April’s Google Play system updates for Android phones will bring new Play Pass and Play Points features, ways to discover apps and more.
In recent months, Google has begun offering release notes for new features and changes to what it calls the “Google system.” This includes updates to the Google Play Store and Google Play Services, as well as minor updates to your phone itself via “Google Play system updates”. Instead of offering individual release notes for each aspect, Google gathers them all in one place, as new features / tweaks often involve updates from a mix of the three.
The easiest way to check if you need to update Google Play Services on your phone is by following a direct link to the app’s Play Store listing and updating from there, if available. To update the Play Store, tap your avatar in the corner and then “Settings”. Under the “About” section you can see an option to “Update Play Store”. In the meantime, Google Play system updates can be found through the Settings app under About phone> Android version> Google Play system update.
So far, for April 2022’s Google Play updates, there does not seem to be too much in the way of interesting new features. The few standouts to explore include new features for Play Pass and Play Points, along with some new ways to discover apps through the Play Store.
It is possible that the Play Points enhancements have already been launched for some, with the rewards program recently allowing some customers to apply their points directly to a purchase instead of buying credits at 100-point intervals.
To see the benefits of these enhancements, make sure your device has the Google Play system update for April, version 22.12 of Play Services and version 29.9 of Play Store, all of which should start rolling out on April 1st.
Update 4/1: Google has revised the release notes for April 2022’s Play System updates and added new changes specific to cars. A particularly interesting line mentions the ability to watch streaming video apps on an infotainment system through “Android Auto.” Google has confirmed that this is actually a reference to the recently announced support for apps like YouTube in cars that have Android Automotive built-in.
Another new addition mentions settings related to encrypted files on your device for the purpose of keeping your passwords secure. Both changes have been added below.
Update 15/4: In the last few days, Google has introduced some additional remarks to the change log for April. The new notes explain that your Google Account information should be better organized soon. Under a recently added headline Security and Privacy, we find that Google Passwords on mobile allows you to import passwords, a feature already available via the web app.
In addition, the company removed the previously added mention of video apps for car infotainment systems. This removal was probably related to the wording rather than the function itself not being available.
Google Play updates for April 2022
- [Auto, Phone, Tablet, TV, Wear OS] Security and privacy bug fixes, and system administration and diagnostic-related services.
- [Auto, Phone, Tablet, TV] Introducing new settings and messages for encrypted data on the device to improve password security.
- [Auto, Phone] With Google Account Design updates, you can see an improved interface – cleaner and easier to understand.
- [Auto] Support for installation and use of video streaming apps in the car’s infotainment systems via Android Auto.
Google Play Store
- Improvements to the Play-as-you-download feature to let players start playing mobile games while app downloads continue to reduce latency.
- New features to help you discover the apps and games you love.
- Optimizations that enable faster and more reliable download and installation.
- New features for the Play Pass and Play Points programs.
- Improvements to Google Play Billing.
- Continuous improvements to Play Protect to keep your device safe.
- Various performance optimizations, bug fixes, and improvements in security, stability, and availability.
Security and privacy
- [Phone] With enhancements to Google Password Manager, users can now import passwords, save passwords for local users, and switch accounts.
- Updates to system administration services that improve device connectivity, network usage, stability, security, and update capabilities.
- New developer features for Google and third-party app developers to support ads, accessibility, analytics and diagnostics, and machine learning and artificial intelligence, as well as security and privacy-related developer services in their apps.
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