Google Delivers January Update for Pixel, But Not for Pixel 6 Series

Posted on January 5, 2022 by Paul Thurrott in Android with 12 Comments

For the second month in a row, Google has issued a monthly update to all supported Pixel handsets except the Pixel 6 series. The January 2022 Google Pixel Update is now available on the Pixel 3a, 4, 4a, 4a with 5G, 5, and 5a series of handsets.

“All supported Pixel devices running Android 12 will receive these software updates starting today, with the exception of the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, which will receive the update later this month,” a Google support document notes. “The rollout will continue over the next week in phases depending on carrier and device. Users will receive a notification once the OTA (over-the-air) [update] becomes available for their device.  We encourage you to check your Android version and update to receive the latest software.”

I checked for—and received—this update on my Pixel 5a yesterday, the day it was released, and then installed it immediately. This is how it has always worked with unlocked Pixel handsets, in my experience: Google issues a monthly update, you check for it, and it’s available immediately.

That was not the case, however, with the Pixel 6 Pro I purchased in November. When the first monthly update for this device was announced in December, Google for some reason delayed its release on Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro only by one week; other supported Pixels, including my Pixel 5a received it immediately. But when the day finally came, the update never arrived, and as the days and then weeks passed, Google remained silent.

Finally, three weeks later, Google admitted that it had silently “paused” the December update for the Pixel 6 series because of reliability issues. The new plan was to deliver it “by late January.” Given the language in the January 2022 Google Pixel Update, it’s reasonable to assume that Pixel 6 and 6 Pro users will simply get the January 2022 update “later this month,” and that it will include everything we expected a month ago.

And to be clear, this is a very important set of updates for the Pixel 6 series, which arrived in November with several high-profile problems related to its fingerprint reader, display, camera, and underlying system. Why Google can’t fix the one issue with the December update and deliver it more quickly is still very much unclear.

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Comments (12)

12 responses to “Google Delivers January Update for Pixel, But Not for Pixel 6 Series”

  1. yoshi

    I'm assuming it has to be Tensor related at this point. Not a good look overall.

  2. Pgiftos

    I'm not happy, the Pixel 6 Pro in my first unlocked phone. I expect more from Google.

  3. brettscoast

    This is bizarre from Google what's not happening with Pixel 6\6 Pro updates, there are glaring issues that need fixing yesterday not kicked down the road another month or two.

  4. winner

    You would have thought they would have found these things in beta testing.

    Still, Microsoft has taken almost a year to fix some very critical Exchange problems that endanger companies from nation-state actors. Apple famously had an iOS version update that broke the math on their calculator app. So it does happen to everybody.

  5. nicholas_kathrein

    Let's give Google a break. The update had issues around the holidays. So many people are out of work on vacation and then COVID hit and I can tell you it hit like 200 plus people in my company just in the last week or so. Then after they fix it they still got a QA it and maybe those people are unavailable again because of COVID or something. You don't want them to mess up twice by fixing the bug and then making a new one that they should have caught.

  6. markbyrn

    Just got the update for my Pixel 4XL.

  7. nhickey

    Knocking on wood, but I got my P6P a week ago and have not had ANY issues with it. Fingerprint reader works fine, battery gets me through a full day - even though it's still the break-in period and I'm using it "all the time", no issues with charging and I love the adaptive charge overnight so I'm not burning out the battery prematurely (buh-bye AcuBattery), super happy with the expected ease of integration with Google apps and services (good riddance Samsung Calendar, Mail, Messages, Notes, yadda, yadda, yadda), etc., etc.


    Now, I do readily admit I'm still in the honeymoon period, and I have experienced some wonkiness with the BT connection to my hearing aids, but honestly, that connection was never overly reliable on my S20+ either and I chalk that up to BT in general. Hopefully they fired whoever screwed up the December update and the "January Something" update works as expected.


    In short, fingers crossed but I'm a pretty happy camper so far.

  8. dftf

    Seeing as you've now moved-over to iPhone, Paul, surely this won't bother you as-much now?

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