It's the beginning of a brand new month which can mean only one thing. You're bound to write the wrong date on the first check you write in December. But it also means that the December update for the Pixels is here. The update includes 10 functional patches
that will improve specific features of the Pixel 2 through the Pixel 4 lines; This is the last monthly update for the original Pixel
and Pixel XL
, which were launched in 2016.
The Pixel 4 XL
received a fix that will stop static noise from coming out of the speaker when Spotify is streaming some tunes. Yes, we realize that sometimes you might not be able to tell the difference between a hit song and static noise, but after the update, you won't have to worry about this. The Pixel 4 XL is also getting a patch that fixes an issue where static noise could be heard on videos made with third-party camera apps. It isn't clear whether this is also referring to the metronome-like steady tapping sound that surfaced on videos recorded with the Instagram and Snapchat camera
. And the Pixel 4 XL also received a patch that allows the phone to support Dark mode when the phone is booting up.
There are eight Pixel security patches included in today's update
The update fixes an issue on the Pixel 3 XL
, Pixel 3a XL
, and the Pixel 4 XL that led these models to lose Bluetooth pairing information. Speaking of pairing, another functional patch provides a fix allowing Pixel 4 XL handsets to pair with a Garmin wearable device. With various uses, the Pixel 4 XL display flickers; the update sent out today includes a functional patch to end this issue.
Two other functional patches were sent out just for the Pixel 4 XL. One improves the intensity of haptic vibration under certain conditions while the other takes care of an issue that led to the screen orientation being misaligned at various times. The last patch, developed for the Pixel 2 XL
, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a XL
, and Pixel 4 XL, fixes the Google Pay card display in power menu. Google also points out that in addition, the December update includes hundreds of various fixes and improvements in areas including general performance, stability, display, and Face unlock (Pixel 4 line).
With the update, the Pixel 4's Live Captions feature becomes available to Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a users. This allows them to see captions created in real-time on 2018-2019 Pixel phones. For example, they can watch a sporting event live and see the play-by-play captioned as it is announced. Or, while watching a live news bulletin, Live Captions will capture what the news announcers are saying as they are saying it. Lastly, today's update also adds gesture support and Pixel Themes for third-party launchers.
Functional patches for the Pixels included in the December update
Besides the functional patches, there are also eight security patches for the Pixel handsets ranging from critical to moderate. For Android phones eligible for the monthly security update
, 15 issues are fixed with the Android security patch dated 2019-12-01 and 27 are repaired with the security patch dated 2019-12-05. The issues range from moderate to critical including vulnerabilities that could allow an attacker with privileged access to access personal and sensitive data.
You can find the update waiting for your Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL by going to Settings > System > Advanced > System update. The update for the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL will roll out next week. This update is the last one for 2019. And 2020 could be the last year of support for 2017's Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.