Google Play System Updates April brings a slew of new Play Pass features

Google Play System Updates April brings a slew of new Play Pass features

Tech Highlights:

  • 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.

  • New Play Pass and Play Points features, as well as new ways to discover apps, will be included in the April Google Play system updates for Android phones. Google has started providing release notes for new features and improvements to the “Google System” in recent months. This includes updates to the Google Play Store and Google Play Services, as well as “Google Play system updates,” which are minor improvements to your phone. Rather than providing separate release notes for each component, Google combines them all in one place because new features/tweaks frequently include updates from all three.

So far, for April 2022’s Google Play updates, there doesn’t seem to be too much in the way of interesting new features. The few standouts, which will need to be investigated, include new features for Play Pass and Play Points, along with some new ways to discover apps through the Play Store.

In order to see the benefits of these improvements, you’ll need to ensure that your device has the Google Play system update for April, version 22.12 of Play Services, and version 29.9 of the Play Store, all of which should begin rolling out on April 1.

It’s possible that the Play Points improvements may have already rolled out for some, with the rewards program recently allowing some customers to apply their points directly to a purchase rather than buying credits in 100-point intervals.

Update 4/1: Google has revised the release notes for April 2022’s Play System updates, adding new changes specific to cars. One 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 in 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, with the goal of keeping your passwords secure. Both changes have been added below.

Update 4/15: In the last few days, Google has introduced some additional notes to the changelog for April. The new notes explain that information about your Google Account should soon be better organized. Under a newly added Security & Privacy heading, we find that Google Passwords on mobile is gaining the ability to import passwords, a feature already available through the web app.

Additionally, the company removed the previously added mention of video apps for car infotainment systems. This removal was likely related to the wording rather than the feature itself being unavailable. Update 4/22: Google has rolled out another set of changes for Android devices as part of April’s ongoing Play System Updates. The biggest changes are coming to Android’s Autofill service as powered by Google Play Services, with new support for virtual cards. While the specifics are not yet available, the overall goal of a virtual card is to hide your real credit/debit card’s information from online retailers and any potential scammers. This also requires some changes to Autofill’s Terms of Service.

If your phone is set up to automatically back up information to Google Drive, you should soon see a suggestion to have your pictures regularly backed up to Google Photos — assuming you haven’t already done so. Lastly, Google is discontinuing use of the Find My Device app on business/organization-owned devices that are set up to use a work profile.

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