing something wrong or have something to hide. Who crowned these people the interweb monarchs? These supercilious commenters feel that anyone who has a dissenting opinion is a troll and deem their comments as unintelligent, ignorant and should be tossed into the spam box. Regardless of if it is or is not spam, and I know that there are a lot of dumb and spam comments out there, it doesn't negate the fact that just because he is comfortable giving all is information to whomever, he feels that I have to also. The idea that any of us know how this information will be used in the future is silly. The idea that any of these corporations care about you anything further than how they can market and sell to you is also silly.

Companies will aggregate and sell this data. Marketing for now, but lets think about some of the future applications. Want to buy a life insurance policy, well Mr. Abc, we see that you visited McDonalds 15 times last month. That puts you in one of our higher tier brackets, and you will have to pay a little more. Regardless if it was only for coffee, in fact, because we know you like coffee, you might be addicted to stimulants and that could be a disqualifying condition. It seems that you also did some speeding last month, your device sent several SMS while moving 45mph while on highway 101. That is likely going to cause your car rates to increase. It also looks like you like you went to a sports bar every other night in the week of march, we are going to have to have your health care provider refer you to an alcohol dependency program. You should be signed up for cable, then you can watch the games at home and not have this happen.

I agree with @anoma about one thing, the world is getting dumber by the minute. This individual is typical where we are in our society, independent thought is gone, hello crowd thinking. Dialogue is gone. Individuals are completely unable to see any other viewpoint that may be different than their own. Its much easier to label someone a bigot, racist or hater, or believe that they have some unidentified nefarious reason that they don't follow the same thought that everyone else does.

A majority of the youth (under 30) crowd love the advertising, they love getting their two or ten minutes of fame, they generally love making things easier (a la dumbing it down), privacy is something that only pedophiles need, and generally independent thought has been replaced by "collaborative thinking" where someone on a site like redditt has an idea, thousands of other people agree, anyone who doesn't is demonized and branded with some label by people who absolutely "know" the answer and no intelligent or rational discussion can or will take place.

I don't mind G+. The reason they wants you to use G+ was to get the profile pic thing and have more personalized account.

I feel that it's forced! I've tried deleting it and as a result, it wouldn't let me use the youtube app on the phone unless the Google Settings app was reinstalled. As a result, it is taking up 13.14MB of what little memory I have. No data in the app to delete! The Hangouts app would take up even more space, replacing Google Talk. Fortunately, I was able to use an uninstaller to remove that. I had to give up half the apps I had because of bloatware! As for the Google Settings, how could you not consider it being "forced" when you have no choice but to make room for what you don't want??!!!