Definition

Google Play services

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: Mobile endpoint security: What enterprise infosec pros must know now
Contributor(s): Taina Teravainen

Google Play services is an app that runs in the background on mobile devices running the Android Operating System (OS) 2.2 and later. Play services provides developers with a library of application programming interfaces (APIs), which are used to provide Android apps with core functionalities such as authentication services, privacy services, location services and push notification services.

The Google Play APK (Android application package) is installed by default on most Android devices and if Google Play services is de-activated on the client-side, it is very likely that apps on the mobile device will not work properly. To protect user privacy, some services -- including location awareness -- require the end user to authorize (allow) the service before it will run.

Google Play services has two important security features, Verify Apps and SafetyNet. Verify Apps is a cloud-based service that scans applications for malicious code before users install them, whether the app is acquired from the Google Play Store or by sideloading, and flags any potentially harmful applications. Verify Apps can also remove or disable an application without the user's confirmation. SafetyNet assesses whether the device has a security model consistent with Google's Android security requirements, compiles data about possible malware threats and attacks, and updates application blacklists and settings on the device to prevent these attacks.

Google Play service updates apps through the Google Play store. The updates are done independently of Android Operating System or carrier updates to ensure timeliness and a better user experience across fragmented Android device operating systems.

This was last updated in August 2016

Continue Reading About Google Play services

PRO+

Content

Find more PRO+ content and other member only offers, here.

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

Do you think Google Play services provides sufficient security for Android devices? What more should be done?
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCloudSecurity

SearchNetworking

SearchCIO

SearchEnterpriseDesktop

SearchCloudComputing

ComputerWeekly.com

Close