Devices older than Android 2.3 or devices without the Google Play services app are not supported.
Google Play services gives you the freedom to use the newest APIs for popular Google services without worrying about device support.
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With Google Play services, your app can take advantage of the latest, Google-powered features such as Maps, Google , and more, with automatic platform updates distributed as an APK through the Google Play store.
This makes it faster for your users to receive updates and easier for you to integrate the newest that Google has to offer.
The client library has a light footprint if you use Pro Guard as part of your build process, so it won't have an adverse impact on your app's file size.
If you want to access added features or products, you can upgrade to a new version of the client library as they are released.
The client library contains the interfaces to the individual Google services and allows you to obtain authorization from users to gain access to these services with their credentials.
It also contains APIs that allow you to resolve any issues at runtime, such as a missing, disabled, or out-of-date Google Play services APK.
The Google Play services APK contains the individual Google services and runs as a background service in the Android OS.