May’s Google Play system updates for Android phones add self-sharing to Nearby Share, a redesign of the Google Help app, and more.
Every month, Google outlines the latest updates to what it calls the “Google System” for Android. These include everything from Google Play Services, the Play Store, and Android’s “Google Play system updates.” As these three core aspects of your phone are tightly intertwined, Google offers update notes for them in one handy location, often updating and adding new notes over the course of each month.
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.
The headlining feature of May 2022’s Google Play updates is the introduction of self sharing to Nearby Share. If you haven’t had the chance to use Nearby Share on your Android phone, it offers an experience similar to AirDrop on Apple devices, and is also compatible with Chromebooks and Windows PCs. With self sharing, it’ll become easier to send files, links and text from one of your own devices to another, without needing to accept the incoming share on the receiving device.
Meanwhile, another noteworthy feature is a redesign of the Google Help app. Since last year Google has been steadily redesigning their various apps and applets to use Material You, their latest design language, which premiered on the Pixel 6. It’s possible a similar such redesign is coming to Google Help, the company’s on-device support and knowledgebase hub.
Each month’s update also includes its own variety of security improvements. Otherwise, many of the update notes are the same as seen last month, including mentions of improvements to Play Pass and Play Points.
To get these features, improvements, and more on your own device, you’ll want to be on Google Play Services version 22.15 and Play Store version 30.3, both of which should have begun rolling out as of May 2. So far, a date has not been announced for Android’s May Google Play system update.
Google Play System updates for May 2022
- [Auto, Phone, Tablet, TV, Wear OS] Bug fixes for account management and system management & diagnostics related services.
- [Phone, Tablet] Migration of the existing device setup onboarding flow for supervised work accounts to a web based experience.
- [Auto, Phone, TV] Nearby Share now allows users to share content more seamlessly between their devices logged into the same account.
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.
- New Features to help you discover the Apps & Games you love.
- Optimizations allowing faster and more reliable download and installation.
- New features to the Play Pass and Play Points programs.
- Enhancements to Google Play Billing.
- Continuous improvements to Play Protect to keep your device safe.
- Various performance optimizations, bug fixes and improvements to security, stability and accessibility.
- [Auto, Phone, Tablet, TV, Wear OS] Design improvements to Google Help app.
- Updates to system management services that improve stability & performance.
- New developer features for Google and third party app developers to support ads, location services and utilities related to developer services in their apps.
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