January patches for Google's Pixels are now live, together with a decent set of functional patch notes. Outside your usual security improvements, that means Pixel owners can also look forward to a handful of fixes, including some sound fixes for the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G, better automatic brightness on this year's phones, plus call improvements on certain MVNOs, and auto-rotation improvements across the whole currently supported Pixel lineup — no longer including the Pixel 2.
The full functional patch notes for this month are just below:
Automatic brightness is certainly one area where the 2020 Pixels could stand some improvement, and thankfully Google has included further fixes for the middling performance of the Pixel 4a, 4a 5G, and 5. Though we haven't noticed any issues with the speakers on the 4a 5G, fixes for noise in "certain scenarios" on that device are also included, plus a tweak to the volume of system sounds on the Pixel 5.
Other changes are Pixel-wide across the entire currently supported lineup. Although we haven't run into the issue, a fix for intermittent restarts in "certain apps" is also included, as are some tweaks to automatic rotation and calls on unnamed MVNO networks.
As usual, this month's patches also include several security fixes in both "High" and "Critical" severity across the general security bulletin and the Pixel-specific one, so it's in your best interests to pull the update down sooner rather than later.
According to the usual schedule, the update should be rolling out via the traditional means in the coming hours. However, downloads for both sideloadable OTAs and factory images are already available. Most builds are unified, though the Pixel 3 series, Pixel 4a 5G, and Pixel 5 have separate Verizon versions.