• marcusmaximus04

    "If you notice this crazy new app affecting anything else, let us know in the comments."

    This app killed my pet hamster.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      That's still 1000x better than the actual app reviews: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.gms

      • marcusmaximus04

        "First!" is probably 1000x better than most app reviews.

      • andy_o

        What I've been wondering is how can people still write anonymous reviews as "A Google User", i.e. without opening a G+ account.

        • IncCo

          Old phones have the old marketplace

          • primalxconvoy

            I wish non rooted new phones could still use the old marketplace...

      • RichA

        If anything, those reviews are fun to read.

      • http://twitter.com/matthew5025 Nat Chan

        Went through the review. Realised most lusers complaining are using cheap phones. Kinda backs me up on why not to get a $0 phone, and only stupid people do.
        tl;dr: Stupid people get free phones and complain crap.

        • primalxconvoy

          Or they are using top of the range legacy phones from 2 years ago. Another reason some people have low end phones is that their carriers don't stock high end ones, such a Softbank in Japan, which specialises in Apple products and sells only low to mid range Android phones as an alternative.

          Think before you type, please.

    • JohnWalker03

      My hamster died 2 days ago, it feels like its been taunting me the last couple of days, i never hear about hamsters then i suddenly hear about them all the time as a reminder. I also cant seem to find my laptop "mouse"..

      Anyway, yeah, new settings app is nifty.

  • Victor

    Ron, The app section is now on google+ on the left menu

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      oh wow! I check it earlier, I guess it takes a minute. Thanks!

  • Cason Pence

    This is actually partially nice. Now location access is separated. One setting for Google apps, another for non-Google apps.

    • http://twitter.com/Twitteninja Zargh

      The same exact set up was available before, all this does is make it more discoverable. Before you either had to stumble upon the individual Google app those particular settings were buried in, or if you're running 4.x access it by tapping one of the options under the Privacy subheader in Settings -> Accounts/Google (which I don't think many people know since from the name you'd expect it to link to privacy policies, not Settings).

      Though if several other people have this reaction, maybe this approach has more merit than Ron lets on.

  • faszerowany

    this is shit !

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000003999549 Mike Harris

    So the one thing that's clear from the screenshot above is that you do not have "Google Sky Map" installed or else it would have been shown before Google+.

    Now that I think about it, why do I still have it installed? I don't think I've opened it since I had the OG Droid and that was two phones ago.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      I actually uninstalled it specifically for that screenshot. =P

    • RitishOemraw

      Don't uninstall it!

      It's nice to have on vacation when you actually look up to the sky.
      I uninstalled it and when me and my bro got into an argument about which star was the northstar or some sign I sorely missed this app (having no internet connection there I couldn't redownload it untill much later at which point I was proven totally wrong and he only partially wrong.....hmmm maybe I was better off without the app :P)

      • perfectlyreasonabletoo

        I've always found it to be buggy as hell when I try it. Jittery, slow, sometimes rotating the sky in the opposite direction, etc. Is there a trick to making it work right?

        • straydog

          Yes, stop buying cheap phones.

          • perfectlyreasonabletoo

            Yeah my NEXUS 4 is such rubbish...

          • http://twitter.com/Rovex Rovex

            yes it is!

    • Simon Belmont

      I love the Google Sky Map app. It's fun to open up and figure out what planets and so forth are visible.

      Considering it was a headlining app for the T-Mobile HTC G1, it's held up well. Cheers.

  • PhilNelwyn

    "Why didn't you guys just update that screen?"

    I can see how, if they want to push it to as many devices as possible quickly, an OS update isn't quite ideal.
    It doesn't make it more useful though... or maybe just for privacy concerns?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      My point is they don't need to update the OS. Facebook and Dropbox put account settings there, too. It's updatable outside of the OS.

      • PhilNelwyn

        Oh, ok.
        Well, yeah, it's pretty ridiculous then.
        The only point I see: to make it more visible, in order to content privacy advocates.

      • XBIRDIE98

        As far as I am aware, this setting screen is handled by the Google Account Manager app, since disabling it (1) removes this screen, which is a system app, but the individual options in it are hidden when their respective APKs are disabled, (i.e. Google Services Manager, Maps, etc.) though it is unclear if the apps provide individual options or the Accounts Manager does, and if the apps in question need to have started out as system apps. (Play Services isn't on many older devices)
        The only time they have previously updated Google Account Manager is through system updates - but this begs the question, why not make it like the Calendar, or Play Services?
        This is especially odd since Google Account Manager is the glue that hold all the Google Apps together - it's the thing that lets you sign in to a Google Account. (This is actually the way that Google recommends developers make multiple apps using the same account - use a separate app as the account manager.) This makes me think that updating it via this new Play Store method was overlooked, or they ran out of time.
        In short: We end up where we started: Very confusing, reasons unclear. May have to do with system apps vs non-system apps, but may just be Google's oversight.
        (1) I tried it and found out that it removes all your Google Accounts from the device, too.

      • Egnimatic_Foolishness

        What I'm thinking is that this isn't for the average person that peruses your site, but for the people who think that settings is only to be used when they want to change their ringtone.

        I think your average consumer doesn't typically check their settings to see what options are available unless they specifically have to do something. So Google made this icon that puts the information more front and center so that your average consumer will see this Icon and click it to see what it is.

        Google Settings provide a lot of options that your average consumer has no idea about . (Subjective but I just polled a few of my friends on how to do things like add another google account, Disable apps from syncing, or disable Google Location services, and they had no idea where to go other than Long convoluted Ways.)

        It's a good thing for people like that, I don't see anything wrong with it.

        TL:dR Non Nerds/Geeks don't know that these settings exist so this icon brings it to their attention. Benefits outweigh the negatives of one extra icon

  • Niall Till

    The settings screen is different when there are manufacturer skins on top. Google probably cant update these as it would no longer look like Sense or Touchwiz etc. so this was the only way to get G+ apps added

  • makapav

    Ron, I think what Google is trying to do is remove these settings from the 'ROM' into a disassociated app. Much like how they pulled Google Calendar out of the ROM so that end-users and in this case Google doesn't have to depend on lazy-ass hardware manufacturers to provide updates. Google Settings will ultimately represent the current screenshot of permissions in settings going forward for ALL handset manufacturers especially since now Google+ is installed as part of the core Android OS going anyways.

    This of it this way, if third-party apps are using Google+ SSO for user authentication, and Google needs to quickly fix a vulnerability or control a break, they can do so through the Play Store Services/ Google Settings module by updating it without any manufacturer intervention in the future.

    • http://anselsantosa.com/ Ansel Santosa

      This is exactly right. However Run still has a point. Developers with large app portfolios (or whose apps affect global settings) would benefit from being able to hook into the Settings app. There should be an API (that is not tied into the Accounts feature) that allows apps to register new menus in Settings.

      • makapav

        I agree, this scenario would be an ideal one.

      • Alex Luckett

        Couldn't agree more, this would be perfect. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't iOS do this?

        • http://anselsantosa.com/ Ansel Santosa

          Hmm, I'm not an iOS user so I'm not sure. However a quick Google Image search seems to show that yes, that is possible in iOS.

        • Kcls

          I think it does to an extent. It's a little fragmented, because I think some apps put their settings in the settings menu, but some put it in-app.

          I could be wrong about this though. My only experience with iOS is on my dad's 1st generation iPod Touch, about 4 years ago.

        • XzinteR

          For the most part this is what iOS tries to do but the iOS settings are horribly confusing and annoying

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

        You mean this?

        • http://anselsantosa.com/ Ansel Santosa

          "that is not tied into the Accounts feature"

          I know apps can register a menu, but only if they are also registering a global user account. What about something like Tasker which has a suite of app, those apps have third-party plugin apps, but they don't have the concept of user accounts?

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

            Doh, I fail at reading comprehension. Sorry =P

          • http://anselsantosa.com/ Ansel Santosa

            No worries!

        • GazaIan

          Almost that, but apps should be allowed more than just account settings. Nt to mention, but you get booted to the settings screen of the app that appears under account and sync.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      APKs can install stuff in the settings. That's what this should do. There doesn't need to be an icon. You don't need to do a system update.

      • PhilNelwyn

        But is this true for previous versions of the OS, like Gingerbread, which is still the most common one?

  • http://twitter.com/USSENTERNCC1701 USSENTERNCC1701E

    If you uninstall it in the play store it just unintalls the update, worked fine before updated, should still work fine after uninstalling the update. That's what I did, no issues so far, and the icon is gone.

    • perfectlyreasonabletoo

      You know that update was probably more than just for LITERALLY HITLERing your app menu, right? It probably had security enhancements and stuff like that as well.

      It's just an icon. Don't panic.

      • http://twitter.com/USSENTERNCC1701 USSENTERNCC1701E

        Stuff that doesn't impact me or I don't care about. And if there is anyone else who feels the app drawer clutter does outweigh the enhancements, I thought I'd let them know the phone didn't melt or flip me the FC.

  • master94

    Was it just too hard for them to just notify us? While I myself, didnt freak out, a few coworkers thought it was a virus. They calmed down after reading this article. Thanks Androidpolice

    • http://shanked.me/ Shank

      I believe they're using their remote keys to push it out - and I don't believe they have the option of sending a notification with it. It's just a "push and pull" to all devices. Usually they use it for distributing updates to Google Play, and on a rare occurrence pushing anti-malware to devices infected.

  • Ibrahim Awwal

    I honestly think the icon is just so people who don't know what Play Services is aren't confused by this invisible app in their play store lists. The reviews on it are hilarious, I seriously can't tell whether some of them are paranoid, trolling, or just clueless.

    • IvanP

      OK, I'm clueless - what are Play Services, really? I'm not paranoid, just curious, why I need Play Store AND Play Store Services? Why not one app - Play Store?

      • http://shanked.me/ Shank

        Play Services is an APK that can be updated independently of the Play Store and allows developers to save space by using the version on your phone instead of including their own set of APIs with it. For instance, it allows apps to use YouTube inside the app.

  • DeadSOL

    They should have put it in the settings. This is going to freak people out. I, on the other hand, would love to have it but it's not showing up! :D

  • http://twitter.com/karenkaren82 Karen

    Useless app. Plain and simple, why install it if it basically doesn NOTHING?

    • perfectlyreasonabletoo

      It's good to put things relating to privacy somewhere as visible as possible. Previously it was under a couple nested menus and lots of people probably never saw it.

  • Paul_Werner

    I only noticed because I frequent this site and follow you on G+ since you said we should "totally follow you" on a past article. Thanks for helping me to not "freak out"

  • alhinai21

    TuneIn Radio now updated to use g+ login

  • Jiggy Gaton

    Blows up my note 2 every time, just as the "settings" in the G+ mobile app does. My hamster is also dead as well Marcus

  • RitishOemraw

    You tell em Ron!!!

    More useless icons!
    Like it wasn't an unsortable ocean of icons already!

    • Balls

      You can sort... unless you're an an ancient version of Android.

      • RitishOemraw

        4.2.2 on my Gnex

        There is a stock function to sort apps in my App drawer?
        Mine just sticks to alphabetical, which is not always great.

  • mesmorino

    Google is being retarded, again. Play music and Play magazine randomly and silently installed themselves on my phone too. Fucking Google you know.

    • perfectlyreasonabletoo

      They probably weren't "randomly" installed, just weren't available in your area until now or something.

      Settings > Apps > All > Play Music > Disable
      Settings > Apps > All > Play Magazines > Disable

      This works for virtually all apps and even most of the core operating system functions that you really shouldn't disable.

      I usually disable "Magazines", "Email", "Earth", "Calculator", "Chrome", "Korean keyboard", "Pinyin keyboard", "Movies & TV", "Music", "iWnn keyboard", "News & Weather", "Sound Recorder", "Exchange Services".

  • perfectlyreasonabletoo

    This doesn't seem like a bad idea to me. For the people worried about privacy this puts everything Google-related in one place which is readily accessible, even if all the individual settings already exist buried in another nested menu.

    Besides, who's to say where device manufacturers will stick some of these settings? Better to have them all in one place. Maybe even remove them from wherever else they're found so that there's no confusion.

  • Kylecore

    Seems to me that they are creating a separate app to phase out the things OEM's are doing with android. Some phones don't allow google play/google products because they've been so forked by OEM's. By having a separate app for google specific settings instead of it built into the actual software/ROM it can allow they're google services to not be rendered useless in the event OEM's begin to take google specific features out of their software/ROM.

    as we've all seen google takes things in steps to make sure everything is in working order before a mass rollout, give them time people I'm sure it will work for the best . I mean really, when hasn't it?

  • http://twitter.com/kev_martin Kev Martin

    App drawer? What is this mystical thing of which you speak? Is it something my phone doesn't have because its a Samsung (GS3)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000372600312 Joseph Pojunis

      Last time I checked the GS3 has an app drawer

  • heat361

    Why name it Google settings? When in the play store it is called Google play services? It makes no sense to confuse people.

    Anyhow it says it allows apps to speed up offline searches so I guess that's good right?

  • Matthew Fry

    My wife is going to be pissed. She hates it when I install something on her phone and the news is in a new spot since... I guess she memorizes the location instead of the image?

    • Michael Lee

      Tell her to get Espier Launcher then. :P

  • Jon Garrett

    I saw it earlier today, thought it was some crap that some app left behind so I deleted it.

  • GazaIan

    "Google, we need to talk. Why did you make this an icon in everyone's app drawer"

    Well, you see, I'm sure Google would love to do that, but Google can only update the Settings app via a system update, which means majority of Android users would never ever even see these settings. It'll probably be merged in a new Android 4.2.x update, or in Android 4.3 or 5.0.

    • Danny Holyoake

      No, this isn't true.

      He means add it to the Google Account screen within the Settings app. Apps can embed themselves into this - how do you think apps like Dropbox and Facebook and Twitter get in there?

      Google could have simply added 'Connected Apps' under the Google account settings page. No system update required.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/no6969el Noel Barcellos

    If you do not have it and really want it just follow link to it on market place and click "installed." Then select your device and it will overwrite the older one.

  • Kyle

    Luckily you can uninstall this redundant app...unlike the google+ messenger app...which can already be found in the main google+ app...

  • http://www.facebook.com/Kovu401 James Howard Russell

    I bet they'll integrate it in 4.3. A total overhaul to Settings isn't ideal at the end of the cycle.

  • Michael

    I just think it looks stupid to have an extra icon... I'm in the Netherlands... and both the regular settings and the google settings use an identical name. ("Instellingen" in Dutch).

  • goro

    Instant upload on Google+ don't work

  • gargamel

    If I don't have a Google+ account and I'm not planning to have one, can I just disable/uninstall Google Play Services? thanks

  • primalxconvoy

    I use Go Launcher to hide the icon, then I disabled Google Play Services after uninstalling the updates. The only thing tha refused to work was the official YouTube app, so I hid/disabled that too and replaced it with "tube mate" (search for it on the Web). I've also disabled the crappy search app and replaced it with a third party one that also gives bing image results (handy as Google image search is broken).

    If the marketplace app gives me any gyp, I'll disable that too and replace it with a link to the web store.

    What do I win?

  • primalxconvoy

    Just uninstall and disable google play services then hide the new settings icon with go launcher. Disable YouTube and hide then replace with tubemate.

    Problem solved.

  • http://twitter.com/cthonctic Cthonctic

    First time I saw it, I thought the gears were actually flowers. ^^
    I don't mind the extra icon, it's basically a shortcut to the Google Dashboard.

  • dane795

    how can i block google from pushing automatic updates? none of them have been beneficial, and after all these things should be up to the user.

  • http://twitter.com/Cumulonimbus_ca Cumulonimbus

    Hello, I'm the pressureNET developer. Our app mysteriously stopped working on almost many devices around the time they received this update. We do not have proof or evidence there is a connection, but we are very suspicious. pressureNET uses the barometer and location services to send atmospheric pressure measurements to us so we can learn about the atmosphere - but since yesterday morning, pressureNET seems unable to submit data on most phones (Nexus 4 seems unaffected).

    We don't know what's going on and are grateful for any help.

  • Eric

    How do u remove it

  • http://www.bordersweather.co.uk/ Andy J

    I think this is a very good idea, the majority of us here commenting are people who know Android, know how it works and know where to go to find various settings. This is clearly part of Google's campaign to ensure that the user is always in control of what data they are sharing and with who. Putting all this into an app that's easy to find makes sense to me - how many normal users do you think delve into settings once they have their phone running how they want it - I think you would be surprised just how many normal users are still running with the default wallpaper and ringtones - and why shouldn't they be - during the first boot wizard they are prompted to connect to WiFi so they never need to fiddle about with the WiFi settings screen. The vast majority of settings are about tweaking your phone, normal people don't fiddle about with sync, they don't fiddle about with Apps & Storage and they don't fiddle about with encryption or software updates. Whilst all the various privacy options exist in each individual app - again you would be surprised how many normal users don't play about in app settings. Providing an app that gives them direct access to privacy settings of various apps makes a lot of sense in this regard.

  • dumb app

    I hate this app. I may have a free phone but my free phone was the top of the line. 10 months ago when I got my free upgrade. Now back to this stupid app all it does it's occupy my phones memory space. And why would google put something on my phone that I can delete whenever I choose

  • avalanche_4x4

    Google+ is basically a privacy hack , why isn't the news doing a big drawn out story on that like the NSA.? I removed all the G+ hack from mg devices now it's in the Googleplay store list and not removable. It keeps wanting to update. When I go to a real store after I leave the store they are history till I return to the store. With google I'm thinking I should be able to go into thier building with unlocked doors and files and dig as I please . What's ok for them to do to me should be ok for me to do to them.