Difference Wiki

Google Play Store vs. Google Play Services: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Published on January 7, 2024
Google Play Store is an app marketplace, while Google Play Services is a background service providing key functionalities to Android apps.

Key Differences

The Google Play Store is a digital distribution service operated by Google. It serves as the official app store for the Android operating system, allowing users to browse and download applications developed with the Android software development kit (SDK). Conversely, Google Play Services is a proprietary background service and API package for Android devices. It's not an app store but a background framework that allows apps to function properly on Android devices.
Google Play Store is where users can find a wide range of Android apps, games, music, movies, and books. It's a platform for downloading and updating apps. On the other hand, Google Play Services runs in the background to update Google apps and apps from Google Play. This service provides core functionality like authentication to your Google services, synchronized contacts, and access to all the latest user privacy settings.
The Google Play Store provides a user interface for managing and installing apps. Users interact with the Store to find and install new apps. In contrast, Google Play Services operates mostly in the background, silently enhancing other apps' functionality. It helps apps communicate with various parts of your device and Google services more efficiently.
An important distinction is that while the Google Play Store is an application where users actively engage, Google Play Services works passively, providing functionalities such as Google Maps API integration and Google Account management. The Play Store is more visible to users, while Play Services silently enhances the user experience.
The Google Play Store and Google Play Services are both crucial to the Android ecosystem but serve different purposes. The Store is the face of Google's app ecosystem, while Play Services is the framework that allows the Android operating system and apps to work seamlessly together.

Comparison Chart

Primary Function

App marketplace
Background service

User Interaction

Direct interaction
Operates in background


App downloading and updating
Providing core functionalities to apps


Highly visible to users
Mostly invisible to users

Role in Android

App distribution platform
Enhances app and OS functionality

Google Play Store and Google Play Services Definitions

Google Play Store

The Google Play Store is Google's official marketplace for Android apps and content.
I downloaded the latest game from the Google Play Store.

Google Play Services

Google Play Services is essential for updating Google and third-party apps on Android.
Her phone’s apps are up-to-date, thanks to Google Play Services.

Google Play Store

The Store serves as a hub for apps, games, books, and movies for Android devices.
He found his favorite movie on the Google Play Store.

Google Play Services

It enhances user experience by supporting app functionality on Android devices.
Google Play Services updated to ensure smoother app performance.

Google Play Store

It's a digital platform for Android users to purchase or download apps and media.
She browsed the Google Play Store for a new productivity app.

Google Play Services

A core component of the Android operating system that helps apps function properly.
Without Google Play Services, many of my apps wouldn't work correctly.

Google Play Store

An application on Android devices for accessing and installing new software.
I updated my apps through the Google Play Store.

Google Play Services

Google Play Services is a background service providing API and system support to Android apps.
My app’s location features rely on Google Play Services.

Google Play Store

Google Play Store is a user-friendly interface for managing and exploring Android apps.
They discovered a new music app on the Google Play Store.

Google Play Services

A framework that provides integrations like Google Maps and account authentication for apps.
The weather app uses Google Play Services for accurate location data.


What does Google Play Services do?

It provides core functionalities like app updates and Google services integration for Android apps.

Does Google Play Services drain battery?

Sometimes, if it's malfunctioning or there are issues with your device's software.

How do I access the Google Play Store?

It's usually pre-installed on Android devices, accessible via the app drawer.

How do I update apps without Google Play Store?

You can use alternative app stores or download APK files directly, though it's less secure.

Can I use Android without Google Play Store?

Yes, but you'll miss out on a central location for safely downloading and updating apps.

Is Google Play Services necessary?

Yes, for the smooth functioning of many apps and features on Android devices.

Does Google Play Services work offline?

Some functionalities require internet, but others like app updates work in the background.

What is Google Play Store?

It's Google's official app store for Android devices, offering apps, games, and digital content.

How often does Google Play Store get updated?

Google updates it regularly to improve security and user experience.

What kind of content is available on Google Play Store?

Apps, games, books, movies, and music for Android users.

How does Google Play Services affect app performance?

It generally enhances performance by providing necessary updates and integrations.

Can Google Play Services be uninstalled?

No, it's a core part of the Android system and cannot be uninstalled.

What are the security features of Google Play Services?

It includes security updates and integral services like Google Safe Browsing.

Can I share my Google Play Store purchases?

Yes, with Google's Family Library feature.

Are there alternatives to Google Play Store?

Yes, there are other app stores like Amazon Appstore, but they may offer fewer apps.

Can I use Google Play Services on a non-Android device?

No, it's exclusive to Android operating systems.

Is Google Play Services free?

Yes, it's a free service provided by Google for Android users.

How do I troubleshoot issues with Google Play Store?

Clear cache, check for updates, or reinstall the Play Store app.

What happens if I disable Google Play Services?

Disabling it can lead to malfunctioning of apps and loss of important functionalities.

Can I control what data Google Play Store collects?

Yes, through your Google account settings and app permissions.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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