Like clockwork, Google has just released its monthly Pixel updates, delivering both security enhancements as well as bug fixes and other improvements. This month, we have seven changes noted in the so-called "functional patch" notes, including auto-rotation improvements, automatic brightness fixes for the Pixel 4a, a bootloop fix, and a handful of other changes. Sadly, this month also marks the end of the Pixel 2 and 2 XL's stated support lifetime. Google has since confirmed to us that the phones will only get one more update after this in December.
Lost in yesterday's Android 11 hullabaloo was another bit of news: Security patches for Google's Pixel series were released together as part of the Android 11 update. This month's security-oriented fixes are more numerous than usual, with plenty of "high" and "critical" vulnerabilities included, so be sure to install the Android 11 update sooner rather than later.
Samsung just finished unveiling the Galaxy Note20 series, along with the Tab S7, Watch3, and a few other electronic gizmos. That's all par for the course in Unpacked, but Samsung also snuck in a surprise near the end of the stream. Because Samsung (apparently) supports using smartphones for longer, it now promises OS updates for up to "three device generations."
Samsung is usually one of the better OEMs when it comes to releasing timely security patches for its phones, even beating Google to the punch at times. But even Samsung can only afford to keep older devices updated for so long. The company has recently revised its security update list with some changes, including ending patches for the Galaxy S7 Active, as well as changing some other older devices to a less frequent schedule.
Samsung's phones appear to have beaten Google again to deliver this month's security patches. Reports indicate that some U.S. models of the Galaxy S10, S20, and Note10 series started receiving the update early this morning, though it isn't landing on all variants at once.
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.
Samsung’s once-flagship Galaxy S8 series turned three following the recent launch of the Galaxy S20 line. While the company usually commits to two years of regular OS and security updates for its high-end models, the releases start to get a bit more infrequent after that. That's just what's happening now to the manufacturer's 2017 Galaxy flagship.
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.
We're officially on the road to Android 11, which means a whole round of developer preview builds are on the way to Pixel phones — as well as other non-Google phones likely to be announced at I/O in May that will go through their own beta stack. Unfortunately, for O.G. Pixel and Pixel XL owners, they won't be joining for the ride.
For some, the snazzy new face unlock system on Google's latest Pixel 4 is a whole lot less convenient than it should be. Reports over the last couple of months indicate that the face unlock process is simply failing for a handful of Pixel 4 and 4 XLs, even after re-enrolling their faces or resetting the phone. Thankfully, the issue doesn't sound too widespread.