Google Play Services can no longer be restricted!

UrDroid

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Nov 18, 2014
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This is interesting enough to deserve a separate post:

Under Lollipop I found that Google Play Services was using a LOT of data on a regular basis, so I had restricted its background data and that solved the problem. (I had to reenable it temporarily to actually use the Play Store app but that was easy enough.) We just got the Marshmallow upgrade, and it appears that Google caught onto this solution and found a way to prevent it!

It's not obvious at first, but Play Services no longer even appears on the app listing under Data, so there's nothing to tap on and restrict. The app is still present of course, and it does show up on the Battery list where you can see that it uses a fair amount of power too -- there's even a figure there for data usage, but you can't do anything with it. And of course Play Services can't be battery-optimized either, so now it can just do whatever it wants with your phone at any time.

How do you suppose Google would explain this neat little sleight-of-hand?
 

N4Newbie

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Have you thought about what Google Play Services is actually doing?

From the Play Store:

Google Play services is used to update Google apps and apps from Google Play.
This component provides core functionality like authentication to your Google services, synchronized contacts, access to all the latest user privacy settings, and higher quality, lower-powered location based services.
Google Play services also enhances your app experience. It speeds up offline searches, provides more immersive maps, and improves gaming experiences.
Apps may not work if you uninstall Google Play services.

https://forums.androidcentral.com/e...ails?id=com.google.android.gms&token=fyateazF

Stop messing with it and instead figure out which of your apps is actually using Play Services, then decide what to do about them (if anything).
 

rcrew9

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Have you thought about what Google Play Services is actually doing?

From the Play Store:



Stop messing with it and instead figure out which of your apps is actually using Play Services, then decide what to do about them (if anything).
So what does Google Play Services do on a Wi-Fi only device? Use Wi-Fi. I do not have unlimited data, and if I want to restrict Google Play Services to only use wi-fi, then I should have that option.
 

N4Newbie

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So what does Google Play Services do on a Wi-Fi only device? Use Wi-Fi. I do not have unlimited data, and if I want to restrict Google Play Services to only use wi-fi, then I should have that option.

Again, it is not a question of restricting Google Play Services, but of restricting/removing the app(s) that are *using* Google Play Services. Just to name one example, virtually every traffic/map/navigation app uses Google Play Services. As does (more than likely) Google Weather, Google News, Google Now, etc.
 

UrDroid

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It's not obvious at first, but Play Services no longer even appears on the app listing under Data, so there's nothing to tap on and restrict. The app is still present of course, and it does show up on the Battery list where you can see that it uses a fair amount of power too -- there's even a figure there for data usage, but you can't do anything with it.

Oops, I spoke too soon. Although Play Services is now mysteriously absent from the data usage list, you can still find it in the basic App listing (once you include System apps), and from there you can tap on "Data usage" (it wouldn't have been obvious to me that tapping here does anything, but it does) and get a screen where background data can be restricted. While you're there, tapping APP SETTINGS (even though it doesn't have any) gives a list of what's been using Play Services, although it's not very useful; about 90% of the data is under the heading "Miscellaneous".
 

UrDroid

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Have you thought about what Google Play Services is actually doing?...
Stop messing with it and instead figure out which of your apps is actually using Play Services, then decide what to do about them (if anything).

Yes, oddly enough, I have. I don't use any apps on a regular basis that should be causing Play Services to use as much data as it did, which is why I restricted it. And why restricting it made sense, and worked. The only app that ever required me to re-enable it was Playstore, so I imagine that was probably the culprit. (I wouldn't have thought I needed to restrict Playstore itself when I wasn't even using it.)

I should add that I haven't been using Marshmallow long enough to see whether this is still a problem, so I haven't made any restriction yet.
 

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