By | November 23, 2023
google play store

Google has started sharing what new features and changes to expect in November from the core system apps on our Android devices, including some tweaks to the Play Store interface and support for QR codes in Google Wallet.

Every month, Google rounds up and publishes the patch notes for a collection of Android apps and services that it refers to as the “Google System.” These include the Play Store, Google Play Services, Android System Intelligence, Android WebView, and “Google Play System Updates.” Each part is responsible for what makes your smartphone – or your watch, tablet, TV, etc – feel “smart” in the first place.

For November’s patch notes, Google has come up with a new organizational style that makes it much easier to know which updates are responsible for specific changes without constantly checking footnotes. As always, though, you’ll need to have the latest version of each app to take advantage of these new features.

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 listing in the Play Store 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’ll see the “Update Play Store” option. In the meantime, Google Play system updates can be found via the Settings app, under About phone > Android version > Google Play system update.

Other “Google System” apps, such as Android System Intelligence and Google Wallet, are updated through the Play Store just like any other app.

November is off to a slightly slower start than previous months, with Google sharing information about Play Store version 38.3 and Play Services version 23.43, the latter of which doesn’t appear to have any notable updates. However, the new Play Store update will include some tweaks.

For starters, Google is improving the Play Store’s “search results experience” by introducing a new shortcut “that takes you directly to the app or game.” Meanwhile, the marketplace is also making it easier to uninstall Android apps from “connected devices,” following the app’s recent move to allow installing apps on your smartwatch or tablet via your phone.

Other tweaks include an “(un)updated design for Google Play Protect information cards” and a new reminder that pre-registration for an app works better if Play Store notifications are enabled.


Update 8/11: We now have the first details for the Play Services version 23.44 update, which should start rolling out later this month. First, when you fill out a form that asks for an email address, AutoFill with Google will now offer email addresses that you’ve previously saved as a username.

This particular change seems questionable to me given how common it is to share accounts for streaming services. These email addresses then appear as autofill options every time you register a new account or fill out an online form.

When you move on to Google Wallet, the app will soon notify you if one of your saved cards needs further verification before it can be used. You will also be able to save your “company ID” in your phone’s wallet.


Update 11/22: Next we have the patch notes for Play Store versions 38.4 and 38.5, which should be rolling out now. The most immediately noticeable change is that the latest update introduces “app recommendations” that will appear in “new places” in the app market. These recommendations will appear after you install a new app and will be set based on that particular app.

The updates also bring Play Protect improvements related to Android permissions, as well as “new buttons” on editorial pages.

Meanwhile, Google Play Services version 23.45 includes the ability to add QR codes to your wallet. Google specifically calls for support for “boarding passes and health passes.” The same update also adds a message encouraging Wear OS device owners to enable the new backup support on their watch. Another update to Play Services, version 23.46, currently only includes new “Happiness Tracking Surveys” that occasionally ask questions about “your satisfaction with Google’s features on your phone.”

The company also mentions two Android System Intelligence updates — versions T.38 and U.13, available for Android 13 and 14, respectively — both of which include bug fixes for the “Speech language pack.”


Google Play Services v23.46 (11/22/2023)

System management

  • (Phone) The Happiness Tracking feature allows you to receive surveys to measure how satisfied you are with Google’s features on your phone.

Android System Intelligence T.38/U.13 (2023-11-21)

  • (Telephone) Bug fixes for speech language packs.

Google Play Store v38.5 (2023-11-20)

  • (Phone) Explore more right after you install an app. You will now see app recommendations based on the app you just installed in new locations in the Google Play Store.
  • (Phone) Support for new buttons to make editorial pages more interactive.

Google Play Services v23.45 (2023-11-15)

Developer Services

  • (Phone) New developer capabilities for Google and third-party app developers to support machine learning and AI-related processes in their apps.
  • (Phone) New developer capabilities for Google and third-party app developers to support machine learning and AI-related processes in their apps.
  • (Phone) You can now add boarding passes and health cards to your wallet by scanning a QR code.

Device connection

  • (Wear) Notification to enable Backup on Wear.

System management

  • (Auto, PC, Phone, TV, Wear) Updates to system management services that improve privacy.
  • (Telephone) Bug fixes for system management and diagnostics related services.

Google Play Store v38.4 (2023-11-13)

  • (Auto, PC, Phone, TV, Wear) Google Play Protect provides additional protection against abuse of permissions.
  • (Phone) Users can now automatically install apps on connected devices from ads when searching the Play Store.

Google Play Services v23.44 (2023-11-08)

Tool

  • (Auto, Phone) For fields identified as email addresses, AutoFill with Google will provide email addresses from saved usernames.

Wallet

  • (Phone) Allow users to digitize their business ID in Google Wallet.
  • (Phone) Notify users of cards in their Wallet application awaiting identity verification.

Google Play Store v38.3 (2023-11-06)

  • (Phone) Improve your search results experience by displaying an icon that takes you directly to the app or game.
  • (Phone) New feature to help you uninstall apps on connected devices.
  • (Phone) Updated design for Google Play Protect information card.
  • (Phone) Added a prompt to remind you to enable notifications when you pre-register for an app.

Google Play Services v23.43 (2023-11-01)

Developer Services

  • (Phone) New developer capabilities for Google and third-party app developers to support Analytics and diagnostics-related processes in their apps.
  • (Phone) New developer capabilities for Google and third-party app developers to support Analytics and diagnostics-related processes in their apps.

System management

  • (Carry) Updates to system management services that improve updateability.

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