Have you noticed your Android handset depleting its battery at a faster clip than usual? If so, the culprit could be a recent update to Google Play Services. There have been multiple reports of unusually fast battery drain on various Android phones running Google Play Services 18.3.82, suggesting there is a bug with the software.
This does not appear to affect any single make or model Android phone—any Android device running the latest version of Google Play Services is prone to shortened battery life, compared whatever the normal run time might be.
Source: Artem Russakovskii (via Twitter)
APKMirror founder and Android Police writer Artem Russakovskii noted the disparity on Twitter, as shown in the image above. On his device, Google Play Services is using up more battery life than anything else at 18 percent—Hangouts is a distant second at just 3 percent.
"Here we go again with the secret battery assassin Google Play Services that updates in the background and stabs your phone right in the heart," Russakovskii wrote.
Several others chimed in with complaints of their own, and accompanying screenshots showing the unusual battery drain, one of which depicted Google Play Services accounting for 19 percent of battery usage.
To check your own Android handset, go to Settings > Battery, then click on the three-dot menu in the upper-right of the Battery page, select Advanced battery usage, and enable Show full device usage. This feature was brought back to Android with the Oreo (Android 8.0) release.
Hopefully an official fix will be pushed out soon. In the meantime, one possible workaround is to use the beta version Google Play Services. You can do this by tapping Become a tester on the Google Play Services beta page. You should then receive a beta update on your handset.
Of course, using beta software comes with its own risks and potential headaches. If you would rather not go that route, another option is to roll back Google Play Services to a previous release. As outlined by LifeHacker, you can do this by downloading and sideloading the previous release, version 17.8.57, from APKMirror. You will have to allow "apps from unknown sources" when prompted.
Once you have rolled back, go to Settings > Apps & Notifications > See All, scroll down and tap Google Play Services, then Data Usage, and disable Background Data to hopefully prevent it from updating automatically. Otherwise, you may need to be disable the Google Play Store app, though that is obviously less than ideal.