Google System Update for March Improves a Bunch of Stuff

Samsung Galaxy S22

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A new month is here and so is yet another Google System update that includes new goodies through Google Play and Google Play Services. The updates should start rolling out as early as today too, so be on the lookout for changes.

Google can be vague with the changelogs for these types of updates, but they at least gave us a list of items to dive into. For example, in Google Play Games, users should find new settings to “better manage their privacy.” Google is also fixing connectivity, developer services, safety and emergency, and utilities bugs on almost all platforms, including Wear OS.

Specific to Google Play, we have improvements to play-as-you download for those looking to get into a new game, new discovery features for apps and games, optimizations for faster and more reliable downloads, “new features” for Play Pass and Play Points, and various other fixes and optimizations.

And finally, Google says it has “improved the user experience and feature education for NFC” enabled devices, plus they generally tried to improve things like network usage, stability, security, and updatability. Below is the full changelog.

March 2022

Critical Fixes

  • [Auto, Phone, Tablet, TV, Wear OS] Bug fixes for device connectivity, developer services, safety & emergency, and utilities related services. [1][2]

Games

  • [Phone, TV] With the update to the Play Games Services profile, users will be able to better manage their privacy settings. [2]

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. [3]
  • New Features to help you discover the Apps & Games you love.[3]
  • Optimizations allowing faster and more reliable download and installation.[3]
  • New features to the Play Pass and Play Points programs. [3]
  • Enhancements to Google Play Billing. [3]
  • Continuous improvements to Play Protect to keep your device safe. [3]
  • Various performance optimizations, bug fixes and improvements to security, stability and accessibility. [3]

Wallet

  • [Phone] Improved user experience and feature education for NFC/HCE-enabled devices. [2]

System Management

  • Updates to system management services that improve device connectivity, network usage, stability, security and updatability. [1][2]

Developer Services 

  • New developer features for Google and third party app developers to support ads, accessibility, analytics & diagnostics and machine learning & AI, and security & privacy related developer services in their apps. [2]

[1] Available through Google Play system update for March.
[2] Available through Google Play services v22.09 updated on 03/01/2022.
[3] Available through Google Play Store v29.5 updated on 03/01/2022.

As a reminder, these updates are important because they are for everyone. This isn’t just a Google Pixel update that comes out each month and is instead a platform-level set of updates for all or most Android phones. Google has issued this type of stuff for some time. However, they only started providing changelogs within the past few months.

These new features and improvements will rollout as Google Play Services v22.09 and Google Play Store v29.5 starting March 1. It will likely take a while before everyone gets them.

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