July Google Play System Updates: Game Dash, More


The July 2022 updates to the Google Play system are expected to bring the full “Google Wallet” rebranding, as well as new forms of “cross-device experiences”.

Update: The latest batch of July updates includes an Android 13 gaming dashboard, a “Matter Developer Preview,” and more.

While much of Android is open source and highly moddable, many of our phones’ most critical features are actually powered by Google Play Services. This basic app works in conjunction with the Play Store and Android’s monthly “Google Play System Updates”. During each month, Google regularly releases patch notes for this trio (otherwise known as the “Google System”).

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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. Play Store list and update from there if available. To update the Play Store, tap your avatar in the corner, then tap “Settings.” In the “About” section, you will 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 released the first batch of July play system patch notes a little later than usual this month, possibly due to the fact that the first Monday was a public holiday. In the first wave, we see that the previously announced rebranding of Google Pay to “Google Wallet” should arrive quite soon, along with the previously previewed Hardware you’ve redesigned.

Another section reveals that Android developers will have new ways to create “seamless cross-device experiences”. It’s probably the Nearby Sharing API which was announced during Google I/O. Also, it looks like Google’s July updates will change the ‘Data & Privacy’ tab in Settings Account.


Update 7/16: In the second batch of release notes, Google says July’s game system improvements are designed to make it easier to understand what’s new in each Android update. It’s not yet clear whether this refers to major updates like the upcoming jump to Android 13 or the typical monthly security updates.

Additionally, Google Play Services updates this month are expected to bring “improvements” to the reception of in-app support and the design of Android’s parental controls app, Family Link.


Update 7/27: The third set of patch notes, consisting of more than a dozen pieces of information, includes the preparation of Pixel Buds Pro, Android T, and more. To better highlight the amount of additions, we’ve marked the newly added patch notes below in bold.

As already featured by some who received the Pixel Buds Pro early, the settings page for the headphones 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 also continues to prepare for Matter, the new cross-compatible smart home standard. Google Play Services 22.30 is listed as bringing a “Matter Developer Preview” that allows devices to “configure and share” “across Matter ecosystems”.

For those with Android 13 – now in its likely final beta – on “some devices”, the same Play Services update should provide 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 performance or battery life. The game dashboard also includes deep Google Play Games integration.

Meanwhile, for those using Android 10 or earlier, there’s a new way for apps to request “temporary read-only access” to photos or videos in your gallery that you select. The goal is to emulate the safety and security of the feature that launched with Android 11.

The “Google Play system update” for July would also optimize a few of Android’s key services, which should result in improved “device connectivity, network usage, security, stability and updating”.


Google Play system updates for July 2022

Critical fixes

  • [Phone] Bug fixes for system management and diagnostics, and utility-related services.

Account management

  • [Phone] Section headers in the Data and Privacy tab of Google Account settings have a new look.
  • [Phone] Improvements to the in-app support experience.
  • [Phone] Improvements to the Family Link user interface.
  • [Phone] Provide user with unified security recommendations from Google account in Google apps.

Device Connectivity

  • [Phone] API allowing developers to create seamless cross-device experiences.
  • [Phone] With Matter Developer Preview, you can configure and share Matter devices between Matter ecosystems.
  • [Phone] Automatic switching of Bluetooth audio devices between your devices (phone, tablet, laptop).
  • [Auto, Phone] Control whether a cast sender sees the self-device as a cast target.

Games

  • [Phone] Game Dashboard lets you choose longer battery life or higher performance, block calls and notifications while gaming, access Play Games achievements, and more. Available on select devices running Android T.

Google Play Store

  • Improvements to the Download feature to allow gamers to start playing mobile games while the app download continues to reduce wait times.
  • New features to help you discover the apps and games you love.
  • Optimizations allowing faster and more reliable download and installation.
  • New features of the Play Pass and Play Points programs.
  • Improvements to Google Play billing.
  • Ongoing improvements to Play Protect to keep your device safe.
  • Various performance optimizations, bug fixes, and security, stability, and accessibility improvements.

Support

  • [Phone] Provide an ability to filter the data plans available for purchase by different categories received from the operator.
  • [Phone] Improved system update feed to show features included in new Android updates.

Wallet

  • [Phone] Updates the user experience with the latest Google Material design, rebranded as “Google Wallet”.
  • [Phone] Updates the Passes rotary barcode feature.
  • [Phone, WearOS] Add support for launching Google Wallet in 22 new countries.

System management

  • Updates to system management services that improve device connectivity, network usage, security, stability, and up-to-dateness.

Development services

  • New developer features for Google and third-party app developers to support Maps, Machine Learning & AI, and related utilities development services in their applications.
  • [Phone] Allows apps 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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