Google has started showing the latest changes to Android as part of November’s Google Play System updates, including improvements to wallet and parental controls.
To update: Google brings its updated photo selection to almost everyone Android device, even those that are quite outdated.
While major updates to Android tend to come out annually — there’s the occasional mid-year release like Android 12L every now and then — Google is constantly improving the experience of phones, tablets, wearables, and more. These improvements come from a set of apps/services that the company has dubbed the “Google System,” namely the Play Store, Google Play Services, and Android’s monthly Play System updates.
The easiest way to check if you need to update Google Play services on your phone is to follow a direct link to the app’s Play Store listing and update from there if available. To update the Play Store, tap your avatar in the corner, then tap Settings. Under the “About” section, you will see an “Update Play Store” option. In the meantime, you can find Google Play system updates from the Settings app under About phone > Android version > Google Play system update.
Google has started sharing what to expect of November’s changes – although details of the formal Play System update have yet to be released – starting with a tweak to Android’s parental controls. Previously, supervised users (or child accounts) on an Android device could not change the device’s clock, preventing an easy way to bypass time restrictions. With the latest Play Services update, this clock change restriction is only active for those who have set a specific time limit, otherwise the clock can be changed freely.
Additionally, Google is making some changes to Google Wallet, allowing those who accept the payment service to customize the wallet logo. In addition, app/web developers will have new opportunities to “deep link” parts of Google Wallet.
updated 3.11: Google has now announced that Android’s revamped photo picker UI – which debuted with Android 13 – will be available for almost every Android device. According to the patch notes, phones and tablets starting with Android 4.4 KitKat, released in 2013, can use Android 13’s photo picker.
Originally, Google only said that Android 11 devices would get the new design. It seems the company has now found a way to bundle it with Play Services version 22.43, making it part of Google’s system updates in November.
Update 11/10: According to the latest release notes, Google Play Services version 22.45 includes a “critical” fix related to account management on Android phones. While this update is usually installed automatically, you can check for updates manually from the list in the Play Store.
Speaking of Play Store, Google seems to have prepared some “new formats” for Play Store search results.
Meanwhile, Google Wallet is getting more tweaks and improvements this month, including an extension to “all FeliCa-enabled devices in Japan.” There will also be some improvements to how the app handles SMART Health Cards.
Google Play System Updates for November 2022
- [Phone] Allow supervised users who do not have time-out features enabled to make changes to the device clock.
- [Phone] Bug fixes for services related to account management.
- [Phone] Enable photo selection support back to Android 4.4.
Google play store
- New features to help you discover your favorite apps and games.
- Optimizations that allow faster and more reliable download and installation.
- Continuous improvements to Play Protect to protect your device.
- Various performance optimizations, bug fixes, and improvements related to security, stability, and accessibility.
- [Phone] New formats for search results.
- [Phone] Updated user training experience for new Android features.
- [Phone] Allows merchants to dynamically create the GPay button to customize it.
- [Phone] API update to allow deep links to additional Google Wallet screens.
- [Phone] Improvements to SMART Health Card support in Wallet.
- [Phone] Wallet users can selectively exclude loyalty cards imported from Gmail.
- [Phone] Extension of FeliCa payment support to all FeliCa enabled devices in Japan.
- [Phone] Verification notification for users who complete an online transaction using the GPay button.
- [Phone] Restrict passes to a single device or user.
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