By itself, Android is an excellent platform for everything from phones and watches to TVs and car infotainment systems. But what really makes Android devices shine is Google’s ever-improving suite of apps and services, particularly the Play Store and Google Play Services. In addition to that, Android now offers monthly “Play system updates” that bring new features and keep people’s devices safe without the need for a full system update.
Each month, Google rounds up everything that’s changed with each update to Play Services, Play Store, and Play system updates — collectively called the “Google System” — and shares the patch notes with new details that arrive throughout the month. Notably, these patch notes will often contain references to features that have yet to be released, although it’s always good practice to keep your devices up to date.
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 can 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.
The first batch of patch notes for March 2023 is pretty slim, containing only two tidbits. The more notable of these is a change to how Google Wallet handles loyalty/rewards cards. In the app today, you can choose to have Wallet automatically import any loyalty cards that appear in your Gmail inbox.
Until now, the only way to remove that type of card from Wallet was to delete the original email from Gmail. Starting with Google Play Services version 23.08, you should soon be able to manually remove any unwanted loyalty cards from Wallet without having to delete an email.
Update 3/8: While Pixel phones are still awaiting the March 2023 security update, this month’s Google system updates are rolling forward. The latest patch notes mention a new set of animations to show when making a payment with Google Wallet. These were announced late last month with Google showing an example of two penguins sharing a fish.
Meanwhile, a new change to the Play Store will make it easier to install new apps on your other devices. When you install, you should be able to choose to also install an app on connected devices like a Wear OS watch, Chromebook, or Android tablet. These changes should arrive in the near future and require updating to version 34.8 of the Play Store.
Google Play system updates for March 2023
Google Play Store
- New features to help you discover the apps and games you love.
- Optimizations that enable faster and more reliable download and installation.
- Continuous improvements to Play Protect to keep your device safe.
- Various performance optimizations, bug fixes and security, stability and availability improvements.
- (Phone) Users will have the ability to automatically make apps they install on phones and tablets available on other connected Android devices such as Watch, TV and Chromebooks.
- (Phone) Wallet users can selectively exclude loyalty cards imported from Gmail.
- (Phone) New animations appear after successful tap and pay transaction using Google Wallet.
- (Auto) (TV) (Phone) (Wear OS) (PC) Updates to System Management and Usability services that improve battery life, device storage and network usage.
- (Auto) (TV) (Phone) (Wear OS) (PC) Updates to system management services that improve stability.
FTC: We use income generating auto affiliate links. More.
Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news: