Mixed User Reports Suggest Google Play No Longer Functional on the Fire Phone

fire phoneAmazon's year-old smartphone doesn't have many features which would justify its original high price tag, but at least its owners can content themselves with the knowledge that they could use a hack to install Google Play.

But now it seems that that hack might no longer be functional.

Over the past several days several commenters have reported that Google Play has started crashing. They also report that their Fire Phones are throwing up a "Google Play services has stopped" error message every few seconds.

For example:

I was able to run and install google services via the instruction without rooting since last December, but this morning, I too, start to get the ‘ Google Play services has stopped’ message every few seconds, and Google Play is not functioning anymore. Likely something lamazon did to disable google services. Hope there is a solution soon.

My Fire Phone has gone on to a new owner, so I can't confirm these reports. But I do have 4 reports, and that is enough for me to write this post and ask if you're having a similar problem.

If you have experienced this problem, I'd like to hear about it.  I'd also like to know whether reinstalling the hack fixed the problem.

I know of one Fire Phone owner who says that did fix the problem, and I am hoping that it works for everyone else. Because if this doesn't help then it would mean that Amazon killed one of the few Fire Phone features which many users liked.

Update: Google broke this, not Amazon. A reader tipped me to the news that the Google Play Services app is busted; there are many one-star reviews in Google Play which make the same complaint as reported by Fire Phone owners. Thanks, VanB!

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About Nate Hoffelder (11588 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

61 Comments on Mixed User Reports Suggest Google Play No Longer Functional on the Fire Phone

  1. Yes indeedy, same problem over here. First tried (ugh…) turning it off and on again, then uninstall and reinstall the hack. No joy. Finally, a factory reset and out of the box setup again… Reinstall the hack, no luck. I guess there was an app / framework update that has broken things.

    I love Google Maps, and there was a documented issue with the text rendering (street names and POI, etc) on the Fire Phone, that made it almost useless. Also Google Maps is better than the Fire’s Maps app when it comes to traffic congestion (Google seems to realize that I’m trying to avoid the accident scene – red lines and icons on the map – whereas Fire Maps consistently tells me to U-turn back into the calamity), so I will be happy to go back to my Moto.

    Oh well, at least I got a “free” year of Prime, and wifey is getting a new (to her) phone. As long as it does Facebook, that’s all that matters to her!

    • Christian Zuniga // 27 April, 2015 at 6:27 pm // Reply

      I had the same problem with the new version of google play service and after days of fight i did this

      unistall all the play service and the play store
      install the play store 5.3.6 or 5.4.12
      install the google play service 7.0.99

      thats it

    • I am also going to do the same. My wife will get new phone

    • The latest Fire OS Update fixed this problem for me.

      Google Maps and all other Market apps that couldn’t work before now work. . . .

      It also has wallpaper now 🙂

  2. It’s barely functional on regular Android phones…

    • True, I’ve been having problems with Google Play for a couple of weeks at least, on a sorta-new HTC mid-level smartphone. Reinstalling didn’t always help, it kept crashing. My older Android tablet didn’t have any problems, though.

    • I have a Samsung galaxy s4 I’m posed because of data I have thru A tt that I will be paying for 4-ever trying this & trying that For several weeks asking all around then I read that Google Updated it around the time I started having trouble with mine sorry mine a little bit longer than that !!! Why couldn’t they jus say something!?

  3. Indeed. Earlier today it stopped working.

    This will ruin everything.

    Mine didnt update. I bet that this was something on the Google side.

    I hope for a workaround for this

  4. Don’t reboot!

    Uninstalling Google Play Services and reinstalling an earlier version (I go with 7.0.99) fixes the issue. However, the app updates automatically on start up, so it only lasts until your next reboot.

    It’s an added couple of steps when you start up the phone, but it makes the google apps work without all the crash reports.

  5. Amazon didn’t do this. Go to the Google Play Services page of the Google Play Store. There are complaints all over, and it’s very much not limited to the Fire Phone.

  6. It crashed on my s4 several times already since yesterday

  7. In order to get rid of the “google play services has stopped”. You must in install the 4 apk files and re install them in the proper order again. The crash reports are being caused by a new update to google play services. Doing this removed the error messages from popping up. Please note that not having the most recent update to Google play services will render the google essential apps, ex. Hangouts,Gmail, Youtube and some others useless. The other apps installed from the play store will work just fine though…for now.

  8. Proper order of apk file installation.
    1. Google account manager
    2. Google play services
    3. Google play framework
    4.. Google play store

    If you are using es file exolorer to download the apks this will save you time, because silk saves them as zips so you would have to rename them all to .apk and then install.

    • I’ve followed thath order on installing those apks, but had the same results. But, upgraded my Fire Phone to OS 4.6.1, and voilà! I’m using Google’s Android Play Store and Google apps with no problems.

  9. I mange to FIX it by uninstalling this newest version of google play services (7.3.29) and downloading an older version of Google play (7.0.99). Now everything is back to normal and my Google aps are working.

    Found older versions here:
    http://google-play-services.en.uptodown.com/android/old

  10. Downgrade Google Play Services apk to 7.0.99 and it will work flawlessly. Don’t turn it off or reboot it so it won’t get updated automatically.

  11. Download and install this APK after deleting the updated Google Play Services… Google may force the update again, but just repeat this action until Google gets its act together – works for us! http://www.apkmirror.com/apk/google-inc/google-play-services/google-play-services-7-0-99-1809214-036-android-apk-download/

  12. While we the few are all united here…is anyone using launchers or sticking with the fire os launcher?

  13. Tried the Google Launcher, it gobbles power. Turned back to good ole Amazon launcher.

  14. Besides the price, $180 with an additional year of Amazon prime, the only thing I liked was that for some unknown reason, I was getting unlimited native Hotspot on my T-Mobile unlimited (5GB hotspot) account. I’ve gone back to my Note 3.

  15. I can’t uninstall play services… option shows grayed out.

    Any ideas?

    • Long hold the icon on the home screen and select remove from device, follow the on screen instructions to allow access to uninstall. Will be a couple prompts asking you to provide a permissions to remove.

      • No idea Tyler, for starters I don’t have the icon on the home screen…however if I go to Settings -> Applications and Parental Controls -> Manage Applications -> Filter by All, I can scroll down to Google Play Services, shows version 7.3.329. The force quit and uninstall are grayed out.

        Tony

  16. Thank-you for this. That error was driving me crazy. I downgraded to 7.0.99 and now YouTube doesn’t work but I am OK with that. Hopefully Google will fix this soon. I actually kinda like the Fire Phone.

    • I spoke too soon. The older version of Google Play Services updated without having restarted my phone. I tried going back to the old version again and again it updated without a restart. I finally uninstalled it for now.

  17. I tried reinstalling the older Play Services and it worked, somewhat. It seems some apps may force the update, such as boom beach, then it goes back to displaying the error message every few seconds. Guess I can manage til google gets its head out of its ass. Anyone hear any whispers of a possible fix? From what I understand this problem affects almost all fire phones, but also some of the big name manufacturers. Furthermore, has anyone found a root and custom rom? I hate, hate, hate, the fire OS and have done all I can to give it a more standard android feel. Using Google launcher and like it, but a new Rom would be ideal.

  18. Oh, and nate h, please don’t call this a hack. It’s a sideload, or a work around. U are diminishing the true meaning of hack. Very similar to the oxymoron of “Apple genius”. Why is everything a hack now? What happened to “tip” or “trick” or “nifty idea”? Life hack is my current pet peeve. It’s highly overused. I’m sorry but peeling an orange with a straw is not a life hack. Manipulating DNA would be a life hack.

  19. so when i tried downloading 7.0.99 it says “there was a problem parsing this package” any ideas?

  20. I got the ‘parsing’ error also when I downloaded using ES file Explorer.

    I was able to download the earlier version successfully using the Silk Browser download function, but I’m was still getting the Google Services not functioning error ever 2-5 seconds after re installing.

    I’ve just uninstalled Google Play Services for now, until they fix it or I find another way to get it working.

  21. I’ve confirmed this is because of the auto update by Google Play Services to 7.3 on April 21st. If you uninstall and reinstall to the original 4.5 etc. it *does fix this and makes it go away.*. The problem is that gmail apps and some others will no longer function unless you roll those back also. AND if you reboot it will auto update again and rewrite the non-functioning version. I just left it off, and when I need another google play app I will reinstall, get the app, and uninstall it again. So Google really and truly broke it, and not just for the Fire Phone. Their 7.3 update is such a major overhaul it was bound to jack it.

  22. This is not Amazon’s fault at all, google launched an update to the google services framework, version 7.3, that breaks compatibility in many devices, including the fire phone.

    Reinstalling the old version “works” but not really.You have to make sure that it will not be updated ever or again the annoying message will appear. Until a fix is released on Google’s side, the best is to uninstall Google Play services (leave the other APKs installed!), post a negative review on the play store and move on with your life.

    Of course there is a downside to this, you will not be able to login. That is, no leaderboards or achievements for play store games or be able to use the native youtube app. Fortunately you can find youtube and many more Google apps on the amazon appstore. They are web based so will work slower than native apps but I have found them just as good as the real ones in terms of functionality (even fire phone gestures worked on the youtube app! :D). Also, even without Google Play services, the play store app will work as usual, even payments. So it seems that you are just loosing your ability to login to a native app using your google credentials and everything that implies.

    If you absolutely need to login and there is no amazon appstore alternative, let’s say google hangouts, then installing the old version of google play services is your only choice, just try to make sure it wont update, you could probably achieve that by triggering a manual update at the play store and immediately cancel and, of course, turn off automatic updates at the play store app settings.

  23. I also encountered the problem. I simply uninstalled the Google Play Services. The warning window did not show again. I do not use social network. I do not mind no Google+ etc.

    I still use Google Play Store to download apps, Chrome to search/surf & YouTube to watch video clips.

  24. Okay… I’ve been thinking there are more fire users coming onto the scene. Is there a forum for the development of fire os in particular for the fire phone in place?

  25. Ok so I asked this once and ill ask again due to lack of response

    How exactly do you download 7.0.99 (give me precise instructions)? For me it says there is a problem parsing the package

    Also I have went back to the very old google play services so now I dont get the infamous “google play service has stopped” but apps like snapchat and youtube dont work.

    Lastly, can the people who have 7.0.99 tell me if youtube and snapchat work if not is there a way to have them work?

    I know these are alot of questions but any help would be appreciated

    • Hi al. The apk has the version number (7.0.99), but it comes for different devices. For example, 7.0.99 (1809214-036). The last 3 numbers in parenthesis belong to a certain type of device. The instructions are as follows:

      Uploader’s notes:
      To figure out the right version of Google Play services for your Android device, go to Settings -> Apps -> Google Play services, and look at the last 3 numbers in the parentheses. You’ll see something like -XYZ where:

      * X defines Android version:

      0 for Android =5.0
      8 for Android TV
      * Y defines CPU architecture:

      1 for armeabi
      3 for armeabi-v7a
      4 for arm64-v8a
      7 for x86
      * Z defines DPI:

      0 for universal
      2 for 160
      4 for 240
      6 for 320
      8 for 480
      Notes:

      It seems that -7YZ builds became -4YZ with Google Play services 6.5. If you were on -7YZ before, you should now install -4YZ.
      Looks like -8YZ builds are for Android TV.
      Examples:

      -014 for Android <5.0 armeabi CPU 240 DPI device
      -438 for Android 5.0+ armeabi-v7a CPU 480 DPI device
      -876 for Android TV x86 CPU 320 DPI device

      If your device is a Fire Phone, you are looking for the one ending in 030, if not, you have to figure out the version of android, the processor and the DPI.

      Cheers

      • Thank you finally got the right one and youtube and snapchat work! Lets just hope it lasts

        • I hope. For me just didn’t work. I had to uninstall google services and google store. Fortunately, Instagram and photo editing tools are working, because they are part of my job.

          • And thank you both for trying this and sharing details on your efforts.

          • Follow the link that tom posted above. When I tried it I tried finding the apk on my own and got the wrong one. Also as an update so far everything is working fine BUT REMEMBER to turn auto update of on google play store without that the google play service will automatically try to update and mess things up

    • I have exactly the same situation.

  26. Having the same problem with my Kindle Fire HD which I converted to an Android tablet with the N2A OS card. Restoring the original app does not allow me to connect to a public WI-fi connection, among lots of other things. Started on April 22, just as you would expect.

    Come on, Google – fix this already.

  27. Hello, I saw that 4.6.1 was leaked and some people are getting the update over OTA. What I’m unsure is if play services are working or broken if you update. Can anyone confirm?

    • Info from XDA-Developers suggests that Fire OS 4.6.1 has the same issue with Google Play Services 7.3.#.#

      This combo seem to work for me some what (i’m still on Fire OS 3.6.8)
      -Google Play services 7.0.99 (1809214-036)
      -Google Play Store 4.6.17

      But once a while, it still auto updates (triggered by some google apps or services running in the background, not sure what).

      So this is what I do as a work around, sometimes i have to repeat this several times.

      ! need to make sure you can sideload both Google Play Service and Store first, put them in a location you can access via File Manager.

      1. Turn off Wifi, uninstall Google Play Services/Store (they will be on latest versions). If you cannot uninstall Google Play Services (uninstall button grayed out), you need to first disable Android Device Manager from (Settings/Device/Manage enterprise security features/Device Administrators)

      2. Install the older versions of Google Play Services/Store (I use an app called File Manager 1.16.8)

      3. after Google Play Store is installed, click open and there should be a Setting that you can turn off Auto Update.

      4. Reboot phone and turn on WiFi after and hopefully it will last a bit longer.

      sometimes like minutes after i re-sideload, the new version get updated again and I have to repeat.

      I know that Hangout, once open, it will update Google Play Services/Store right away, so it cannot be used anymore. It appears that Google Music Play maybe updating as well, with some delay (not right away like Hangout).

      I hope Google fix this soon and also Fire OS 4.6.1 will be available soon for US unlocked phone, so i can properly use Google Maps with correct font display instead of using Here Maps.

      good luck!

  28. My GSM Unlocked 32GB is downloading the 4.6.1. Soon I’ll be able to confirm if play services are also broken on this update.

  29. Good news, updated with the OTA 4.6.1 and seems like play services are working.
    I tested keep, play music and drive.

    I’m running version 7.3.29.

  30. Hi guys

    Unfortunately there is not a solution for the fire phone or the kindle.

    Something will always trigger the problem, for example, the YouTube or the gmail app.

    It looks like google does not want to share their apps with Amazon.

    It is a shame. A new phone is in our horizon.

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