Today’s edition of “smart solutions to problems that ideally shouldn’t exist” has just been posted. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica:
Calling Play Services an “app” doesn’t really tell the whole story. For starters, it has an insane amount of permissions. It’s basically a system-level process, and if the above list isn’t enough for whatever it needs to do next, it can actually give itself more permissions without the user’s consent. Play Services constantly runs in the background of every Android phone, and nearly every Google app relies on it to function. It’s updatable, but it doesn’t update through the Play Store like every other app. It has its own silent, automatic update mechanism that the user has no control over. In fact, most of the time the user never even knows an update has happened. The reason for the complete and absolute power this app has is simple: Google Play Services is Google’s new platform.
Very clever, a little bit creepy (“it can actually give itself more permissions without the user’s consent”), and something which will help level the Android playing field for both Google and developers.
But if we’re playing the “Play Services is Google’s new platform” game, it’s worth mentioning that Play Services is not open source.