Google has begun rolling out an update to the Play Services package we all know and love. Details about version 4.4 have already been posted to the Android Developers blog, and it features updates and new features to the APIs for Maps, Mobile Ads, Activity Recognition, plus a few minor fixes for Games Services and Wallet. Aside from general bug fixes, it looks like this update is mostly about giving new tools to developers.



The biggest improvement appears to be a new API for Google Maps that allows developers to expose Street View imagery in their own apps. Developers have always had the ability to incorporate satellite and street maps, but this will be the first time that street-level photos will be directly accessible outside of the Maps application. It looks like most of the standard features are available, including 360-degree views, zooming, and motion transitions.

Activity Recognition

Activity Recognition is also gaining a minor improvement by now distinguishing between walking and running. Until now, the only activities explicitly covered were: standing still, walking, cycling, and in-vehicle. Developers would have previously had to watch the accelerometer to determine the difference between running and walking.

Mobile Ads

Mobile Ads also gained a pretty significant new feature which now allows users to purchase advertised products on special promo ads directly from publishers without having to transition to a new app or web page. This could be a great feature for just about everyone, but it could be dangerous to the impulse buyers out there. There is also a more involved targeting framework for offering different ads based on the type of user. This could mean featuring premium products to users with high-value buying habits, popular products to new users, or specialty items for those with specific interests.


The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.

File name: com.google.android.gms-4.4.48 (1150368-38).apk

Version: v4.4.48 (1150368-038)

File size: 16.5 MB

MD5: 40f0bea005a34cbc3a912fdebc0636ed

  1. AndroidFileHost mirror
  2. ZippyShare mirror
  3. MEGA mirror

Stay tuned, I'll be digging into the apk for a potential teardown.

Thanks, Marco Pedrazzoli

Source: Android Developers Blog

Cody Toombs
Cody is a Software Engineer and Writer with a mildly overwhelming obsession with smartphones and the mobile world. If he’s been pulled away from the computer for any length of time, you might find him talking about cocktails and movies, sometimes resulting in the consumption of both.

  • https://plus.google.com/u/0/108482452903817442299/posts Andrew Bone

    It has lots of new permissions

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      I saw that, too. It gives me a lot of hope for this teardown.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

        This thing grew by 4 MB and the manifest grew quite a bit. This is going to take a while.

        • joser116

          Maybe preparing for Android 5?

        • Mr. Mark

          My *man*ifest is growing quite a bit after getting this update.

      • makapav

        Priorities. Damn straight!

  • Daniel

    I can only hope it improves on the activity detection from how it is currently. It's totally inaccurate. I have a good laugh each month when Google Now pushes the stats to me about my cycling activity. It's normally about 10-15h's off.

    • Matt

      I'm not sure what you mean

      • Matt

        Stupid enter button sticking... didn't mean to end that reply so soon.

        "I'm not sure what you mean, Google informed me that I walked for a total of 2.5 hours last month. I'm sure that's accurate"

        • http://www.modminecraft.com/ Nick Coad

          Daniel is talking about cycling though, it may not have very good cycling detection perhaps.

          • remister

            I have to agree. Cycling could be counted as driving, here in LA.

          • WhoaManWtF

            Driving in LA could very well register as walking...

          • Chris

            That was Sarcasm bud...hopefully this guy walked more than 2.5 hours in a month...

    • Cory S

      I cycled 10 hours last month. I don't own a bicycle.

      • Gavin Steiner

        LOL. I hope you at least got credit for the lost calories

    • Chris

      I just turn it off. It's stupid, wrong, and useless info. Do they stop tracking it when you turn it off?

    • Bryan Swagerty

      Same for me. It typically shows me at about 150 miles cycling when 400 would be more accurate. I'd call that way off and pretty useless.

      • someone755

        Because you're too fast and it thinks you're a car? I mean how do you expect it to *know* exactly what kind transport you're using when all the app gets is location and speed data?

  • Andy Stetson

    I can only hope this update un-nerfs modified GMail and Hangouts apks (blacked out/inverted).

  • Daniel Traynor

    You guys are always first with the APK's! Big Love!

    • Aooga

      First and only pretty much.

      • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

        Droid Life was on the ball today as well.

        • Aooga

          They uploaded an APK? If they did, I'm not seeing it.

  • Floss

    They need a way to strip all of the resources they are adding to each new version. We are at like 2MB, only ~600 KB of which can be stripped out via ProGuard, just to include one library in a app.

  • http://google.com/+DavidJohnson David J

    Is this version comparable with my N4? Isn't it device specific?

    • http://twitter.com/anishbhalerao Anish Bhalerao

      Google Play Services is never device specific. It ships with (or gets downloaded to) ALL devices featuring Google Services.

      • http://google.com/+DavidJohnson David J

        Ah I stand corrected. It's Google Play Games that is device specific. Sorry bud.

      • osm0sis

        Play Services is device specific too. The last three numbers, -038 here, differ.

        On the GN it's -036, others 34, 32 and 30.

        This is why some GApps have stopped including anything newer than the last universal build which was in the Nexus 5 Factory Image.

        • http://www.zadig.info Mario Gaucher

          How do we know which version we should install if we want to do it manually?

          • osm0sis

            You need to not sideload random versions, and then look at what variant Google updates you to. Once you know that you can safely update to that variant once it gets posted.

            In the PA GApps thread, we found it definitely has something to do with both screen size and dpi but there always seem to be exceptions to any rule we've tried to come up with so far.

        • IonutIT

          Do you know what Google Play Edition phones (HTC One M7) uses? The default version I had was 030 but after I updated manually to 038 I am having huge battery usage. I tried uninstalling to system version and updating from Google Play, but it installs the 038 version again.

  • thartist

    Does this contain the Sound Search feature/widget, or is it in Play Music?

    • Peter

      separate completely. the link to Google Sound Search is here:


      • thartist

        Thanks a ton! That's crap doesn't appear in the store in my country, thus the confusion.

        • Thomas Cai Jinzhan

          sound search is installed in android by itself...however if you are in a region that doesn't supports it, it will be disabled. Just use titanium backup to 'unfreeze' it.

  • http://twitter.com/anishbhalerao Anish Bhalerao

    Did they finally change the official name of the app from "Google Play services" to "Google Play Services" (capitalise first letter of each word)? Shits my OCD seeing the "S" in services in lower case for no reason whatsoever! :/

  • http://twitter.com/anishbhalerao Anish Bhalerao

    Did they finally change the official name of the app from "Google Play services" to "Google Play Services" (capitalise first letter of each word)? Shits my OCD seeing the "S" in services in lower case for no reason whatsoever!

    EDIT: They did NOT. :/

    • Jordan Khoviteri-Zadeh

      That's because 'Google Play services' is grammatically correct.
      Google Play is proper noun, therefore it has capitalised first characters. Services is just a noun, its not part of the Google Play branding, so it'll stay lower cased. That's correct.

      • http://twitter.com/anishbhalerao Anish Bhalerao

        The last time I checked, the words Store, Music, Movies, Games, Newsstand, Books are ALL ("just") common nouns. and they are all named in words with capitalised first letters.

        And "Services" is NOT a part of the Google Play branding? Then why is it named "Google Play services"? For kicks or laughs?
        Try that PROPER NOUN-COMMON NOUN argument on some non-English speaking guy.
        Nice try, Jordan. Better luck next time!

        • NinoBr0wn


          • Jordan Khoviteri-Zadeh

            I was thinking his response was a little extreme too...

          • NinoBr0wn

            It's like he's having a caffeine rush. Nice try better luck next time! lol what

        • didibus

          I think he still has a point. Google Play Books is the name of a Google branding, like it's Google Play Music, Google Play Books, while Google Play services is not really a branding, it's Google Play and this is his services. If you go on play.google.com, there won't be a listing for Services. So I think, maybe Google sees that only things it considers as having turned into Proper Nouns by giving them a branding should be capitalized.

        • robogo

          The sad part is, Jordan is absolutely right. Services is spelled with a lower-case letter because it refers to general services, not a product named Google Play Services (whereas Google Play Store, Google Play Music or Google Newsstand does).

  • http://www.dailynewscompany.com/ dailynewscompany.com

    Is this new version comparable with my N4?

  • Fuel

    Got a pretty big battery drain over night with the new version. The stats say my phone was active all the time and play Services are responsible for 51% of battery use. (Moto G, 4.4.2 stock)
    Can anybody confirm that?

    • dwean

      Same here...wld says check in handoff

    • dudi1986

      nexus 4 , the same story.

    • kev

      Yep same, nexus 5
      i reboot seems to have sorted it though, i hope

    • Ricardo

      I can confirm this...
      HUAWEI p6 4.2.2
      Rebooting now to see what happens...

  • Guest

    None of these links worked for me.

    Any idea why ?

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    I wonder if in the future Google will be able to update the most important elements of them system without actually updating the OS and just releasing a newer Play Services version. I mean, they are already including in it stuff that pretty much is needed for the device tomfuntion properly within Google's ecosystem and even bring new API's with it

    Next thing you know they will be able to update your framework and system UI with this one thingy

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      Shhhhh, wait for the teardown

      • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

        OH SHI~

      • Barrett Jasper

        I think he read it first.

  • godutch

    I installed this version but want to downgrade again, this keeps my phone awake with a new and massive wakelock (checkin handoff) (htc m7 with arhd 62)

    • Valeyard

      same issue here.. massive checkin handoff wakelock

      • godutch

        I ended up re-installing the rom to downgrade play services, the wakelock is gone now

    • Barrett Jasper

      Weird...not here

    • Crafty

      Same here. It's really draining the battery.

      Had no issue with Google Play Services 4.3. Ugh.

      • robogo

        I see the wakelock too, but my battery is not actually draining. 1d10h, 3hrs screen time, 43% left.

  • Devide Nelwan Jr.

    Loves this site..always come with fresh things..checked out every day and hour.thanks android police..

  • http://www.zadig.info Mario Gaucher

    every time there is an updated Google Play Service APK available, I install it right away... but it never fix the problem I have... activity recognition is not correct for me. When I'm in my car, I always put my device in my car mount. But for some reason, activity recognition is detecting I'm cycling even if I'm on the highway driving at 100km/h. I can see this in my google location history or in my Google Now activity card... this card has some "cycling" even if I did not do any during the week. Is there a way to report this problem so I can eventually see a fix to this problem I'm having?

    • didibus

      Maybe it's a problem with your phones hardware? Like accelerometer is defective or something.

      • http://www.zadig.info Mario Gaucher

        3 different devices with the same problem? I don't think so... I had a Galaxy SIII, Galaxy Nexus, Two different Galaxy Note 3... always the same problem. I'm not the only one with this problem... so it must be something with the detection engine that Google is using. Maybe not calibrated properly with all devices...

        • didibus

          Sorry, just thought I could help. If this is Google's problem, I hope they fix it soon. I suspect there might be a hidden truth, they just didn't figure out an accurate algorithm that doesn't drain the battery yet. I hope this is not the case, and just a bug that they will fix down the road though.

  • Finiiish

    I played some YouTube on my Chromecast and no control buttons appeared to my lockscreen. Uninstalled and they are back. Nexus 10 stock 4.4.2

  • Croatian

    Something is not right with this APK from AndroidFileHost mirror. It downloads, but then the icon for it as seen in the Downloads is generic and not associated with anything, so when you launch it it tries to open Wondershare player instead of the installer. I cleared the defaults for the Wondershare player, but it still launches it. What gives????

  • black

    I'll wait for the update. I don't trust AP, even if they claim that it's signed by Google. I don't trust nobody.

  • Santosh

    Huge battery drain on the N5. Had a 100% when I slept. Woke up 8 hours later to 60%. Location was off, sync was off, and even data.

  • Dave Keeling
  • Matthew Fry

    Seriously guys. On behalf of all the people trying to install this on their phones, no spaces por favor.

  • Candido

    For those who installed this update and then uninstalled it and went back to the 4.3 release, did you guys lose your SYSTEM UPDATE submenu under ABOUT PHONE menu? I no longer have SYSTEM UPDATE. If I install this update again, I get the menu back. If I rollback to 4.3, menu is gone.

  • Arthur Dent

    Just received an update to Google Play Services 4.4.52. Not sure what's different from 4.4.48.


    • Crafty

      Getting any battery drain? I'm on the same version and battery life is taking a hit.

      It's location services related. Didn't happen with Google Play Services 4.3.

  • Crafty

    Google Play Services 4.4.52 is causing a major wake lock issue for me. Battery life is suffering big time.

    Come on, Google. Stop "fixing" what wasn't broken.

  • tsai

    my tablet(wifi only, no gsm/wcdma, no GPS) cannot locate by network after google play service upgrading to 4.4.52. It worked well when google play service is 4.3.32. Anyone help me out?

  • http://androidappsapkdownload.com/ Android Apk File Download

    Wow... Its good to hear that now Play service APK is also available...
    But i am unable to get the Play service APP APK.. plz suggest me where to find it
    from free tips

  • RX124

    Which of the most recent Play Services version is NOT bugged?
    I'm trying to revert my phone to this version and want to embed it into the system (so if Play Services autoupdates back to 4.4.52, I can simply uninstall the updates).

  • Francis D

    will this work with my HTC rezound?

  • ryan

    Had to restore to factory settings. Got error, Google play services is not on your phone. Nexus4.