Google Promises to Fix Pixel 3 Photo Saving

Posted on October 23, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Android with 26 Comments

Google has finally addressed one of the recently revealed multitasking issues that are plaguing early Pixel 3 buyers. And it says it will fix this problem via a software update.

To be clear, it has only specifically addressed one of the known multitasking issues.

“We will be rolling out a software update in the coming weeks to address the rare case of a photo not properly saving,” a Google statement curtly notes.

Unfortunately, this is only one of two major multitasking issues in the newly-released Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL: As I and many others have also experienced, these new handsets will often quickly kill apps running in the background. This includes media streaming apps, so the audio playback ends when the app is killed.

These problems, plus other issues like tinny/echoing sound quality in the external speakers, have had a debilitating effect on early Pixel 3 buyers. And like many, I suspect, I’ve simply decided to return mine and continue examining other phone options. Given the many issues that users had with the Pixel 2 XL over the past year, I assume this stance is understandable.

Will Google ever get its own hardware right? I’m honestly not sure. But I may no longer be around to find out. I’ve got a OnePlus 6T, Apple iPhone XR, and now a Samsung Galaxy S9+ coming to the house over the next several days. And I intend to pick a handset that actually works.


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Comments (27)

27 responses to “Google Promises to Fix Pixel 3 Photo Saving”

  1. red.radar

    These software companies are going to have to learn you don’t develop hardware in an agile way. There is a cost to quality in hardware that doesn’t exist with software.

    But it even broader than that, if you want me to spend a thousand dollars on a product I expect refinement and quality.

  2. jaredthegeek

    Well I would sure hope so.

  3. ReformedCtrlZ

    I'm not sure how related this is...but I have the essential ph1 which also has 4gb of RAM and it very recently started having issues similar to what people are discribing with the new pixels. Combined with some information I found online this seems like it may be a software issue that can be resolved. Fingers crossed anyway, my pixel 3 is in the mail haha

  4. sj3vans

    Sorry to hear everyone is having issues! So far, I have not noticed any of those talked about on my XL. I absolutely love the screen (the notch doesn't bother me at all). And the camera is amazing. I also really like the speakers as I now can actually use my phone as a speaker phone and can actually hear everyone. So far, I'm extremely happy with it. I hope that doesn't now suddenly change!

    • TraderGary

      In reply to sj3vans:
      Kate and I both got our identical Pixel 3 XL 128 phones delivered at noon on release day. I too am sorry to hear of people having issues. After 5 days of heavy use of between 5 to 6 hours a day of screen time, we have had zero issues. The screens are stellar and absolutely identical with whites being white and colors being gorgeous. Right now we are using Nacho Notch so the notch doesn't exist to bother us. The speakers are excellent and the sound is amazing to be coming from a phone. And of course there isn't a better camera. We've been snapping photos constantly with fortunately no data loss. (Google promises a fix coming soon.) We also got two Pixel Stands and they are excellent too. We've been on Google Fi for the past year and our total cost for the two of us averages $46/mo. So far we couldn't be more pleased.

    • wolters

      In reply to sj3vans:

      I did duplicate Paul's issue of the camera killing media apps. If you start a media app and then go into the camera, indeed, it closes the media app. So, for his sake, I do hope they fix it.

      But I've had no real issues thus far. Camera truly is amazing and worth leaving the Note 9 for.

      I have the the Pixel Dock and it charges very fast but doesn't play a slide show or seems to have any of the enhancements they've advertised. I also don't see an option to just let the screen remain off when charging.

    • nicholas_kathrein

      In reply to sj3vans:

      Yup. Most reviews on YouTube I've seen have 0 issues with speakers. In fact Unbox Therapy said that Google's Pixel 3 XL vs the new Razer phone's bigger speakers was surprising that the pixel sounded better.

  5. wright_is

    I can definitely recommend the Huawei lineup. If really like the new Mate 20 Pro, but I upgraded this year to the 10 pro, so I'll be skipping this generation.

  6. bhatech

    S9+? Good luck if you care about latest software updates and keeping up to date on what's happening on Android. I'm guessing you have an older Pixel lying around to test out platform updates?

    Pixel 3 has its issues no doubt, but with the camera and regular platform/security updates makes it no brainier over S9+. OnePlus 6T on the other hand, yes much better buy since performance is silky smooth if it's anything comparing to OnePlus 6 and software is much better than the Samsung experience. (I know this is very subjective)

  7. wolters

    "’I've got a OnePlus 6T, Apple iPhone XR, and now a Samsung Galaxy S9+"

    I'm anxious to hear your thoughts about the S9+. You've seemed hesitant in the past to give Samsung a try. Their hardware is awesome and their "skin" isn't that bad. My Note 9 camera has been frustrating, resulting in a lot of blurry photos. I am on the Pixel 3 XL and it is like night and day on the camera. I'm going to ride out these latest issues, none of which have adversely affected my day to day use...I did verify that audio/video does close out when in the camera app.

  8. ivarh

    The problem android and by extension google is having is that where IOS started not allowing anything to run in the background bar a few apple services to preserve battery android permitted almost everything. This approach by apple has given them the time to implement energy efficient services that they then have allowed developers to use to allow certain types of 3rd party services running in the battery.

    Google on the other side has over time as they realised that in order to preserve battery they have had to rein in applications abilities to run in the background. This have caused problems like apps just dying unless you go into settings to exempt them from the battery saving features in android pie.

  9. dcdevito

    I'm tired of Google's lack of QA, but I'm still sticking with them somewhat begrudgingly for reasons like AI and photography. I mean did anyone else see those leaked shots taken with Night Shot? I downloaded the camera app port last night and my goodness it takes mobile photography to a whole new level.

  10. nicholas_kathrein

    I think you my have regrets but time will tell.

  11. jprestig

    Too late for me. I returned mine last night. The first couple of days I really enjoyed the phone, but then I started running into issues. I didn't want to risk paying for a phone for 2 years that already gave me issues after a few days.

  12. Tmann


    Thank God I have you to do this for me! This is why I spend the well valued membership! Thank you for going through this anxiety ridden process. I for one appreciate it. I will look forward to you examining those other options. Given your requirement for a top notch camera, I have to believe it will either be the iphone or Galaxy S9 if you do indeed switch minus Project Fi. I would prefer the Galaxy S9 I believe but have avoided the transition, because I didn't want to deal with another assistant (Bixby) or Galaxy default launcher.Truly only interested in a pure android Google experience and hence have stayed with the Pixel 2 XL so far. I would love to see if you can get that S9 customized minus Bixby and set up similar to the Pixel Launcher .

    Good Luck!


  13. wocowboy

    The bias of the "YouTuber" community favoring the Pixel is glaringly obvious with this new model and all the manufacturing and software faults it has. Within minutes of someone mentioning the selfie face-smoothing thing in iOS, EVERY YouTuber with an unboxing or tech blog of any sort was out with a video slamming the iPhone as broken, bad, not worth buying, they were going to send it back, etc etc etc. But with the photo non-saving, memory problems, inability to multitask, glass back that can be horribly scratched within minutes of unboxing, and everything else that has now come out about the Pixel, not one of them has released a video on any of these subjects. Perhaps the best known of all the YouTubers, Lou of Unbox Therapy, has not said ONE WORD about any of these problems, and he was out with a FaceGate video within an hour of it first being mentioned on a tech site. Bias is quite obvious.

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