Google’s December Play System updates are gearing up for a beta test to keep a digital driver’s license in your Android phone’s wallet app while preparing for next year’s Pixel tablet.
Google releases monthly Android security updates to protect your phone and bring new features, but those aren’t the only ways improvements can come. Recently, Google has placed a heavy emphasis on Android’s Play Services, Play Store, and Play System updates, dubbing the trio the “Google System.” Each month, Google outlines what’s new in these three areas and offers a sneak peek at new features for the month ahead.
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 Play Store listing 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 will see an “Update Play Store” option. In the meantime, you can find Google Play system updates from the Settings app under About phone > Android version > Google Play system update.
In the first batch of Google system updates for December – arriving before the new month has even started – we learn that Google Wallet is preparing a beta test for securely storing your driver’s license on Android phones. Currently, the Google Wallet digital driver’s license beta is limited to the United States, and even then only “select” states are supported.
No details are available yet on which states will be included in the test or how to sign up for the beta test when it launches. It’s possible that the beta test is only for those who signed up for the Play Services beta through the Play Store.
Meanwhile, the same Play Services update is also said to include some additional preparations for the Pixel tablet. One particular Pixel tablet feature we’ve been tracking is the ability to receive “casts,” just like any other Chromecast or Nest Hub. However, it seems that the Pixel tablet cannot do this always Be ready to accept an incoming cast and you’ll now see some sort of warning if you need to “interact” with the tablet before the cast goes through.
As a side note, Nearby Sharing should also work a little faster after this update to discover your friends’ devices.
Google Play System Updates for December 2022
- [Auto, Phone, TV] Bug fixes for services related to account management, security and updateability.
- [Phone] Update cast-related settings.
- [Phone] Reduce delays in locating contacts via Nearby Share.
- [Phone] Inform the user if casting to a tablet device requires user interaction.
Google play store
- New features to help you discover your favorite apps and games.
- Optimizations that allow faster and more reliable download and installation.
- Continuous improvements to Play Protect to protect your device.
- Various performance optimizations, bug fixes, and improvements related to security, stability, and accessibility.
- [Phone] Beta feature that allows users from select US states to digitize their state ID/driver’s licenses for convenient, private and secure presentation in Google Wallet.
- New developer capabilities for Google and third-party app developers to support location and contextual developer services in their apps.
- Updates to system management services that improve device performance and stability.
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