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Setting Up Google Play Services

To develop an app using the Google Play services APIs, you need to set up your project with the Google Play services SDK. If you haven't installed the Google Play services SDK yet, go get it now by following the guide to Adding SDK Packages.

To test your app when using the Google Play services SDK, you must use either:

  • A compatible Android device that runs Android 2.3 or higher and includes Google Play Store.
  • The Android emulator with an AVD that runs the Google APIs platform based on Android 4.2.2 or higher.

Add Google Play Services to Your Project

Select your development environment below and add Google Play services to your project by following the steps provided.

Android Studio

To make the Google Play services APIs available to your app:

  1. Open the build.gradle file inside your application module directory.

    Note: Android Studio projects contain a top-level build.gradle file and a build.gradle file for each module. Be sure to edit the file for your application module. See Building Your Project with Gradle for more information about Gradle.

  2. Add a new build rule under dependencies for the latest version of play-services. For example:
    apply plugin: 'com.android.application'
        ...
    
        dependencies {
            compile 'com.google.android.gms:play-services:7.5.0'
        }
        
    Be sure you update this version number each time Google Play services is updated.

    Note: If the number of method references in your app exceeds the 65K limit, your app may fail to compile. You may be able to mitigate this problem when compiling your app by specifying only the specific Google Play services APIs your app uses, instead of all of them. For information on how to do this, see Selectively compiling APIs into your executable.

  3. Save the changes and click Sync Project with Gradle Files in the toolbar.

You can now begin developing features with the Google Play services APIs.

Selectively compiling APIs into your executable

In versions of Google Play services prior to 6.5, you had to compile the entire package of APIs into your app. In some cases, doing so made it more difficult to keep the number of methods in your app (including framework APIs, library methods, and your own code) under the 65,536 limit.

From version 6.5, you can instead selectively compile Google Play service APIs into your app. For example, to include only the Google Fit and Android Wear APIs, replace the following line in your build.gradle file:

compile 'com.google.android.gms:play-services:7.5.0'

with these lines:

compile 'com.google.android.gms:play-services-fitness:7.5.0'
compile 'com.google.android.gms:play-services-wearable:7.5.0'

Table 1 shows a list of the separate APIs that you can include when compiling your app, and how to describe them in your build.gradle file. Some APIs do not have a separate library; include them by including the base library. (This lib is automatically included when you include an API that does have a separate library.)

Table 1. Individual APIs and corresponding build.gradle descriptions.

Google Play services API Description in build.gradle
Google+ com.google.android.gms:play-services-plus:7.5.0
Google Account Login com.google.android.gms:play-services-identity:7.5.0
Google Actions, Base Client Library com.google.android.gms:play-services-base:7.5.0
Google App Indexing com.google.android.gms:play-services-appindexing:7.5.0
Google App Invites com.google.android.gms:play-services-appinvite:7.5.0
Google Analytics com.google.android.gms:play-services-analytics:7.5.0
Google Cast com.google.android.gms:play-services-cast:7.5.0
Google Cloud Messaging com.google.android.gms:play-services-gcm:7.5.0
Google Drive com.google.android.gms:play-services-drive:7.5.0
Google Fit com.google.android.gms:play-services-fitness:7.5.0
Google Location, Activity Recognition, and Places com.google.android.gms:play-services-location:7.5.0
Google Maps com.google.android.gms:play-services-maps:7.5.0
Google Mobile Ads com.google.android.gms:play-services-ads:7.5.0
Google Nearby com.google.android.gms:play-services-nearby:7.5.0
Google Panorama Viewer com.google.android.gms:play-services-panorama:7.5.0
Google Play Game services com.google.android.gms:play-services-games:7.5.0
SafetyNet com.google.android.gms:play-services-safetynet:7.5.0
Google Wallet com.google.android.gms:play-services-wallet:7.5.0
Android Wear com.google.android.gms:play-services-wearable:7.5.0

Note: ProGuard directives are included in the Play services client libraries to preserve the required classes. The Android Plugin for Gradle automatically appends ProGuard configuration files in an AAR (Android ARchive) package and appends that package to your ProGuard configuration. During project creation, Android Studio automatically creates the ProGuard configuration files and build.gradle properties for ProGuard use. To use ProGuard with Android Studio, you must enable the ProGuard setting in your build.gradle buildTypes. For more information, see the ProGuard guide.

Eclipse with ADT

To make the Google Play services APIs available to your app:

  1. Copy the library project at <android-sdk>/extras/google/google_play_services/libproject/google-play-services_lib/ to the location where you maintain your Android app projects.
  2. Import the library project into your Eclipse workspace. Click File > Import, select Android > Existing Android Code into Workspace, and browse to the copy of the library project to import it.
  3. In your app project, reference Google Play services library project. See Referencing a Library Project for Eclipse for more information on how to do this.

    Note: You should be referencing a copy of the library that you copied to your development workspace—you should not reference the library directly from the Android SDK directory.

  4. After you've added the Google Play services library as a dependency for your app project, open your app's manifest file and add the following tag as a child of the <application> element:
    <meta-data android:name="com.google.android.gms.version"
        android:value="@integer/google_play_services_version" />
    

Once you've set up your project to reference the library project, you can begin developing features with the Google Play services APIs.

Create a ProGuard Exception

To prevent ProGuard from stripping away required classes, add the following lines in the /proguard-project.txt file:

-keep class * extends java.util.ListResourceBundle {
    protected Object[][] getContents();
}

-keep public class com.google.android.gms.common.internal.safeparcel.SafeParcelable {
    public static final *** NULL;
}

-keepnames @com.google.android.gms.common.annotation.KeepName class *
-keepclassmembernames class * {
    @com.google.android.gms.common.annotation.KeepName *;
}

-keepnames class * implements android.os.Parcelable {
    public static final ** CREATOR;
}

Other

To make the Google Play services APIs available to your app:

  1. Copy the library project at <android-sdk>/extras/google/google_play_services/libproject/google-play-services_lib/ to the location where you maintain your Android app projects.
  2. In your app project, reference the Google Play services library project. See Referencing a Library Project on the Command Line for more information on how to do this.

    Note: You should be referencing a copy of the library that you copied to your development workspace—you should not reference the library directly from the Android SDK directory.

  3. After you've added the Google Play services library as a dependency for your app project, open your app's manifest file and add the following tag as a child of the <application> element:
    <meta-data android:name="com.google.android.gms.version"
        android:value="@integer/google_play_services_version" />
    

Once you've set up your project to reference the library project, you can begin developing features with the Google Play services APIs.

Create a Proguard Exception

To prevent ProGuard from stripping away required classes, add the following lines in the /proguard-project.txt file:

-keep class * extends java.util.ListResourceBundle {
    protected Object[][] getContents();
}

-keep public class com.google.android.gms.common.internal.safeparcel.SafeParcelable {
    public static final *** NULL;
}

-keepnames @com.google.android.gms.common.annotation.KeepName class *
-keepclassmembernames class * {
    @com.google.android.gms.common.annotation.KeepName *;
}

-keepnames class * implements android.os.Parcelable {
    public static final ** CREATOR;
}

Ensure Devices Have the Google Play services APK

As described in the Google Play services overview, Google Play delivers service updates for users on Android 2.3 and higher through the Google Play Store app. However, updates might not reach all users immediately, so your app should verify the version available before attempting to perform API transactions.

Because each app uses Google Play services differently, it's up to you decide the appropriate place in your app to verify the Google Play services version. For example, if Google Play services is required for your app at all times, you might want to do it when your app first launches. On the other hand, if Google Play services is an optional part of your app, you can check the version only once the user navigates to that portion of your app.

You are strongly encouraged to use the GoogleApiClient class to access Google Play services features. This approach allows you to attach an OnConnectionFailedListener object to your client. To detect if the device has the appropriate version of the Google Play services APK, implement the onConnectionFailed() callback method. If the connection fails due to a missing or out-of-date version of the Google Play APK, the callback receives an error code such as SERVICE_MISSING, SERVICE_VERSION_UPDATE_REQUIRED, or SERVICE_DISABLED. To learn more about how to build your client and handle such connection errors, see Accessing Google APIs.

Another approach is to use the isGooglePlayServicesAvailable() method. You might call this method in the onResume() method of the main activity. If the result code is SUCCESS, then the Google Play services APK is up-to-date and you can continue to make a connection. If, however, the result code is SERVICE_MISSING, SERVICE_VERSION_UPDATE_REQUIRED, or SERVICE_DISABLED, then the user needs to install an update. In this case, call the getErrorDialog() method and pass it the result error code. The method returns a Dialog you should show, which provides an appropriate message about the error and provides an action that takes the user to Google Play Store to install the update.

To then begin a connection to Google Play services (required by most Google APIs such as Google Drive, Google+, and Games), read Accessing Google APIs.