Google Play services powers many key features on Android devices that might not be obvious to end users, and Google is now offering an explanation directly on your phone as part of a new approach.
If you go to Settings > Apps > See all > Google Play services, you’ll see a new “All Services” item as the first thing in the App info list underneath Disable and Force stop. Tapping lets you “See details about the services used on your device.” Google’s high-level explanation of Play services follows:
Google Play services helps to make your device more secure and reliable. It’s an important part of many of the features on your device, and it’s different from the Play Store app.
Keep in mind that turning off services can impact the way your device works.
The last line makes explicit reference to how some people disable it. Google specifically highlights 17 capabilities. Tapping takes you to settings pages, while the Info button next to things takes you to various support/help articles.
Of the devices we checked today, this is only appearing on Android 13 Pixel phones. The capability that lets Play services add this “All services” page to App info requires the latest version of the OS.
Account management: Used for secure sign-in and better control of your Google Account
Ads: Used to control ad preferences and prevent ad spam
Autofill with Google: Used to fill in your info, such as passwords and payment methods
Contacts: Used to sync your contacts with your Google Account and other devices
Data backup and transfer: Used to back up and restore your data, app settings, and account info
Developer features: Used for features that app developers can include to make their apps better and more reliable
Device connections: Used for connecting to other devices, such as a car, watch, or Chromebook
Fitness: Used for fitness services in apps, such as workout tracking and sharing data with other fitness apps
Games: Used for automatic sign-in, leaderboards, achievements, and managing your gamer profile
Location accuracy: Used to improve location accuracy using Wi-Fi, mobile networks, and sensors
Location sharing: Used when you share your location with others
Safety & emergency: Used for emergency notifications and services, such as sharing your location during emergency calls and receiving crisis alerts
Security: Used for security features such as encrypting passwords, locking your device, blocking spam calls, and locating a lost device
Support: Used for features such as device setup, providing feedback to Google, and contacting Google support
System diagnostics: Used to collect data about your device and services and improve device experience
System management: Used to keep system services up to date and improve device performance
Wallet: Used to pay for purchases made on this device, including contactless payments
Dylan Roussel contributed to this article.
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