One of the advantages of owning a Pixel is that it makes you first in line to receive Android updates. The next monthly Android security update is dated November 5th, but some Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL users have accidentally received an early version of the update that was meant for Googlers only. This isn't the first time that this has occurred, although when it happened to owners of the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL last summer, the update was over a week early. On June 19th, the July Android security update arrived on affected units.
According to Android Police, this morning it received word that a confidential version of the November Android security update had been received by some owners of the Pixel 3 line. The update was meant to be received by Google employees only judging from the note that accompanied the patch that said "CONFIDENTIAL INTERNAL ONLY." Google likes to send out what is commonly referred to as "dogfood." This merely means that the company is "eating its own dogfood" or using its own products, or software in this case. By doing this, Google can find out in advance whether there are any issues with an update before it is sent out to the public.
Pixel 3a users in June, it revealed that the email address that Googlers were suppose to use to report feedback to the company was Android-dogfood-discuss@Google.com.Of course, this tends to backfire if the update meant to be used internally for "dogfooding" reaches the public first or even at the same time. It should be noted that when Google accidentally sent out the July update to
Speaking of software updates, earlier today we told you that an official Google account on Reddit revealed that the Pixel 4's Recorder app, which includes real-time transcription, will be made available to older Pixel models via a software update, although we'd be surprised if it were included in the next one coming on Tuesday. This is a particularly helpful feature for those who need to take accurate notes for school or work. Also, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a series will be receiving the Astrophotography feature that also debuted on the Pixel 4 line.
Pixel 4 users expect to receive several important updates in the near future
Speaking of the Pixel 4 family, it is expected to receive some updates in the near future to exterminate some bugs and improve the user experience. First, an option will be added to Face unlock that will allow a user to request that his eyes be open for the biometric security feature to work. Currently, Face unlock will unlock a Pixel 4 even when the user has his eyes closed. In theory, someone could knock a Pixel 4 owner unconscious, put the phone to his face, and gain entry to the device. Or, the same thing could be attempted when the phone's owner is sleeping.
Another update is expected to allow Pixel 4 users to keep the screen refreshing at 90Hz even when the brightness is set under 75%. Google limited the use of the faster refresh rate because it drains the battery and because the human eye is more sensitive to flicker when the screen is not as bright. And since the 90Hz rate, by default, will switch from 90Hz to 60Hz depending on the content being viewed, Google wanted to prevent the screen flicker from being seen easily. Thus, the feature is disabled when the brightness of the screen is set under 75%. There is a workaround that we've discussed that can force the 90Hz refresh rate at all times via a toggle switch. This can be done under Developer options. Go to Settings > About phone. Scroll down to the Build number and tap on it seven times. This will open up a menu called Developer options that will include a toggle switch allowing the 90Hz refresh rate to stay enabled under all conditions.
Updates will be needed to eliminate a popping noise heard on videos recorded on some Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL units, and there seems to be an issue with the algorithm used to correct the white balance on the new Pixel phones. As we said, the next functional update is coming on Tuesday and we should learn then if any of these issues are being taken care of right away.