by Jim Kaness

If you are wondering why your Android smartphone or tablet has become sluggish perhaps this will explain it.

In 2016 nearly all Android smartphones and tablets offer apps, games and other services from Google and the Google Play Store. In recent years an App called "Google Play Services" has been downloaded to all Android devices to enhance user experience. In my experience these features work as advertised. For more on this see Google Play Services and Wikipedia Article.

In 2016 the performance of my own inexpensive ICOO D50 tablet had slowed down to a crawl, taking minutes - not seconds - to respond to my finger taps. To be sure the D50 was already a rather slow device and it can not tolerate very much background activity.

I first tried various "cleanup" Apps but nothing helped. Then one day I explored the various Apps installed and found one I had never heard of, and never asked for, called "Google Play Services". Because the tablet was by now useless to me there was nothing to lose if I wrecked something, so I uninstalled Google Play Services and, voila, the tablet began acting normally again!

Further Internet research led me to Reference 1 and Reference 2. These articles informed me that to accomplish all its tasks Google Play Services is very busy in the background keeping the device active while consuming battery power, cell time and data the user has purchased. It also uses large amounts of memory and processor time, thus slowing the device down.

The day after uninstalling Google Play Services I found it once again in the Apps list of my tablet and, sure enough, the tablet was sluggish again. The App had been downloaded and installed again without asking or informing me! Now I have again uninstalled the App and also removed sync to my Google account, but that did not solve the problem for good. Google Play services showed up a third time and I uninstalled it yet again!

I have now found (11/3/2016) and followed the instructions for turning off auto-updates provided at Instructions. This option is not in the tablet Android 4.04 operating system. It is an option in the Google Play Store "settings".

On 13 November 2016 my D50 once again became sluggish. Sure enough, Google Play Services was listed among the Apps. Again on 15 November 2016 Google Play Services was downloaded (unannounced) and slowed down my D50 tablet. I checked the settings on the Google Play Store menu and it still shows (1) Do not auto-update apps, and (2) Add icon to Home screen For new apps. The download and installation of Google Play Services would appear to violate both of these settings.

CONCLUSION: The ICOO D50 tablet does not have the resources to work with Google Play Services and Google offers no way to prevent that App from being installed. My own solution was to replace the D50 with a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10-inch tablet which does have the resources to currently operate the way Google dictates.

I did not write this page to advocate for or against Google. It was written to share my own experience. As the old Romans said, Caveat Emptor or "Buyer Beware".


Copyright © 11/16/2016 by Jim Kaness