Google is beginning to reveal the improvements coming to Android phones, TVs, watches, and more as part of the October 2022 Google Play system updates, including a fix for using Google Wallet with Face Unlock on the Pixel 7

Whether you’re using an Android phone, smartwatch, TV, or tablet, a significant part of what makes the experience possible is the deep integration with Google’s apps and services. Google Play Services, the Play Store, and Android’s somewhat recent “Google Play system updates” all come together as a collective that the company has dubbed “Google System Updates.”

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.

Following the Made by Google event, Android fans were given the first tidbits of what’s to come with October’s Google System Updates. For now, though, the only notable, non-repeat part of the patch notes is that Android TV and Google TV will now show a dialog reminding when a system update still needs to be installed. Beyond that, Android TV and Google TV are both getting a few other “bug fixes.”


Update 10/18: The latest batch of info about October’s Google System Updates are now available, revealing that the Play Store is set to improve its “search results experience” on phones. Elsewhere in the Play Store, Android TV and Google TV owners will be able to leave a rating/review of an app’s large screen experience separate from their rating of the phone app. For example, your Play Store review of the Netflix app for Android TV can be separate from your review of Netflix for your phone.

Meanwhile, Wear OS devices are gaining new “network-based location APIs” with the latest Google Play Services update.


Update 10/25: One flaw that some found in the Pixel 7 series (unlike the Pixel 4) is that Google Pay transactions will be declined if your phone was unlocked with your face instead of your fingerprint or pin/pattern. According to Google’s support page, this issue will be fixed with version 22.43 of Google Play Services.

Once the update is rolled out, accessing the Wallet widget on your lock screen will open the full Google Wallet app, presumably ensuring that you’re fully authenticated to access your contactless payments.

Other updates bring new improvements to your phone’s connection, privacy, and more. Additionally, Android developers should find new Machine Learning and AI features for their apps.


Google Play System updates for October 2022

Critical Fixes

  • [TV] Bug fixes for system management & diagnostics related services.

Device Connectivity

  • [Wear OS] Enables network-based location APIs on Wear.

Google Play Store

  • New Features to help you discover the Apps & Games you love.
  • Optimizations allowing faster and more reliable download and installation.
  • Continuous improvements to Play Protect to keep your device safe.
  • Various performance optimizations, bug fixes, and improvements to security, stability and accessibility.
  • [Phone] Updates to the search results experience to help you discover better quality apps.
  • [TV] Users can now view and create TV specific app ratings and reviews from their TV or phone.

Utilities

  • [Phone] Improvements to the sorting of password autofill suggestions.
  • [Phone] Wallet access from lock screen will be redirected to Google Wallet home screen on Pixel 7 (Pro).

Developer Services

  • New developer features for Google and third party app developers to support Machine Learning & AI related developer services in their apps.

System Management

  • Updates to system management services that improve device connectivity, device performance, network usage, privacy, security, stability, and updatability.
  • [TV] A reminder dialog for pending system updates has been added.

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Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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