AndroidGood and EVO

New Google settings icon appearing on Android devices isn’t spam, just redundant

google settings app - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

For the past few days I’ve been busy with the Nokia Lumia 822 Windows Phone review, so I was surprised to notice yesterday that a new app icon had made itself at home in my app drawer between the Google and Google+ apps. The new app, with the green icon in the above image, is called Google Settings, and although I assumed that it was an official addition, I was still slightly worried that it might be malware.

Fortunately, that isn’t the case, and the app is in fact a silent change from Google, much like the Play Store (which also caused many users to think their phones had been compromised). However, while the app is from Google, it doesn’t actually do much at all in its current form. It is a part of the new Google+ sign in initiative which connects users’ Google+ accounts to other services (instead of just using the regular Google account), but currently just links to the settings portions of various other apps. For example, the Google+ settings shortcut simply pulls up the regular Google+ settings page, and the Location shortcut brings up the regular location settings.

The app does do the slightest bit more than just consolidate Google settings in one place, with the “Apps with Google+ Sign-In” shortcut. Although I don’t yet have any apps or other services that I use with Google+, Google obviously plans to eventually connect Google+ accounts with more and more services.

While the Google Settings app is currently just an extra bit of clutter in my app drawer, I am interested to see where Google goes with the new Google+ sign in initiative. Even though I have an account, I haven’t really used Google+ much at all, but perhaps Google can fix that with new features and integration. So, although the Google Settings app doesn’t do much now, it does show us just a little bit about what Google may be planning in terms of future Google+ integration and features. It is also nice to know that the app isn’t some sort of malware.

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Aaron Orquia

Aaron Orquia is an associate editor at Pocketables. He has been using Android and Linux since he bought his first computer years ago, and his interest in technology, software, and tweaking both to work just right has only grown stronger since then. His current gadgets include a OnePlus One, a Pebble smartwatch, and an Acer C720 Chromebook.

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5 thoughts on “New Google settings icon appearing on Android devices isn’t spam, just redundant

  • Avatar of Steve Gaudreau

    I was wondering where the heck that came from. I certainly didn’t install it. It just appeared the other day.

  • Avatar of JRDemaskus

    I hadn’t even noticed it, I read about it somewhere else, but didn’t check till I saw your article and found I was an affected user.

  • Avatar of Simon Belmont

    Google probably could have put up a message or toast indicating what the new icon was for. Or even just rigged it to show a little bit about the new icon, like when you first sign into a new (or factory reset) Android device that gives you a few pointers.

    All in all, it’s a pretty pointless app at this point. Just links to settings in other apps.

  • Avatar of Simon Belmont

    On another note. I’m sort of getting sick of Google pushing its Google+ agenda. I get it, Google, you want me to join. Maybe I just don’t want to join G+ right now, okay?

    They’re slowly removing existing functionality that didn’t use to require a G+ account and now it’s becoming mandatory. I suppose I may cave eventually if it completely breaks functionality on something that’s important to me, but IMO, that’s not the best way to encourage loyalty out of a user.

    • Avatar of JRDemaskus

      I broke down and set up Google+.
      I just left it blank though. I wanted to comment on apps in the Play store, and needed G+ to do it.
      There is little to no info on my page.


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