The July 2022 updates to the Google Play System are set to bring the full “Google Wallet” rebrand, along with some new forms of “multi-device experiences.”
Update: The latest batch of July updates include a Game Dashboard for Android 13, a “Matter Developer Preview,” and more.
While much of Android is open source and highly modifiable, many of our phones’ most critical features are actually powered by Google Play Services. That core app works in conjunction with the Play Store and Android’s monthly “Google Play system updates.” Over the course of each month, Google steadily releases patch notes for this trio (otherwise known as the “Google System”).
The easiest way to check whether 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 “Settings.” Under the “About” section, you’ll see an option to “Update Play Store.” Meanwhile, Google Play system updates can be found through the Settings app, under About phone > Android version > Google Play system update.
Google has released the first batch of July’s Play System update notes a bit later than usual this month, possibly owing to the first Monday being a holiday. In the first wave, we find that the previously announced rebrand of Google Pay to “Google Wallet” should be coming quite soon, along with the previously previewed Material You redesign.
Another section reveals that Android developers will have new ways to build “seamless multi-device experiences.” This is likely referring to the Nearby Share APIs that were announced at Google I/O. Additionally, it seems Google’s July updates will be tweaking the “Data & Privacy” tab in account settings.
Update 7/16: In the second batch of release notes, Google says July’s Play System improvements are designed to make it easier to understand what’s new in each Android update. It’s not clear yet whether this is referring to major updates like the upcoming jump to Android 13 or the typical monthly security updates.
Additionally, updates to Google Play Services this month should bring “enhancements” to receiving in-app support and to the design of Android’s parental controls app, Family Link.
Update 7/27: The third set of patch notes, consisting of over a dozen tidbits, includes preparation for the Pixel Buds Pro, Android T, and more. To better highlight the sheer quantity of additions, we’ve marked the newly added patch notes below in bold.
As already showcased by some who received the Pixel Buds Pro early, the settings page for the earbuds includes a set of options for “Multipoint,” which allows your Bluetooth devices to intelligently switch between devices. Google specifically lists “phone, tablet, laptop,” with “laptop” potentially suggesting ChromeOS support.
Google is also continuing to prepare for Matter, the new cross-compatible smart home standard. Google Play Services 22.30 is listed as bringing a “Matter Developer Preview” which makes it possible to “set up and share” devices “between Matter ecosystems.”
For those with Android 13 — now in its likely final beta release — on “select devices,” the same Play Services update should bring access to the “Game Dashboard” that arrived for Pixel phones last year. With it, you’ll have access to quick toggles to disable notifications and optimize either for performance or battery life. The Game Dashboard also includes in-depth Google Play Games integration.
Meanwhile, for those on Android 10 or older, there’s a new way for apps to ask for “temporary, read-only access” to photos or videos in your gallery that you select. The goal is to mimic the safety and security of the feature that was launched with Android 11.
The actual “Google Play system update” for July also reportedly optimizes a few of Android’s key services, which should result in improved “device connectivity, network usage, security, stability, and updatability.”
Google Play System updates for July 2022
- [Phone] Bug fixes for system management & diagnostics, and utilities related services.
- [Phone] The section headers in the Data & Privacy tab of the Google account settings have a new appearance.
- [Phone] Enhancements to in-app support experience.
- [Phone] Enhancements to user interface for Family Link.
- [Phone] Provide users with unified safety recommendations from the Google Account across Google apps.
- [Phone] APIs for developers to build seamless multi-device experiences.
- [Phone] With the Matter Developer Preview, you can set up and share Matter devices between Matter ecosystems.
- [Phone] Automatically switching bluetooth audio peripherals between your devices (phone, tablet, laptop).
- [Auto, Phone] Control whether a Cast Sender sees the self-device as a Cast target.
- [Phone] Game Dashboard lets you choose longer battery life or higher performance, block out calls and notifications when playing, access Play Games achievements, and more. Available on select devices running Android T.
Google Play Store
- Improvements to Play-as-you-download feature to let gamers start playing mobile games while the app download continues to reduce waiting times.
- New Features to help you discover the Apps & Games you love.
- Optimizations allowing faster and more reliable download and installation.
- New features to the Play Pass and Play Points programs.
- Enhancements to Google Play Billing.
- Continuous improvements to Play Protect to keep your device safe.
- Various performance optimizations, bug fixes and improvements to security, stability and accessibility.
- [Phone] Provide an ability to filter the data plans available to purchase by various categories received from the Carrier.
- [Phone] Enhanced system update flow to show features included in new Android updates.
- [Phone] Updates user experience to latest Google Material design, rebrands as “Google Wallet.”
- [Phone] Updates the Passes rotating barcode feature.
- [Phone, WearOS] Add support for launching Google Wallet in 22 new countries.
- Updates to system management services that improve device connectivity, network usage, security, stability, and updatability.
- New developer features for Google and third party app developers to support Maps, Machine Learning & AI, and utilities related developer services in their apps.
- [Phone] Allows applications to ask users for temporary, read-only access to one or more user-selected photos or videos. This is a backward compatible version of a feature available in Google Android version 11 (R, API 30) or higher.
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