Next week, Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro users will get a massive system update that addresses many of the complaints about the devices.
“All supported Pixel devices running Android 12 will receive software updates as part of the December 2021 update, which begins rolling out to users today,” a Google support document notes. “The rollout will continue over the next month in phases depending on carrier and device. The rollout will start on Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro later this month.”
Basically, Pixel 6/6 Pro users are getting three sets of updates this month: the December 2021 Android security update, the Feature Drop I reported on yesterday, and a massive list of Pixel 6 series updates and fixes.
As Google says, this December update “includes several fixes and improvements across many areas including device performance, stability, connectivity, and more.” Some of the more notable for Pixel 6/6 Pro users include:
General improvements for fingerprint sensor stability and performance. It’s not clear if this is different than the standalone fingerprint sensor fix that Google deployed in November, but there is one new bit:
“additional fixes for issues preventing enrollment of new fingerprints in certain conditions.”
Camera improvements. The December 2021 update will bring many improvements to the Pixel 6 series camera experience, including general image quality improvements in camera preview and capture, general improvements for camera stability and performance, general improvements for auto-focus response in certain capture modes, general improvements for color consistency in viewfinder preview, and a fix for an issue causing a blank viewfinder preview in certain conditions. (I’ve experienced that latter issue on my Pixel 6 Pro.)
Display fixes. Responding to a complaint I made in my Pixel 6 Pro review—“the display will often flash twice as it moves into the always-on mode, which is jarring—this update includes a “fix for an issue causing screen flicker after locking or unlocking the device in certain conditions,” plus one that might be related, a “fix for issue preventing Always-on-display from turning on in certain conditions.” In addition, this update includes fixes for occasional screen flicker during brightness adjustment and an issue that prevents Smooth Display to switch the display refresh rate in certain conditions.
System fixes. I’ve had some weird system freezing issues, including an alarming event when I was out in the world recently, plugged the phone into the car charger, and couldn’t get it to light up the display. This may be the fix: “fix for issue causing the device to freeze after sleeping while charging in certain conditions.” I hope so.
There are several other Pixel 6 series-related fixes coming. Check out the original blog post for that, or for the fixes coming to other Pixel devices.