What are Google Play system updates and where to get them

They say that Android is doing just awful with the updates. But it is not so. The fact is that the operating system is not to blame for the fact that independent manufacturers refuse to adapt new versions of the OS for their smartphones. Meanwhile, Google itself is making every effort to keep devices powered by Android up to date. In addition to yearly updates to the operating system, the search giant releases monthly security patches and Google Play system updates that no one has ever heard of.

Google Play system updates

Google Play system updates only appeared in Android 10

Google Play system updates were presented only last year, with the launch of Android 10. This is a kind of analogue of monthly security patches, the difference between which is that Google Play system updates are released and distributed by Google itself. However, they exist in parallel to each other and have different goals. If monthly security updates are aimed at fixing vulnerabilities, then Google Play patches make changes at the system level.

What are Google Play System Updates

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Please note that monthly security patches and Google Play system updates are not the same thing

Google Play System Updates are an integral part of the Project Mainline modular architecture. It divides the operating system into 12 separate components, which, thanks to system updates, can be updated independently of each other. This allows you to significantly increase the speed of delivery of new assemblies with fixes, if any are required. Indeed, in fact, now Google can simply fix a bug in one of the modules and release an update specifically for it, while Apple is forced to update the entire OS as a whole, even if the error was found in the keyboard.

Google Play system updates, unlike monthly patches, are only available on smartphones with Android 10 and newer and are released only as needed. Therefore, you should not expect them to begin to fall to you on a regular basis, even if security updates arrive consistently at the beginning of each month. Checking when the last Google Play system update was released, and also requesting a new one if you think it's time for this, can be quite simple:

How to download a Google Play system update

  • Go to 'Settings' – 'Security';
  • Open the section 'System update via Google Play';


You can check for Google Play system updates manually

  • At the bottom, click the 'Check for Updates' button;
  • Wait until the end of the check and install the update, if found.

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Android can stay current even without annual OS updates

Despite being invisible, Google Play system updates are a very important element of the operating system. Thanks to them, Google is able to keep Android up to date even on those devices whose manufacturers are not in a hurry to adapt updates. If so, then, in theory, Google could start distributing monthly security updates in this way, if only it wanted to. Perhaps with the release of Android 11 we will see something similar.

By and large, these updates provide software support for Android – smartphones. After all, if a new version of the OS is released only once a year and is mainly focused on expanding functionality, monthly security patches and system updates from Google Play keep the platform up to date, protect user data, and prevent hacking by hackers and malware activity. True, I still would not refuse annual updates Android.

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