Google Play Services

All users running Android 2.2 or higher should now have access to the latest version of Google Play services for their device

The latest Google Play Services (version 3.2; exact build varies by device) has completed its rollout and should be available for all Android users running Froyo or higher. This is good news for end-users, as we've talked before about how this wrests control of Android features away from manufacturers and carriers, and gives it back to Google. With more resources to devote to Android, we're glad to see Google have a bit more say in the features everyone gets to have and enjoy.

Speaking of features, Google Play Services 3.2 brings a few new ones. We've seen and talked about the improvements to location services, which allows things like Android Device Manager to work without destroying your battery. Like wise for the new Photo Sphere viewer and its compass viewing mode. Both are subtle, but nice little additions.

The really cool stuff in the latest Google Play Services is for developers. The Fused Location Provider (a "smart" way to get location that uses the most power-efficient method) supports a low-power mode option for those times you need to get a users location, as well as supporting mock locations for easier and better testing. The geofencing APIs have been updated, so devices with supporting hardware (the Nexus 4 was used as an example) can use hardware-based geofencing to consume "significantly less" battery, and a snapshot feature has come for the maps API that lets developers grab an image of the current map for those times when an interactive map isn't needed. Also, new options and support for Google+ sign-in, analytics, and InstantBuy are included.

Most of us will just enjoy less power-hungry location services and the compass mode in the Photo Sphere viewer, but developers and those who are curious should visit the source links for all the details.

Source: Android Developers Blog


Reader comments

Google Play Services 3.2 rollout complete


Are others having issues with Android Device Manager? It was working great until last week. And now it doesn't "see" any of my devices. Google has some steps for fixing the problem, but they aren't working for me. Sniff.

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I've a Nexus 4 and I've been facing the same issue. The device manager worked just fine for the first week after the launch, but it's been saying no active devices since last week. What are the fixes Google has advised?

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well what good is this when for weeks now GP won't do my updates on apps and I can't even download any apps! I have a running list of over 12 apps that have ERRORS yet as of today. When are they going to FIX this??????

Did you force the 4.3 update by clearing data from your google services framework? If so, what you're experiencing is a by-product of that. You need to add and remove your google account from the device to get the play store working properly again.

You can't help but wonder if converting several google applications (maps, talk/hangouts, etc) is driven by the need to use the functionality of Play Services, because each of these products took big feature reductions (promising an eventual return of some functionality) for apparently very little in new capability.

Maps wasn't broken, so why was it "fixed"? Talk allowed world wide voice chats. That's totally gone.

One hopes these capabilities are restored when Play Services mature enough to handle all the capabilities the previous apps allowed.

I'm not exactly sure what tyranny of the carriers that Play Services is protecting me from, but I'll be a lot happier when I can uninstall Carrier Bloatware without having to void my warranty, and some of the missing functionality returns to some of the google apps.

I've long been an advocate of getting rid of monolithic OS builds, and allowing replacement of major components on the fly, like Linux, and even Microsoft does. If Play Services allows this kind of capability, waiting on carrier releases might become a thing of the past.

I think you ask and answer the question there. Modular builds alleviate a lot. The next step is to separate the radio programming from the OS and skip carrier certification for "minor" updates all together.


"The next step is to separate the radio programming from the OS and skip carrier certification for "minor" updates all together."

As usual, you nailed it.

This update has still not fixed the GPS problems with the Nexus 7 2013. It will not reliably hold a lock with the GPS. The GPS quits working, usually within minutes, with a "searching for GPS" notification.

Well the update has fixed a ton of Bluetooth issues I had been having with my the MyTouch system in my Ford Explorer. The text message notification works, dialing by name works the first time, and other things now work. Thumbs up!

I don't understand. I can't find Google play services in the play store on either my note 2 (n7100) or nexus 7 2nd gen.

Hey Google, if you're reading this do me a favor and get the games out of the apps section of the play store. If I wanted to see top games or trending games I would click on games... Not APPS! Thank you!

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