Most people upgrade phones every 2-3 years, a schedule that's often dictated by carrier promotions and on-contract deals. While our readers likely buck that trend, Pixel owners hanging onto the same model for the last 2-3 years are probably considering upgrading. In the case of the Pixel 2 and 2 XL, there's not much choice — it's that or stick with a phone that's less and less secure with each passing month. So is the Pixel 5 a worthy upgrade? For some of our readers, it might be, especially if they waited out the Pixel 4, as we generally recommended.
November updates are rolling out now for Google's Pixels, and that includes the brand-new Pixel 5 and 4a 5G. Functional patch notes mention a whole pile of fixes for both new phones, as well as older Pixels. That includes fixes for the screen waking at certain times when it shouldn't, inadvertently hidden system navigation during full-screen playback, issues with ringer audio for starred contacts in DND mode, and resolutions for a handful of Android Auto bugs. As expected, the Pixel 2 and 2 XL have no update this month.
We're seeing many reports of Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL phones with swollen batteries — enough to cause the backs of the phones to lift off. There are quite a few reports in Google's support forum and reddit. The issue also affected big boss Artem's 3 XL (#artemsluck, anyone)?
As part of today's Pixel 4a festivities, Google has also announced a new feature that's coming to older Pixels as well. Remember Google's Live Caption feature that transcribes speech in real-time, on-device, for things like videos? Well, Live Caption will now also work for video and voice calls — more useful than ever in these socially distant times.
Google's monthly Pixel software update is now rolling out, including June 2020's security patches and changes announced as part of this quarter's Pixel Feature Drop. The OTA should be rolling out in the traditional sense shortly, but in the meantime, you can sideload the update yourself, or peruse the huge list of Pixel functional patches — they're almost all just fixes, but there's a ton of them.
Google's third Pixel Feature Drop update has been announced with a handful of new features and tweaks for the company's line of phones. While we might yet find more minor changes hiding inside when it rolls out, we're told there are four broad categories of new features Pixel owners can look forward to: New Adaptive Battery tweaks to stretch out battery life, Recorder app integration with the Google Assistant and Google Docs, tools to better manage your sleep, and new personal safety features including crisis alerts and a "safety check" feature that notifies emergency contacts if you don't respond to a scheduled check-in.
May security patches for Google's Pixels are now available, though Samsung beat Google to the punch this month. For some reason, Google has elected not to publish functional patch notes for its Pixels as part of this month's updates, but images are available and the update should be rolling out via traditional channels soon.
Google is rolling out its April security patches/updates for its Pixel phones. Although functional notes this time around simply state a handful of fixes related to Bluetooth and keyboard lag, this update also delivers an anticipated "eyes open" requirement for the Pixel 4's face unlock, which first debuted with the recent Android 11 Developer Preview 2.
Google is no longer selling the Pixel 3 and 3 XL, its pair of 2018 flagship phones. Both devices were removed from availability today on the Google Store, and we have confirmed with a company spokesperson that it has sold through its inventory, and that sales for the phones have completed.
Google has posted images for the March Pixel update to the usual spots for manual installation, if you're too impatient to see it roll out via the traditional means. However, although this month's update is supposed to correspond to the latest Pixel Feature Drop, some of the new features don't seem to be live in the March update just yet. As we noted in our prior coverage, some things may require app updates or server-side changes before they work. (Update: Though they're almost all live for me as of around two hours later.)