We’re well into February, but the Google Play System update for Android, which was initially set for January 2024, is just starting to roll out. When it was first released in January, it caused some trouble by accidentally locking users out of their phone’s local storage. Because of this, Google quickly pulled it back.
Now, the update has been fixed and is slowly being reintroduced to devices. Google mentioned that the problematic update caused issues like apps crashing, problems with saving screenshots, and inconsistencies with external storage. This affected many user accounts and work profiles, and users found the update practically unusable.
Subsequently, Google issued instructions for a manual fix on February 1, approximately two weeks after the update’s initial rollout. However, these instructions were quite complicated for the average user, requiring them to enable developer mode, download new developer tools, plug in the phone to a computer, and type in the right commands to manually buggy packages that were causing problems.
While Google hinted at an automated fix in its February 1 post, it’s been nine days since then with no sign of its release.
New Format of Updates
The December Play System update was delayed because of the holidays, so this “January” update arriving in February is actually the first Play System update since November. For those who might not know, Play System updates are a newer format for Android updates, separate from the usual system and security updates.
Google sends out these updates through the Play Store, allowing them to directly update core Android components without needing third-party manufacturers to implement them. While this approach sounds good in theory, its success depends on how well the updates work. However, this is the second time in four months that such an update has caused problems for Pixel phones, resulting in downtime lasting weeks for some users.