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How and why you should keep Google Play Services up-to-date
Google Pixel 2 XL Apps Google 5 min read 109 comments

How and why you should keep Google Play Services up-to-date

Everything the Play Store does with the apps on your phone goes through Google Play Services. This tells your phone when to update apps and introduces new features and settings to Google Play. Long story short: you should keep it updated. Find out how to check the latest version of Google Play Services, and how to update Google Play Services the easy way or the more technical way with a newer APK.

Google Play Services is an application that very closely linked to the Android system itself that allows your smartphone to benefit from the latest versions of applications and security patches without upgrading to the latest version of Android. Despite the confusing names, this is distinct from the Google Play Store where one can access, buy, and download media such as apps and games.

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Google Play Services latest version: what's new?

You can check out the changelogs for the the latest version of Google Play Services here, and also view the timelines and logs for earlier releases. Most of what the updates do are small changes under the hood such as streamlining aspects relating to ads, games, fitness etc., and making the overall Google ecosystem operation more efficient and stable.

AndroidPIT Google apps 2
Google Play Services is the general overlord of apps, and you're best off when it's up-to-date. / © AndroidPIT

Install Google Play Services: the easy way

Keeping Google Play Services up-to-date is beneficial for all users, even the most casual ones, as the improved efficiency it brings will save battery life and improve offline services.

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.

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, just follow the steps below.

AndroidPIT Lollipop Settings About Phone Android Version
First you need to know which version of Android you have. / © AndroidPIT

Install Google Play Services: the technical way

Users who want to make absolutely sure they have the latest updates, or want to access a beta or test different versions of Google Play Services, might want to use a more technical method. This can be useful for app developers, or for anyone who is suffering from a software error that blocks Google Play Services from updating normally.

First, you'll need to know which version of Android you have.

  • Go to Settings > About Phone (or just About on some devices) and look for Android Version or Software information

Then, you'll need to check which apps are allowed to install from unknown sources.

  • Go to Settings and then Apps. Find the app, which you will be installing from - usually your mobile browser or a file explorer. Tap on it.
  • Scroll down until you see the Advanced section. There you should find Install unknown apps. Tap on it  and tick Allow from this source.
unknown sources
You can allow your mobile browser or file explorer to install from unknown sources. / © AndroidPIT

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.

AndroidPIT Google Play Services
You can see the -446 suffix at the end of the Google Play Services version number (right). / © ANDROIDPIT

The first number is your Android version:

0 = Android 4.4.4 and older

2 = Android 5.0 and 5.1 (starting with Google Play Services v8)

4 = Android 6.0 and above (Note: 4 = Android 5.0 and 5.1 for versions of Google Play Services prior to v8)

7 = Android 5.0

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.

AndroidPIT CPU Z SoC System
On the left, we can see this device has x86 architecture, and on the right, 160 DPI. / © ANDROIDPIT

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.

Did you find this guide useful? Any tips or information you think we missed out on? Let us know in the comments!


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  • I recently got a different phone, and the google play store version on this one doesn't seem to have all the apps the other phone I had did and I really wanted to see if I could update it. Well, I checked the version I have and the numbers/letters, etc, look ABSOLUTELY NOTHING like they usually do and since I couldn't find a way to place a screenshot here I'll just write it down. I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 5, Version 7.0 and this is what it says in the google play store app in my phone:
    Version 12.4.30-all[0] [PR] 220544349
    Can someone please help me figure out what this means and how to update it? Thanks

  • Thanks

  • Not open my play store

  • Didn't an updated play service within the last month have a bug, that screwed up the play store or google pay?

  • Pls help me with this problem when try to update apps or download app it says that "can't download app error[0]" and I try to clear date or cache and still its not working...
    Any suggestion will be appreciated..
    Pls help me ASAP

  • Did not work for me on my tablet as I have 9 figures after the hyphen.

  • Wgoogle play

  • This "technical way" worked for me. MotoG, android5.1. Once I had got an uncorrupted version of the Google Play Services from the mirror and downloaded the CPU-Z program, the whole reinstallation went on automatically and saved me a lot of time. Thanks.


  • bhhh

  • Just checked my Google play services version and I currently have 11.3.02. I'm guessing that what version IDs on your device is dependent on what OS version you're running.

  • To all those who have tried to download the latest version, if you are in anyway unsure or are not confident about how to ensure you have the correct version, then do not proceed. The app will be updated to the latest version automatically via the Google Play Store.
    You run the risk of having major problems with the wrong version being used.

    Only carry out additional features if you are confident about what you are doing.

    Peace 🖖🏼

  • Scott Jul 14, 2017 Link to comment

    I found that I had to install the google services app to my phones system app folder or I got an error 0 message and wasn't able to download!! You need a root file explorer that can install the apk to the phones folder to do so! I used ES file explorer. I had root deleted the app. ...actually I think I just moved the apk and the phone installed it automatically.

  • Thank you (is it Scott?). After deleting my Google Services in an attempt to get an app installed, numbnuts Samsung rep told me I would have to do a factory reset on my phone. Your instructions worked perfectly, the first time. My phone is Galaxy 2, SGH-T989. I am grateful.

  • This Jove me may phone know this so happy, and know this all my sweet phone

  • H E L L O , Moto G (1st generation) XT1032 Lollipop 5.1 . . .
    Trying to solve a Google Play Services update issue I am now locked into a loop
    "Android is starting... Optimising app 14 of 52".
    I succeed in accessing "Recovery" and I have carried out "wipe data/factory reset" 3 (or more) times.
    On "Reboot" the Moto logo appears. After a long wait I get a dark screen and the "Android is starting... Optimising app 1 of 52" starts all over again . . . what is your advice ? . . .

  • I solved the problem on ZTE Blade Q, tnx for assistence, i`m happy now :)

  • And here.

  • If 8 as the first number means android TV then why does my marshmallow device have 8?

  • Intex Aqua with Version 5.1, not able to update any app.
    Please help.

  • Excellent service

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