Google is returning to the update horse for the Pixel 6. After numerous delays and an update recall, the company finally got patches for its flagship smartphone last weekend. Assuming all goes well, this will be the first Pixel 6 update to hang around since November.
Software updates are said to be a major selling point of the Pixel line, but Google hasn’t done a great job of delivering them. The phone came with the Android “November” security patch and in mid-November, Google patched the fingerprint reader. The December security patch was supposed to come to the Pixel 6 in early December, but Google delayed that update until the middle of the month, saying it would come with a mile-long list of bug fixes. The December Pixel 6 update launched in the middle of the month, but Google hasn’t pushed the update to most users. The company eventually pulled the update due to connectivity issues and some faulty features. January rolled around with more security patches and a fix for Android’s emergency calling issues, but the Pixel 6 didn’t get that patch on time either, with Google saying the update would come “late January”.
Well, it’s finally here. Last weekend, Google started releasing the January security patch for Pixel 6 users. For most users, this is the first patch since November. The update includes everything from the November and December Android security bulletins, plus these two sets of Pixel 6-specific bug fixes. The list goes on forever. The update is now rolling out and I was able to pull it down on demand by clicking the “check for updates” button.
Since its launch, the Pixel 6 update situation has been a disaster. The phone saw the release of a major new Android version, Android 12, and an all-new line of hardware, with the Pixel 6’s “Google Tensor SoC” representing a move from Qualcomm hardware to a Samsung Exynos-based SoC and modem. as if the Pixel 6 was rushed out the door to hit the market before the Christmas shopping season, and Google has clearly bitten down more than it could chew. Hopefully the Pixel 6’s update issues are behind it as it is one of the best Android phones available.