Explanation of Google Play services is now included directly in Android

Explanation of Google Play services is now included directly in Android
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Powers of Google Play services many the key features on Android devices that aren’t obvious to end users, and Google now offers an explanation right on your phone as part of a new approach.

If you go to Settings > Apps > View all > Google Play services, you’ll see a new “All Services” item as the first thing in the App info list under Disable & Force Stop. Clicking allows you to “View details about services used on your device”. Here’s Google’s high-level explanation of Play services:

Google Play services help make your device safer and more secure. It is an important part of many features on your device and is different from the Play Store app.

Please note that disabling services may affect the performance of your device.

The last line is an obvious reference to how some people remove it. Google specifically highlights 17 capabilities. Finding takes you to settings pages, and the Info button next to items takes you to various support/help articles.

Of the devices we’ve checked today, this only appears on Android 13 Pixel phones. The ability to allow Play services to add this “All services” page to the App information requires the latest version of the OS.

Account management: Used to sign in securely and better control your Google Account

  • Links to settings: Device phone number and Google Account

advertisements: Used to control ad preferences and prevent ad spam

  • Allows you to: Reset Ad ID, Delete Ad ID, or Enable debug logging for Ads
  • It also shows the device advertising ID

Autofill with Google: Used to fill in your information such as passwords and payment methods

  • Shows settings to enable/disable AutoFill with Google
  • Links to your Saved Personal Information, Addresses, Payment Methods and Passwords, as well as Preferences

contacts: Used to sync your contacts with your Google Account and other devices

  • Links to Settings: Google Contacts sync and Restore Contacts

Data backup and transfer: Used to back up and restore your data, app settings, and account information

  • Settings links: Settings > System > Backup

Developer features: Used for features that app developers can include to make their apps better and more reliable

Device connections: Used to connect to other devices such as a car, watch or Chromebook

  • Links to Settings: Broadcast options, Chromebook, Devices, and Nearby Sharing

fitness: Used for fitness services in apps, such as tracking exercise and sharing data with other fitness apps

  • Links to Settings: Connect apps and devices and Manage Data

games: Used to manage autologin, leaderboards, achievements, and your player profile

  • Links to Settings: Game Dashboard and Play Game

Location accuracy: Used to improve location accuracy using Wi-Fi, cellular networks, and sensors

  • Allows you to: Enable/disable Enhance Location Accuracy

Location sharing: Used when you share your location with others

  • Allows you to see active shares

Security and emergency: Used for emergency notifications and services, such as sharing your location during emergency calls and receiving crisis alerts

  • Links to Settings: COVID-19 Contact Notifications, Earthquake Alerts, Emergency Location Service, and Silence While Driving Notifications

Safety: Used for security features such as encrypting passwords, locking your device, blocking spam calls, and locating a lost device.

  • Settings links: Find My Device, Password Manager, SMS verification codes and Smart Lock

Support: Used for features such as device setup, providing feedback to Google, and contacting Google support

System diagnostics: Used to collect information about your device and services and to improve the device experience

  • Parameter switches: Usage and diagnostics

System management: Used to keep system services up to date and improve device performance

Purse: Used to pay for purchases made on this device, including contactless payments

Thanks Dee!

Dylan Roussel contributed to this article.

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