How January's Google Play update makes your Android phone better

Google Play Services and the Google Play Store updates are no longer a big secret. Here's what's new

Google Play Store running on Android phone
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

For the longest time, Google kept rolling out updates to Google Play Services for Android phones without letting you know what they did. That's changed, and the January 2022 update comes with a changelog detailing some really worthwhile improvements that will make your Android phone happier.

As these are updates to Google Play rather than Android, you don't need to update Android to a newer version, either, in order to take advantage of them. Let's take a look at what free updates Android users are getting.

What's new in the January 2022 Google Play update

Google's changelog, as spotted by Droid Life, details what's new in the January 2022 Google Play update:

1) A new way of signing into Android TV using your Android phone
2) Improved consent options in the phone contact UI
3) Manual addition of credentials to apps and sites in the Google Password Manager
4) A new user discovery flow to make it easier for Android newcomers to find out what's new in major updates
5) Better personalisation of relevant support options in Google Account
6) Changes to Wallet: search instead of scroll, and new SMS verification defaults for some cardholders
7) New features for developers for ads, analytics and diagnostics, machine learning and AI-related services
8) Improvements to the Sign In With Google UI

The changes began rolling out last week so if your Android device doesn't already have them, don't panic: the update is on its way.

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).