Everything the Play Store does with the apps on your phone – from syncing and API access to push notifications – goes through Google Play Services. It also tells your phone when to update all your apps, core security features and location-based settings. Long story short: keep it updated. The latest version is Google Play Services 7.8.92, which introduces the Nearby Messages API. If you just want the APK link, head to the very bottom of this article.
Highlight recent changes
Google Play Services 7.8.92: what's new?
July 21, 2015: The team at Android Police has reported that there are advanced Location Sharing strings in the Google Play Services v7.8 code, which will share more than just your current location. Additional information can be shared, including your name, profile photo and details of where you've just been and what you've been doing (e.g. running, driving or walking).
Android Lollipop's Smart Lock features are also getting some attention. You will now be proactively asked if you want to trust a location in which you frequently unlock your phone. Likewise, On-Body Detection will recognize your gait in the latest versions of Google Play Services.
Google Play Services 7.8.87: what's new?
July 16, 2015: This is big news: Google Play Services 7.8.87 introduces the Nearby Messages API, commonly known as 'Nearby'. Nearby allows devices in close proximity to communicate with one another using Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and your speaker and mic (by transmitting inaudible sound to identify Android or iOS devices in the area).
You can share files, messages, create groups, play multiplayer games, edit shared files, whatever. Check out the Google Developer's blog for more details.
Just to be clear, the API is in the new Google Play Services update, but you'll need an app from one of Google's early Nearby partners to make use of it. You'll also need to wait until Google enables the feature in the latest version of Google Play Servcies.
PocketCasts, Edjing, Trello and Trulio are on board and more information can be found on the Google Developer's Nearby page. Of course, you'll have to accept the permission the first time an app requests access to the Nearby API.
Install Google Play Services: the easy way
The simplest way to always have the latest version of Google Play Services installed is to keep an eye on this page, where we'll provide you with a download link to the very latest versions available in the Play Store. Just tap the install button below to ensure you have the current version.Google Play services
However, as with most things Android, there are always newer and better versions available if you're willing to put in a little more effort. For example, there are multiple versions of Google Play Services for the different versions of Android you might have. So if you want the very latest version (including from the Android M developer preview) then just follow the steps below.
Install Google Play Services: the better way
First, you'll need to know which version of Android you have. Go to Settings > About Phone and look for Android Version. Then, you'll need unknown sources enabled on your phone. This just allows you to install apps from outside Google Play. Go to Settings > Security > Unknown Sources and check the box.
Next, you need to know which version of Play Services is right for you. This is where your Android version number comes in. Each Google Play Services version has a three number suffix at the end, following the hyphen.
These three numbers are broken down as follows: Android version, CPU architecture and dots per inch (DPI). You can check the current version of Google Play Services by going to Settings > Apps > All tab > Google Play Services.
The first number is your Android version:
0 = Android 4.4.4 and older
4 or 7 – Android 5.0 Lollipop and newer
8 – Android TV
The second number is your CPU architecture:
1 - armeabi
3 – armeabi-v7a
4 – arm64-v8a
7 – x86
The third number is your device screen's DPI (dots per inch):
0 - universal
2 – 160 dpi
4 – 240 dpi
6 – 320 dpi
8 – 480 dpi
So in the screenshot above you can tell I have a Lollipop device running an ARMv8 chip with 320 DPI. If you want to do things the other way around and figure out which number you should be looking for, just grab CPU-Z, which will tell you your CPU architecture and DPI. The good news is that once you know this information it won't change until you get a new phone.CPU-Z
Download Google Play Services APK
Now you simply have to choose the right Google Play Services version based on the three pieces of information you just collected. You can find the latest versions of Google Play Services hosted on APK Mirror and select the right one with the right suffix for your device. Then, just download and install Google Play Services onto your phone.