An increasing number of users are reporting a battery drainage issue in their Android devices after updating to the latest version of Play Services. Google rolled out v7.3 of Play Services late last month.
Play Services is a background service and API package present in GMS-opted Android build which facilitates improved communication between different Google Mobile Services such as Gmail, Google Maps, and YouTube among others.
The v7.3 version of the service introduced new APIs to Android Wear and Google FIT to Android. With the update, the company provided users with the ability to connect multiple Wear watches to a single device. In addition, the update also made it easier for apps to snag data from FIT and display it.
The issue is only affecting users who are using cellular connectivity (2G, 3G, LTE, 4G) to browse the Web on their Android device. It doesn’t seem to cause any issue when the device is connected to the Web over Wi-Fi.
Users first reported this issue last month, but it wasn’t until this week that it gained prevalence. “At the end of the day Play Services will have used more battery than the screen, which is unusual,” a user notes on Reddit. “Google Play services at 13%, Google App (their Search application, I believe) at 12%, screen at 6%. Something weird is going on and they need to fix it,” another user shared a similar ordeal. “It’s pretty annoying when you’re not near a wifi network throughout the day and you come back home with 2 hours of SOT and only 35% battery left,’ third user chimed in.
Google is yet to acknowledge the issue. As of now there isn’t any reliable workaround you could try to circumvent this. However, if you haven’t yet upgraded to Play Services v7.3, we would advise you to not update to it for now. For those who have already downloaded, you could grab the older versions of Play Services from reliable sources such as APKMirror, though I’m not sure if it is possible to replace the latest version of an app with its outdated counterpart. You could also rollback to a previous version of Android if the low battery issue is so bad on your device. We’ve contacted the company for details and will update the post when we hear back.