New Google Play Services causes location errors on some HTC phones

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Longtime Pocketables reader and commenter Fifth313ment recently wrote in to tell us about a problem he’s noticed with his phone ever since the Google Play Services system app was updated during Google I/O. The problem seems to be linked to Google’s new location APIs, and it’s affecting mainly HTC users.

As Fifth313ment (a.k.a. Brandon) describes it:

Something happened with HTC phones and the recent Google Now and Google Play Services updates. I personally believe it’s the Google Play Services Location API that is having an issue. This causes all network location services to stop functioning on the affected phone.

In Google Now, it will persistently tell you that Google location services are off and need to be turned on, even if everything is already on. GPS will work with only GPS on, but if GPS is off, location will not function – even if you’re on WiFi. Apps like Flixster, HTC Weather, and Google Now won’t be able to find your location and will report errors. Many of the affected users are using mostly HTC phones, and it seems to have started Friday or Saturday night for most. Many have tried cleaning caches, uninstalling apps, etc., but mine was only fixed with a hard reset.

Some quick searches will reveal discussion threads around the internet about this very issue, including at Android Central and even Google’s own product forums. A Google employee has chimed in to say that the issue is “still on our radar,” but as usual there’s no estimated time frame for an official fix.

Right now, the only solution seems to be a hard reset, but if you’re willing to live with the problem for a little while, Google might be able to roll out a fix. In the meantime, let us know: are you affected? If so, what’s your device, and what ROM are you running?

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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.