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Dependencies of Firebase Android SDKs on Google Play services

Some Firebase Android SDKs depend on Google Play services, which means they will only run on devices and emulators with Google Play services installed. These Firebase SDKs communicate with the Google Play services background service on the device to provide a secure, up-to-date, and lightweight API to your app. Certain Android devices, such as Amazon Kindle Fire devices or those sold in some regions, do not have Google Play services installed.

Which Firebase SDKs require Google Play services?

Firebase SDKs can be divided into three categories:

  • Play services required — These SDKs require Google Play services, otherwise they have no functionality.
  • Play services recommended — These SDKs require Google Play services to have full functionality, but they still offer most functionality even without Google Play services.
  • Play services not required — These SDKS do not require Google Play services to have full functionality.

The table below is accurate only for the latest release of each SDK. Some older versions may have stricter requirements.

Library (Java and KTX) Google Play services?
com.google.android.gms:play-services-ads:19.4.0 Required
com.google.firebase:firebase-analytics:17.5.0 Recommended*
com.google.firebase:firebase-appindexing:19.1.0 Required
com.google.firebase:firebase-auth:19.4.0 Required (see workaround)
com.google.firebase:firebase-firestore:21.6.0 Not Required
com.google.firebase:firebase-functions:19.1.0 Not Required
com.google.firebase:firebase-messaging:20.2.4 Required
com.google.firebase:firebase-storage:19.2.0 Not Required
com.google.firebase:firebase-crashlytics:17.2.1 Not Required
com.google.firebase:firebase-dynamic-links:19.1.0 Required
com.google.firebase:firebase-ml-vision:24.1.0 Required
com.google.firebase:firebase-ml-model-interpreter:22.0.4 Required
com.google.firebase:firebase-inappmessaging:19.1.1 Not Required
com.google.firebase:firebase-inappmessaging-display:19.1.1 Not Required
com.google.firebase:firebase-installations:16.3.3 Not Required
com.google.firebase:firebase-perf:19.0.8 Required
com.google.firebase:firebase-database:19.4.0 Not Required
com.google.firebase:firebase-config:19.2.0 Not Required

* The Firebase SDK for Google Analytics can send events on any device, but some automatic insights such as demographics are only available on devices with Google Play services.

Workaround: Use Firebase Authentication without Google Play services

While the SDKs for Cloud Firestore, Realtime Database, and Cloud Storage do not require Google Play services, they are often paired with Firebase Authentication which does have a dependency on Google Play services.

For apps that will run primarily on devices without Google Play services, you can inject your own authentication provider into the app that uses the Firebase Authentication REST API instead of the standard Firebase Authentication SDK. Visit our GitHub sample to learn how.