The ability to check for Google Play system updates has vanished for several Android devices from various manufacturers.
As spotted by 9to5Google, devices from Google, Samsung, Nothing, Xiaomi, Nokia, and Motorola have all lost the ability to check for these updates. It’s worth noting that Google Play system updates are separate from Android updates and exist as yet another way for Google to push new software and features to Android devices.
Previously, users could open the Settings app and navigate to Security > Google Play system update to view details about the current version and check if a new update is available. We actually detailed this process last week when outlining the new features available in the August 2022 Play system update.
Now, however, tapping the ‘Google Play system update’ option in the Security menu doesn’t do anything. It doesn’t open the update page, there’s no longer a ‘Check for update’ button; it’s just gone. It’s not clear if this is related to a bug, or if Google intentionally changed the behaviour.
Either is possible — on the bug side, I recall downloading the August Play system update to my Pixel 6a on the 19th after publishing MobileSyrup‘s coverage of what’s new in the update. However, my Pixel 6a says it’s still on the July update and tapping the Play system update doesn’t do anything. Similarly, a Pixel 6 I tested doesn’t let you click the Play system update option either. It’s also on the July update, but I don’t recall manually triggering the August update on it. It’s possible something in the August update caused this, but with both these phones listing the July update as the current one, I’m not sure.
9to5Google posits that Google changed the behaviour only to show the update page when there’s a new update. While possible, I wonder why the phones still show the July update when the August update is available and supposedly installed on my device.
Whatever the reason, it seems a little weird that the only way to manually trigger a Play system update suddenly vanished. Hopefully, Google provides some information about what’s going on.