Monthly security update includes two important fixes for the Pixel 4

Monthly security update includes two important fixes for the Pixel 4
It's that time again Pixel owners. The November Android security update is here and this time there are six functional patches. These are fixes for issues that have nothing to do with the security of the phone. For example, there are two updates that are aimed at the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL only. One is an improvement to the Smooth Display feature. We imagine that this is the update that will allow Pixel 4 users to employ the 90Hz refresh rate (which Google calls Smooth Display) even when the screen's brightness level is set under 75%.
UPDATE: Following the update, the Pixel 4 XL is keeping the refresh rate of the screen at 90Hz no matter what the brightness level is. With a smaller battery, the Pixel 4 will drop from 90Hz to 60Hz once the brightness level of the display drops under 42%.

Google says that it limited the use of the faster refresh rate because, for some content, the 90Hz refresh rate is a waste and a drain on the battery. So in other words, the Pixel 4 screen can switch from 90Hz to 60Hz depending on the content currently on the screen. And when the screen is darker, users' eyes are more apt to see an annoying flicker as the screen switches between 90Hz, 60Hz and back to 90Hz. So Google disables Smooth Display when the screen's brightness level drops under 75%, as we already pointed out. The company has already said that it would send out an update to allow Pixel 4 users to experience buttery smooth scrolling and smoother mobile game animation even when the screen is at a dimmer setting. And that update has seemingly arrived.

The Pixel 4 is receiving a functional patch to fix issues with the cameras

Another functional patch pushed out just for the latest Pixel models brings camera quality improvements. This patch could fix a couple of issues with the camera on the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. The first problem is that users are hearing a popping or tapping sound on video playbacks. The sound, which users compared to the constant ticking or tapping that a metronome makes, was at first thought to be related to the use of the third-party cameras found inside apps like Instagram and Snapchat. However, the noise was heard even when some phones were placed in safe mode; additionally, the tapping was heard on videos recorded by the stock camera app using the Playground mode indicating that the problem was with the Pixel's own cameras.

Another problem with the Pixel 4 XL camera that might be fixed with the new update deals with the algorithm used for white balance correction; indoor lighting is coming out wrong with red lighting looking yellow and purple lighting coming out blue. We said in our original story that this might be the sign of a problem with HDR+ processing that could be corrected by a software update. This theory can now be tested.

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 3 series are getting improvements that will allow Google Assistant to respond faster to the "Ok Google," or "Hey Google" hotwords and the Pixel 3 (and just the Pixel 3) is receiving an update that will improve the quality of the bottom speaker. A patch for the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a lines contain additional improvements for those models that ended up stuck in a bootloop after the Android 10 update was disseminated in September. And lastly, Pixel 2, Pixel 3, Pixel 3a and Pixel 4 phones are getting additional support for mapping of the Xbox Bluetooth controller.

Future functional patches for the Pixel 4 should include one that adds an option to the Face unlock biometric security feature that will allow users to demand that their eyes be open to work. Right now, a Pixel 4 user could have his or her phone unlocked while sleeping or knocked unconscious. Google has announced that it will send out an update to fix this omission.

The security update for the Pixels is dated November 5th and it can be downloaded by going to Settings > System > Advanced > System update.

Related phones

Pixel 4
  • Display 5.7" 1080 x 2280 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Octa-core, 2840 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 2800 mAh
Pixel 4 XL
  • Display 6.3" 1440 x 3040 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Octa-core, 2840 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 3700 mAh



2. inFla

Posts: 165; Member since: Aug 17, 2018

Some phones have bugs, Pixels have critical bugs.

3. dnomadic

Posts: 436; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Would cause these critical, but man the first batch of Pixel phones ALWAYS seem like they are test devices, I have always picked them up 2-3 months after release which seems to be safe place.

6. thxultra

Posts: 466; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

Hardly critical when most people don't even notice them and they are fixed with a simple software update. Not like there is a major hardware flaw that they tell their customers to fix with a case or have to recall the device because the battery may explode...

4. bitwiser

Posts: 27; Member since: Sep 28, 2018

I think these sites and pixel "Critics" are just dramatic. I have bought the pixel on day one 4 years in a row and NEVER had any of these "major" bugs. I don't think any of this stuff is critical. So I don't post a video to snapchat or users might hear a popping sound...again mine is not doing this :P or I long press my power button if I don't want someone to look at my phone while sleeping. So overblown or they just need something to write about.

7. SyCo87

Posts: 325; Member since: Sep 19, 2013

Hopefully the next Pixel covers the basics before they work new features.

8. Guseinguliev

Posts: 122; Member since: Mar 04, 2019

It was necessary to put a normal battery and not decide for the owner.

9. kennybenny

Posts: 221; Member since: Apr 10, 2017

Google Pixel 4: 2800 mAh Google Pixel 5: 2600 mAh Google Pixel 6: 2400 mAh Google Pixel 7 2200 mAh And it goes on to 0 mAh where you would have to carry a power bank everywhere with your Pixel plugged in 100% of the time......

10. rsiders

Posts: 1988; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

Can someone still unlock your phone with your eyes closed? It's mind boggling that Google actually shipped the phones knowing that was a thing.

11. 1Critic4U

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 06, 2019

One bug I have found is when you use one Bluetooth audio device like a set of headphones and then turn off that pair of headphones and connect to another set like either a car or Bluetooth headset your Bluetooth mic doesn't work until you restart the phone, I've tried clearing cache, setting battery optimization turned to unmonitored and updating to this and nothing helps, however, if you put it onto the speaker phone or handset people can here you and the only way to fix the Bluetooth issue so far is to restart the phone, but once it connects to more that one headset, headphone or car receiver, including, connecting it to Android Auto the problem is back again, I have even found others with the same issue as well on Google Pixel Community - "PIxel 4XL Bluetooth Mic Issues?"

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