Latest Google Play system update expands Android 13’s Photo Picker to older Android versions


Google released the Google Play system update for May 2022 earlier this month. Google’s initial changelog mentioned that the new update brings features like Self Share for Nearby Share and improvements to Play Store. But it seems there’s a lot more exciting stuff in the latest update than Google originally disclosed.

Google has updated the Play system patch notes to highlight some new features and improvements coming with the Play system May 2022 update. The most notable is the Photo Picker feature. First introduced in Android 13, the feature aims to restrict how apps access media files on your device. Rather than granting full permission to all media files, the Photo Picker will only allow apps to access select media files.

Google’s official documentation for Photo Picker mentions that the feature will be rolling out to devices running Andriod 12 and Android 11 via a Google Play system update.

Upcoming Google Play system updates are expected to include new features related to the photo picker. In one such update, the library will add support for apps that target Android 11 (API level 30) or higher

Another new feature coming with the Google Play system update is support for installing and using streaming apps on devices running Android Automative. In addition, the update also adds the ability for parents to set a persistent launcher on devices enrolled in Family Link.

The Photo Picker feature, improvements to Android Automative, and Family Link changes are rolling out with the latest Google Play Store and Play Services updates.

Here are all the changes in the Google Play System Update for May 2022:

  • Critical Fixes
    • [Auto, Phone, Tablet, TV, Wear OS] Bug fixes for account management, utilities, and system management & diagnostics related services.
  • Account Management
    • [Phone, Tablet] Migration of the existing device setup onboarding flow for supervised work accounts to a web based experience.
    • [Phone, Tablet] Ability for parents to set a persistent launcher on devices supervised with Family Link using local parental controls.
  • Device Connections
    • [Auto, Phone, TV] Nearby Share now allows users to share content more seamlessly between their devices logged into the same account.
    • [Auto] Support for installation and use of video streaming apps in-car infotainment systems through Android Automotive
  • Google Play Store
    • Improvements to Play-as-you-download feature to let gamers start playing mobile games while the app download continues to reduce waiting times.
    • New Features to help you discover the Apps & Games you love.
    • Optimizations allowing faster and more reliable download and installation.
    • New features to the Play Pass and Play Points programs.
    • Enhancements to Google Play Billing.
    • Continuous improvements to Play Protect to keep your device safe.
    • Various performance optimizations, bug fixes and improvements to security, stability and accessibility.
  • Support
    • [Auto, Phone, Tablet, TV, Wear OS] Design improvements to Google Help app.
  • System Management
    • Updates to system management services that improve device connectivity and stability & performance.
  • Developer Services
    • New developer features for Google and third party app developers to support ads, location services, media, security & privacy and utilities related developer services in their apps.
    • New developer service and user experience to allow users to select specific photos or videos to share with an app rather than granting permission to all media files on the device.

Source: Google System Updates support page, Android Developers