Google System Updates for March 2023 give you more control over the loyalty/rewards cards in your Google Wallet, and more.
On its own, 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, especially the Play Store and Google Play Services. Beyond that, Android now offers monthly “Play system updates” that bring new features and keep people’s devices secure without the need for a full system update.
Each month, Google rounds up everything that’s changed with each update to Play Services, the Play Store, and Play system updates — collectively called the “Google System” — and shares the patch notes, with new details arriving throughout the month. Notably, these patch notes will often make references to features that have not yet launched, though it’s always good practice to keep your devices up-to-date.
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 first batch of patch notes for March 2023 is quite 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 let 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 needing to delete an email.
Update 3/8: While Pixel phones are still awaiting the March 2023 security patch, this month’s Google System Updates are rolling onward. The latest patch notes make mention of a new set of animations to be shown when making a payment with Google Wallet. These were announced at the end of last month with Google showing an example with two penguins sharing fish.
Meanwhile, a new change for the Play Store will make it easier to install new apps on your other devices. When installing, 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 & 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] Users will have the ability to automatically make apps that they are installing on Phones & 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 displayed 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.
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