[REVIEW] : Google’s March 2022 Update for Android is out, but is it worth installing?

March brings its share of updates from Google, which affects all the products on which its Google software is loaded.

You may already see them appearing as a notification on your Pixel 6 or Samsung S22 Ultra as a required update. They’re similar to Microsoft’s efforts for monthly Windows 11 updates, where small tweaks or bug fixes are bundled into a single download package.

But these updates aren’t limited to Android — Chromebook, Chrome OS, and WearOS will all get this update, ready to download and install too.

What’s in Google’s March Update?

While the main bug fixes in this March update swing between games and wallet management, the Google Play Store is its main focus:

  • Improved the “Play While Downloading” feature to allow gamers to start playing mobile games while the app is still downloading to reduce waiting times.
  • New features to help you discover the apps and games you love.
  • Optimizations allow faster and more reliable download and installation.
  • New features for Play Pass and Play Points programs.
  • Google Play billing improvements.
  • Ongoing improvements to Play Protect to keep your device safe.
  • Various performance optimizations, bug fixes, and security, stability, and accessibility improvements.

If the update didn’t show up as a notification on your Google device, head to Settings > About > Software Update, and a box should appear, saying March 2022 Update.

These monthly updates are always recommended, as they improve privacy, fix bugs, and bring functionality to all your Google devices, from your smartphone to your car.

That being said, with Google rumored to be holding another I/O event where it announces new updates for all of its products and software releases, we could see a significant monthly update looming very soon.

Android 13: The smartphones that will receive the update

With Android smartphone makers slowly improving their update policies, it’s increasingly easy to predict which smartphones will be compatible with future versions of the OS. Some companies even promise better tracking software than Google.

Even though Android 13 is still in its infancy, we can already reasonably predict some things by analyzing the deployment of previous versions, such as the beta testing phase, and the release date, which you can find in the article linked here -above. In short, Android 13 should be released around October, first on Google Pixels, then on smartphones from other brands.

Android 13 could let users adjust flashlight brightness

Amid rumors about Android 13, Google released the first developer preview of Android 13 last month. We also learned that Android 13 will make it easier for users to run Linux and Windows 11 virtual machines on the Pixel 6. than ever. And now we have more details about the next-gen version of Android. A new report claims that Android 13 will let users control their camera flash brightness.

According to a recent in-depth report by Mishaal Rahman of Esper, this feature will allow users to decrease or increase the flashlight brightness of their Android devices when they use it as a torch in the dark.

The flashlight brightness control feature is not new and Apple has offered this feature on iPhones for a long time. In fact, Samsung’s Android-based One UI overlay also allows users to control flashlight brightness.

It is revealed that Google has added two APIs: “getTorchStrengthLevel” and “turnOnTorchWithStrengthLevel” for torch brightness control for both system and apps. Users will be able to switch to different levels of brightness, from 1 to the maximum level of 128. Previously, there was only the “setTorchMode” API to simply activate or deactivate the flashlight.

However, this functionality will not be available only for some Android smartphones and not all. This is because the brightness control feature requires a hardware interface (an update to the Hardware Abstraction Layer), which is not present in all Android devices. Devices upgrading to Android 13 should not benefit from this feature. It is therefore possible that Google will develop this feature exclusively for future smartphones running Android 13.

Not available for all smartphones

There are chances that Google will introduce the built-in brightness control feature for flashlights with its upcoming Pixel 7 series, which was recently leaked online. Following this, the feature may start appearing for other compatible devices (other Pixel and non-Pixel smartphones) in the future.

Therefore, it might take some time for other Android users to get brightness control functionality for flashlights.