Google Play Services has been up to some strange stuff lately. Over the past day or so, the normally innocuous app/service has been juicing batteries. With no apparent provocation, users with a myriad of devices are reporting that the service has been up to no good when it comes to battery life.

Play Services is a necessary part of Google’s Android, so it’s not as if we could remove it or shut it down. What is evident is that the service, almost solely, is draining batteries rapidly. The question is why it’s doing so. Is Google testing something? Did something go haywire with Newsstand ahead of the launch this morning? We don’t know.

We tested this out with our Nexus 4, just to be sure. We had all cellular connectivity and WiFi off. We also disabled location sharing and background app refreshing, basically making our device a dumb brick instead of a smartphone. The result? Nearly 10% battery drain in two hours. In that mode, we routinely get through a day with a 4% loss in battery.

We’re not sure why it’s happening, but the problem is, unfortunately, unavoidable. Play Services is necessary, and a constantly running background app. This can’t go on forever, but even force stopping and clearing the cache probably won’t stop this madness. We’ve reached out to Google for an explanation, so we’ll update accordingly if we hear anything.
VIA: Android Police