[Also available on Reddit.]
The recent rule update is great news for existing EAD holders seeking renewal. The new rule temporarily increases the automatic extension period for employment authorization from 180 days to 540 days. This will save a lot of jobs and avoid a lot of stress.
However, there are a couple of shortcomings.
First, the rule does nothing with regards to advance parole. Therefore, adjudication delays will still negatively impact the ability to travel.
Second, this rule does not benefit people seeking a first time EAD. Theoretically, USCIS will have more manpower to put towards adjudicating new EADs, but that remains to be seen.
For those people enduring unreasonably long waits for advance parole or a new EAD, mandamus lawsuits brought in federal court are still their most powerful tools to get faster adjudications.