The rollout of the January 2024 Google Play System update for Android has been slow to start despite February already being one-third underway. This update, initially released in January, faced significant backlash as it inadvertently caused users to be locked out of their phone’s local storage. However, Google has since rectified the issues and is gradually reintroducing the update to devices.

The problematic Android update resulted in multiple app crashes, failure to save screenshots, and inconsistent performance of external storage. These issues were particularly prominent in multiple user accounts and work profiles, rendering the update practically unusable for many users.

Google attempted to address the issues by issuing manual fix instructions on February 1, approximately two weeks after the initial rollout. However, these instructions were complex, requiring users to enable developer mode, download new developer tools, connect their phone to a computer, and input specific commands to rectify the problematic packages.

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Despite hinting at an automated fix in their February 1 post, Google has yet to release it, leaving users waiting for a resolution nine days later.

The delay in the January update rollout is particularly significant as it marks the first Play System update since November. Play System updates represent a newer Android update format delivered through the Play Store, allowing direct updates to core Android components without relying on third-party manufacturers. However, the success of this approach is contingent on the functionality of the updates themselves.

This isn’t the first time such an update has caused issues, as the December Play System update was postponed due to the holiday season, resulting in this delayed January release. With Pixel phones experiencing significant downtimes of weeks due to these issues, the reliability of Play System updates is under scrutiny.

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