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Better battery management with Google Play Services v4.1 (download)

Authored by: Kris Carlon — Jan 13, 2014

Many of you have been suffering at the hands of the battery-hogging Google Play Services app recently. That is about to change with the latest update to the GPS app, to version 4.1, which brings with it some significant battery performance improvements for users with Location Reporting enabled. Google Play Services is the app that manages basically every aspect of your Android device outside major firmware upgrades: GPS controls the updating of all the apps on your device. Obviously, it has a tendency to be power-hungry.

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The most important app on Android just got a battery performance fix.  / © AndroidPIT

Version 4.1 brings more to the table than just improved battery performance (although that is by far the most significant change). The version change will also allow developers to institute turn-based multi-player in Play Games, which will also see automatic updates of turn-data to Play Services to be shared with your opponents/friends. A new preview Google Drive API is also included that allows you to read and write files in Drive across devices, both on- and offline. There's also some ad-related additions and Google+ sharing and connection improvements.

The official Android Developers Blog announced the update on January 9th, but now we have the APK download link. The update will appear silently on your device in the coming days, but if you don't want to wait that long, you can install the APK directly below.

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Have you updated the Play Services app already? Have you noticed an improvement in battery performance when Location Reporting is enabled?

Kris Carlon comes to the AndroidPIT Editorial Team via a lengthy period spent traveling and relying on technology to keep him in touch with the outside world. He joined the Android community while resurfacing in civilization back in 2010 and has never looked back, using technology to replace his actual presence in other people's lives ever since. He can usually be found juggling three phones at once and poring over G+ posts, Reddit and RSS feeds.

14 comments

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  • Carmelo Rivera Jan 26, 2014 Link to comment

    Hello Kris! This app is kind of cofusing. Anyway, is it better to have this app as a user app or a system app? Can this app be placed in my sd card? Cheers!!

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    • Kris Carlon
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      Jan 27, 2014 Link to comment

      Hi @Carmelo, Google Play Services is definitely a system app. It controls all of your other apps' updating activity through the Play Store - there's nothing the user does to it or with it. It doesn't matter where it lives on your device, but on your internal memory is better (imho) because it is so integral to the way all of your other apps work, so I personally wouldn't want to put it on an external SD card.

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  • hatib Jan 20, 2014 Link to comment

    hey@kris . thanks alot for the suggestion. will try that out too, apparently m very much back to normal wid battery doctor.lets see how far I can sail with this...:)

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  • JasonB Jan 20, 2014 Link to comment

    I have v4.1.23 already?

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    • Kris Carlon
      • Admin
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      Jan 20, 2014 Link to comment

      Hi@JasonB, 4.1.23 was the version I was writing about, so you have the most current update. Strangely, a colleague is having massive battery drain with 4.1.23 and didn't before (I haven't pushed the update because I haven't had a problem with battery drain) - seems you can't believe everything Google tells you. Are you getting better/worse/similar battery management with the update?

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  • hatib Jan 18, 2014 Link to comment

    ok that sounds great. you stood by jb 4.1.2, thats the best decision one can take these days besides choosing ur life partner! lol. anyways, I have some what resolved the heavy drainage in my note 2 by installing a beautiful app, battery doctor. it really is putting a cork at places which were causing such drainage!

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    • Kris Carlon
      • Admin
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      Jan 20, 2014 Link to comment

      Hey @Hatib, good call on Battery Doctor - it's solving lots of Android 4.3 battery drain issues on Samsung devices too. One thing you could consider if you're having no luck with Samsung's official updates is to flash a custom ROM. The ''risks'' involved in modding your device seem much less troublesome considering how bad the official updates have been lately. Worth a thought anyway.

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  • Pteryx Jan 16, 2014 Link to comment

    i have 4.1.2 on Samsung Rugby pro, probably never will get 4.3 or any upgrade but looks like I'm not missing much. I side loaded GEL and that's running well, seems to be better than touchwiz. My battery lasts about 12 with normal use, I use WiFi fairly heavily most days.

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  • hatib Jan 15, 2014 Link to comment

    Hey pteryx, m getting approximately 12hrs of STANDBY! earlier with JB 4.1.2 the stanby was somwat 1.5days with normal usage! couldn't tel u hw gross m feeling these days. cursing d day I tapped to OTA JB 4.3 "TRAP" wat abt u ?

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  • Pteryx Jan 14, 2014 Link to comment

    Hatib how many hrs you getting on a charge? and what are you expecting?

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  • hatib Jan 14, 2014 Link to comment

    I m afraid reverting back to JB 4.1.2 as well,might end up havin a bricked phn in my hand !

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  • hatib Jan 14, 2014 Link to comment

    Unfortunately this update didn't fixed the heavy drainage issue of my note 2. After installing the above service update, I fully charged my phn to 100% today in the morning and was down to 10% in the eve! I m literally pissed off with JB 4.3 UPDATE! ! its lyk a monster in my phn sucking off battery juice. hey kris, could u possibly tell me wat these 'Samsung geeks' are up to in near future? ?? we SO need a FIX ryt now!

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  • hatib Jan 13, 2014 Link to comment

    hey kris jus installed the above update. lets hope for the best.:)

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    • Kris Carlon
      • Admin
      • Staff
      Jan 14, 2014 Link to comment

      Let us know how the battery performance goes. Especially if you were suffering from it before. For some strange reason I wasn't...?

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