Learn how Google Play services can interact with your nearby devices

Google Play services enables important features of your device and helps make your device more secure and reliable. Google Play services is different from the Google Play Store. Learn more about Google Play services.

In order to interact with nearby devices, Google Play services may use Bluetooth. If you're on a device with Android 11 or earlier, some of the services that use Bluetooth may instead require the Location permission.

How Google Play services can interact with your Nearby Devices

Google Play services may periodically use the Nearby Devices permission to perform core services on your device. Some examples are:

To improve security 

Google Play services may periodically interact with nearby devices, sometimes in the background, to help you with security features such as the examples described below:

  • Use your phone as a security key when you sign in to another nearby device. 
  • Unpair Bluetooth devices from your lost phone with Find My Device.
    • Tip: To manage your Find My Device settings, on your Android device, open Settings and then Google and then Find My Device
  • Add a trusted Bluetooth device with Smart Lock to keep your phone unlocked when connected. 
    • Tip: To turn on Smart Lock, on your Android device, open Settings and then Security and then Smart Lock and then Trusted devices

To sign in to your Google Account across devices

You can use your phone to sign in to your Google Account on other devices, like your Android TV or your car with Google apps and services built in.

To find & connect to nearby devices

Google Play services may periodically scan for nearby devices, in the background, to help you discover and connect to nearby devices. For example, you can:

  • Pair your device with Bluetooth accessories through Fast Pair.
    • Tip: To change settings for Fast Pair, on your device, go to Settings and then Google and then Devices & sharing and then Devices.
  • Use Nearby Share to securely share and receive files from a single user or device, or multiple users or devices at a time.
    • Tip: To change settings for Nearby Share, on your Android device, go to Settings and then Google and then Devices & sharing and then Nearby Share.
  • Find, pair, and stay connected with nearby Wear OS devices.
    • Tip: To manage Wear OS device settings, use the Wear OS companion app.
  • Get and record fitness data, like heart rate and running speed, through Google Fit or connected apps from Bluetooth devices.
    • Tip: To manage Google Fit settings, on your Android device, go to Settings and then Google and then Settings for Google Apps and then Google Fit and then Connected apps and devices.

To improve your Chromebook experience

Google Play services may periodically interact with nearby devices, in the background, to help improve your Chromebook experience. For example, you can:

  • Unlock your Chromebook from your phone. Learn how.
  • Connect your phone to your Chromebook with Phone Hub and sync features of your mobile device, like notifications, on your Chromebook.
  • Create a hotspot from your Chromebook.

To get COVID-19 Exposure Notifications

If you’ve enabled Exposure Notifications, Google Play services uses Bluetooth, in the background, to detect nearby devices that also have Exposure Notifications enabled. If someone you were near later reports having COVID-19, your device notifies you of the next steps to take based on guidance from your public health authority. Learn more about Exposure Notifications.

To connect devices without an internet connection

If you’re a developer, you can discover, connect, and exchange data directly with other devices, even without an internet connection. Learn more about Nearby Connections.

How Google handles your information

In order to enable some features, Google Play Services may collect and send some information to Google which may include crash logs and diagnostics information for analytics purposes. Any information that Google collects is handled in accordance with Google's Privacy Policy.

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