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Pixel 6 gets its first stable update since November

Pixel 6 Pro.
Enlarge / Pixel 6 Pro.

Ron Amadeo

Google is getting back on the update horse for Pixel 6. After several delays and a revoked update, the company was finally caught by patches for its flagship smartphone last weekend. Assuming all goes well, this will be the first Pixel 6 update that has been stuck since November.

Software updates are supposed to be a big selling point for the Pixel line, but Google has not done so well in delivering them. The phone came with the "November" Android security patch, and in mid-November, Google patched the fingerprint reader. The beginning of December should have brought the December security patch to the Pixel 6, but Google delayed that update until the middle of the month, saying a mile-long list of bug fixes would be included in it. The December Pixel 6 update was launched in the middle of the month, but Google did not send the update to most users. The company ended up pulling the update due to connectivity issues and some broken features. January rolled around with several security fixes and a fix for Android's emergency call issues, but Pixel 6 also did not get the patch at the time when Google said the update would be out by "the end of January." Well, the time has finally come. This past weekend, Google began releasing the January security update for Pixel 6 users. For most users, this will be the first patch since November. The update includes everything in the Android security bulletins for November and December, plus these two sets of Pixel 6-specific bug fixes. The list goes on forever. The update is rolling out now and I was able to pull it down as needed by pressing the "check for updates" button.

Since its launch, the Pixel 6 update situation has been a disaster. The phone saw the release of a major new Android version, Android 12, and a brand new hardware line, with Pixel 6's "Google Tensor SoC" representing a shift from Qualcomm hardware to a Samsung Exynos-based SoC and modem. just as the Pixel 6 was rushed out the door to hit the market before the Christmas shopping season, and Google obviously begged for more than it could chew. Hopefully, the Pixel 6s update issues are behind, for it is one of the best Android phones available.

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