Google Play Services Stories November 17

Back in September, Google announced a few updates to Nearby Share, including sharing to your own devices. Another upcoming change will have Nearby Share “show in the first row as a sharing option” in the system Android sheet.

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Google has begun previewing the latest changes to Android as part of November’s Google Play System updates, including improvements for Wallet and parental controls.

Update: Google is bringing its updated photo picker to nearly every Android device, including ones that are quite outdated.

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Google Play Services Stories November 11

Google Play services powers many key features on Android devices that might not be obvious to end users, and Google is now offering an explanation directly on your phone as part of a new approach.

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Google Play Services Stories October 25

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

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Google Play Services Stories October 23

Like on phones, many Wear OS features are delivered via Google Play services, and the latest version reveals what backups on watches will cover, as well as more features for Google Wallet.

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Google Play Services Stories October 18

Pixel 7 and 7 Pro Google Play System update appears but cannot be installed

Since launch, the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro have been running a Google Play system update from July, but some users are now being prompted to install a new version only to have that download fail.

Google Play Services Stories October 12

Apple, Google, Microsoft, and others in the industry want to replace website/app passwords with “passkeys” that just require you to unlock your device. Starting today, Android and Google Chrome will support signing in with passkeys.

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Google Play Services Stories September 30

September’s Google Play system updates: Play Store redesign on Wear OS, new Wallet features [U]

Google has laid out some of what Android fans can expect from the September 2022 Google Play system updates, including improvements to Kids Space on tablets.

Update: This latest set of updates also includes new audio switching features for Wear OS and improvements to the Play Store.

Google Play Services Stories August 23

With the latest Google Play system update for August 2022 announced this week, Android owners are seeking out the “Check for update” button only to find that it no longer exists. This is happening for both Pixel and Samsung, though it’s not clear whether this is a bug or an intentional behavior change.

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Google Play Services Stories August 17

Google has laid out the changes coming in August 2022’s Google Play System updates, including Material You for Android’s Help app and a redesign of AutoFill.

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Google Play Services Stories July 27

The July 2022 updates to the Google Play System are set to bring the full “Google Wallet” rebrand, along with some new forms of “multi-device experiences.”

Update: The latest batch of July updates include a Game Dashboard for Android 13, a “Matter Developer Preview,” and more.

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Google Play Services Stories July 1

Google Play system updates for June bring Thread/Matter network sharing and more [U]

June’s Google Play system updates for Android bring new support for Thread/Matter devices, along with a handful of additional security fixes for our phones and tablets.

Google Play Services Stories June 25

Fast Pair started as Google’s way to quickly connect Bluetooth headphones to Android phones and will soon do the same on Chrome OS. Google alluded today that Fast Pair is coming to Wear OS in what could be preparation for the Pixel Watch and Pixel Buds Pro.

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Google Play Services Stories June 20

As of this month, it’s now possible to put a shortcut to Google Password Manager on the home screen of your Android phone or tablet – here’s how.

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Google Play Services Stories May 16

May’s Google Play system updates for Android phones add self-sharing to Nearby Share, a redesign of the Google Help app, Android 13’s photo picker, and more.

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Google Play Services Stories April 25

The April Google Play system updates for Android phones will bring new Play Pass and Play Points features, ways to discover apps, and more.

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Google Play Services Stories April 19

The security industry, as organized by the FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance, has been working to replace passwords given people’s tendency to use weak ones or reuse them. Two-factor authentication (2FA) has helped to remedy that but the future is “passkeys,” with Android and Google readying support.

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Google Play Services Stories March 29

While Apple in no way invented Bluetooth trackers, AirTags undoubtedly popularized the category this past year. There are ongoing concerns about these readily available devices being used to track people, and tag makers have taken steps to counter that. Google might soon add a Bluetooth tracker detection capability directly into Android.

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Google Play Services Stories March 22

In response to a research paper outlining the data collected by Google’s Phone and Messages apps, including call and text records, the company has updated both apps to better respect privacy.

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Google Play Services Stories October 21, 2021

Google’s 2021 Smart Home Developer Summit today sees a number of developments around Matter, including Android support via Play services. The announcements start with “Google Home” now serving as the name for the company’s entire smart home platform, developer program, and tools.

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Google Play Services Stories October 12, 2021

Smart Lock dates back to Android Lollipop and was Google’s solution for reducing the number of times users had to enter their passcodes before the ubiquity of fingerprint readers. Smart Lock in Android Settings was recently updated with a much-needed modern UI.

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Google Play Services Stories September 17, 2021

Last year, Android 11 introduced a clever privacy feature that removes permissions granted to “unused apps” that haven’t been opened in some time. Google is now bringing this auto-reset to older phones and tablets via Play services over the coming months. 

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Google Play Services Stories July 8, 2021

Google Play services is responsible for a slew of userfacing capabilities, like account management and Chrome OS integration, while also providing third-party app developers with a number of background features. Google announced today that Play services is dropping support for Android Jelly Bean next month.

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Google Play Services Stories June 18, 2021

The latest beta version of Play services rolled out last evening to reveal that Google is working on a “Find My Device network” capability named “Spot” that leverages your Android phone to locate other devices. 

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Google Play Services Stories June 2, 2021

Android 12 will feature a slew of privacy features from a new Setting dashboard to the ability to disable app access to the camera and microphone. Another update later this year will make it so that users are better able to opt-out of personalized ads in Android applications.

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Google Play Services Stories May 24, 2021

Google and Qualcomm partner to bring faster neural network updates to Android users

The news slipped through the cracks last week with the madness that was I/O 2021, but Google had another notable announcement. Starting with future versions of Android, Google and Qualcomm will offer a faster way to roll out neural network updates to Android users on Snapdragon chips.

Google Play Services Stories February 8, 2021

Ahead of the launch of the Pixel 5, the Google Camera and Google Recorder apps, among others, became unable to be sideloaded due to verification errors. Thankfully, a solution — if, perhaps, a temporary one — has been discovered.

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Google Play Services Stories November 13, 2020

This week, those enrolled in the Google Play Services beta received an update to version 20.45, which includes work to sync Wi-Fi passwords between your Android phone to your Chromebook.

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Google Play Services Stories October 21, 2020

For a few months now, we’ve been keeping an eye on a new feature for Chrome OS called “Phone Hub” which will deeply connect your Chromebook to your Android phone. Now we’re beginning to see the feature come to fruition on the Android side by way of an update to Google Play Services.

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Google Play Services Stories August 28, 2020

With App Preview Messaging, the person you’re contacting doesn’t need to have that app installed to receive a message. Available on Android, Google leveraged Play Services and the capability saw a notable launch with Allo and Duo. Google earlier this month announced that it has “deprecated” APM.

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Google Play Services Stories July 30, 2020

Google Play Services hits 10 billion installs, the first Android app to do so

Being pre-installed on most Android devices, Google’s apps rack up quite a lot of downloads and cross milestones on occasion. Now, for the first time ever, an Android app has crossed 10 billion installs on the Play Store — Google Play Services.

Google Play Services Stories June 30, 2020

Earthquake early warning systems (EEW) can quickly detect tremors and provide a warning before shaking arrives. ShakeAlert is the system funded by the United States Geological Survey and other partners for the West Coast. Google now looks to be building earthquake alerts from that system into Android as part of Play Services.

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Google Play Services Stories May 4, 2020

Instead of requiring a full OS update, Google is bringing exposure notifications to Android by leveraging Play services. Ahead of this month’s launch, the two companies are previewing contact tracing apps and what settings Android users will have to control COVID-19 contact tracing.

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Google Play Services Stories April 29, 2020

Google and Apple earlier this month announced a partnership to build contact tracing into iOS and Android. Ahead of the capability launching in mid-May, both companies are previewing the exposure notification API for health agency developers.

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Google Play Services Stories April 13, 2020

On Friday, Google and Apple announced a surprise collaboration to integrate contact tracing for COVID-19 into iOS and Android. That first phase of this plan is coming next month, but deeper OS-level integration is also planned. In rolling out these features to Android, Google will be bypassing the platform’s usual update process by leveraging Play services.

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Google Play Services Stories February 10, 2020

If you’re practicing good account security, you may have your phone number attached to various accounts as part of two-factor authentication. Google Messages is rolling out a new feature to autofill any one-time security codes that your apps may need.

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Google Play Services Stories August 5, 2019

ARCore is Google’s platform for mobile augmented reality. It was announced in 2017, with Google later deprecating Tango for the current solution that does not require specialized sensors, cameras, or other hardware. Google today renamed the ARCore app on Android to “Google Play Services for AR.”

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Google Play Services Stories June 29, 2019

Google appears to be working on a new and simple way to share files between a variety of devices, including Android and Chromebooks. We’ve managed to fully enable “Fast Share” on Android today, and here’s how it works.

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Google Play Services Stories March 7, 2019

Google testing Material Theme tweaks for ‘Help & feedback’ pages on Android

Every mobile Google app on Android and iOS lets users quickly get help and send feedback about the service. Google is now testing a Material Theme revamp of these two pages to match the company’s latest design language.

Google Play Services Stories December 7, 2018

Slowly but surely, older versions of Android are disappearing from the active monthly user list, being replaced with newer releases. This week, Google Play Services is officially dropping support for Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich.

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Google Play Services Stories May 4, 2018

Google’s casting platform is massive, and works with hundreds of apps and services, and just as many different types of hardware. Google introduced a tool over a year ago which made controlling cast media a bit easier on Android, and now that notification is getting a big revamp in functionality…

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Google Play Services Stories April 23, 2018

Over the weekend, we spotted a Material Design “refresh” for Chrome on Windows, while we’ve previously managed to enable “Material Design 2” in the Google app and Feed. Today, we’ve been able to access it in Google Play services with revamped “My Account” settings in what is likely our best look at Google’s future design language.

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Google Play Services Stories February 6, 2018

The “Check for update” button on Pixel and Nexus devices finally works with the latest Google Play services. Version 12.2.09 hit the beta channel this evening and many are reporting that tapping the button now pushes the latest Android security patch to their phones.

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How to join the Google Play Services beta on Android

Typically, when Google rolls out an update to Play Services, it introduces new features or functionality to Android. One instance of this was when Google rolled out Assistant to most modern smartphones. If you want these updates even earlier, you can enroll in Google Play Services beta track. Here’s how…

Google Play Services Stories February 1, 2018

How to update Google Play Services on Android

Google Play Services, just like most apps, gets updated through the Play Store. And just like with some apps, Play Services doesn’t get updated on the device as soon as a new version is available. Here’s how to manually update Google Play Services…

A few weeks ago it was discovered that Google’s popular Chromecast and Google Home devices were causing outages with wireless routers due to a bug. While router makers tried to fix the problem, it came down to Google to get a proper fix out, and now, that fix is rolling out to all users.

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Google Play Services Stories January 18, 2018

Latest Google Play services beta rolling out w/ fix for Chromecast-caused Wi-Fi issues, download here

As promised yesterday, Google has begun rolling out a Google Play services update to users that should fix the reported Wi-Fi slowdowns and outages cause by Chromecast built-in devices (Google Homes, Android TVs, Chromecasts, etc.). In case it hasn’t reached your device yet, you can download the update below…

Google Play Services Stories January 11, 2018

Earlier this week, Google announced that it was merging Android Pay and Google Wallet. The new Google Pay brand is simpler and centralizes the company’s payment services for consumers. At the time, the company noted a rollout in the “coming weeks,” with the first signs of it now going live.

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