Did you know that here we are in the beginning of a new year and some Google Pixel users have yet to receive the December security update? That might be okay if you own a low-end budget Android phone, but one of the reasons to buy a Pixel is to make sure that you are receiving security updates at the beginning of each month. And the quarterly feature drop highlights another reason to own a Pixel; cool new features from Google that most Android users won't see for some time are now being pushed out every three months.
Pixel 4 series, Google has always been good at enhancing older Pixel models by disseminating some features to them. As an example, Google's Recorder app will tape audio and save the file. It also will transcribe audio in real time and display it on the Pixel's screen. This feature came out of the box with the Pixel 4 but was also made available to the Pixel 2, Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a lines. Back in October, the app was tested against the fastest talking woman in the world and held its own.While some features are limited to the latest
Google will kill two birds with one update
According to the Made by Google Twitter account, those phones (mostly Pixel 3 and Pixel 4 units) that have not received the December update will soon be sent a joint 'December and January' security update to kill two birds with one stone. Google disseminated a tweet today adding to a thread that was started in the middle of last month by one Mirak Habbiyyieh (@mezgarth) who originally wanted to know if there was "any word when the December update will arrive on my Pixel 3 XL with (Google) Fi? Anxiously awaiting....." The very next day, Google responded by saying, "We've started rolling out December security patch update and your Pixel phone should receive it soon. Updates are released in phases and you'll receive a notification once it comes through. Appreciate your patience."
But that was not the end of the matter. Mr. Habbiyyieh told Google today, two weeks after he was told that the December patch had started rolling out, that he was "super bummed out" because the update was not delivered when he was told to expect it. Google responded with a tweet that is a valid response for any Pixel user who has yet to receive any sort of official update since November. "We understand your concern, Mirak. If you did not receive the December update, in the coming days you'll be receiving a joint January and December security update. We apologize for the inconvenience."
So there it is, directly from a Googler's, er, QWERTY keyboard. Part of the problem is that Google has conditioned Pixel users to expect to receive the latest update right away by going to Settings > System >Advanced > System update > Check for update. Tapping that last button is supposed to release the latest software update regardless of where the user's Pixel stands in the update queue.
The delay in sending out the monthly patches doesn't even include a promise Google made to add an option to Face Unlock. This additional option will allow Pixel 4 users to request that their eyes be open in order to unlock their phone using Face Unlock. Without that option, a Pixel 4 user could in theory get bashed in the head with a Pixel Slate or some other heavy object and be knocked out. This would allow someone with malicious intent to shove the unconscious Pixel owner's device in front of his face and unlock it.
If Google can't get its act together in regard to software updates for the Pixels, it is going to have real trouble finding buyers for the phones.