C. Scott Brown / Android Authority
- Google has confirmed that there will be no December 2023 Google Play System Update.
- The next Google Play System Update will be rolled out in January 2024.
Google Play System Updates are updates for your device that you probably didn’t know existed. Google Play System Updates are another word for Project Mainline module updates and are not to be confused with Google Play Services updates. Google releases a Google Play System Update roughly every month, but the company has confirmed that one is not going to be released for December 2023.
As Mishaal Rahman points out, Google employees have mentioned in the ART Google Issue Tracker that there will not be a December 2023 Google Play System Update. The next Google Play System Update will be rolled out in January 2024. This update will bring an update to the Android Runtime (ART) module that fixes an internal Garbage Collector-related crash that some apps with native code face.
If you are on the November 2023 Google Play System Update, then you are already on the latest update for now.
What are Google Play System Updates?
Android 10 introduced Project Mainline to Android, which aimed to tackle some of the big challenges that had led to Android’s fragmentation problem in its early years.
In its early days, Android as a platform would receive frequent updates. But these updates would take a lot of time to reach consumers if they reach them at all. Google’s first solution to this fragmentation problem was Project Treble, which separated the Android OS framework components from many device-specific, lower-level software. So phone makers weren’t as dependent on the SoC vendor for every single update.
Project Mainline extends upon the work done by Project Treble by extending the underlying Treble philosophy to more critical parts of the Android framework. It empowers Google to deliver security updates to key OS components without depending on the phone OEM to push the update.
Project Mainline makes use of Mainline modules, which are modularized system components. These modules are delivered through the Google Play Services framework (but different from the Google Play Services app itself) and the Google Play Store in the form of a “Google Play System Update.” Google notes that there are 25 Mainline Modules, including ART. ART was introduced in Android with Android 4.4 KitKat to replace the Dalvik runtime environment, while Android 12 modularized it for easy updates.