Notebookcheck Logo
, , , , , ,
search relation.
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
 

Google releases Pixel Feature Drop with December 2021 security patch from the Pixel 3a to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro

Google has announced new features for Pixel smartphones as far back as the Pixel 3. (Image source: Google)
Google has announced new features for Pixel smartphones as far back as the Pixel 3. (Image source: Google)
Google has announced a new Pixel Feature Drop that also contains the December 2021 security patch. All recent Pixel smartphones are eligible, starting with the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL. However, Google is not ready to push its new Pixel Feature Drop to Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro.

Google has announced a new Feature Drop for Pixel smartphones starting with the Pixel 3. Additionally, this month's update contains over 80 bug fixes, along with the December 2021 security patch update. The bug fixes and changes are:

Device Applicability

  • *[1] Included on Pixel 6 & Pixel 6 Pro
  • *[2] Included on Pixel 4a (5G), Pixel 5, Pixel 5a (5G), Pixel 6 & Pixel 6 Pro
  • *[3] Included on Pixel 4a (5G), Pixel 5, Pixel 5a (5G)
  • *[4] Included on Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a (5G), Pixel 5, Pixel 5a (5G), Pixel 6 & Pixel 6 Pro
  • *[5] Included on Pixel 4 / XL, Pixel 5, Pixel 6 & Pixel 6 Pro
  • *[6] Included on Pixel 4 & Pixel 4 XL
  • *[7] Included on Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a (5G), Pixel 5, Pixel 5a (5G), Pixel 6 & Pixel 6 Pro

Apps

  • Fix for issue causing Assistant to unintentionally start a phone call in certain conditions *[1].
  • Fix for stuck or frozen app UI in certain conditions *[7].

Audio

  • General fixes & improvements for audio playback issues in certain apps *[1].
  • Fix for issue causing audio noise in videos captured while using certain phone cases *[1].
  • Fix for issue causing microphone to cut out during calls in certain conditions *[1].
  • Fix for issue causing occasional audio glitch when adjusting volume levels *[1].
  • Fix for issue occasionally preventing audio playback from speaker in certain conditions *[1].
  • Fix for issue preventing Now Playing to search for unrecognized music *[1].

Battery & Power

  • Additional improvements for battery charging information shown in notification shade *[4].
  • General improvements for battery & thermal performance in certain conditions *[7].
  • General improvements for wireless charging in certain conditions *[5].
  • Improvements for alignment detection on Pixel Stand in certain conditions *[5].
  • Fix for issues occasionally causing incorrect Battery usage accounting to display in Settings *[7].

Biometrics

  • General improvements for fingerprint sensor stability & performance *[1].
  • Additional fixes for issues preventing enrollment of new fingerprints in certain conditions *[1].
  • General improvements for face unlock stability & performance *[6].

Bluetooth

  • General Bluetooth stability improvements for certain conditions *[3].
  • Fix for distorted audio over Bluetooth in certain scenarios *[1].
  • Fix for issue causing Bluetooth to turn on after disabling in certain conditions *[7].
  • Fix for volume adjustment issues with certain Bluetooth audio devices *[7].

Camera

  • General image quality improvements in camera preview/capture *[1].
  • General improvements for camera stability & performance *[1].
  • General improvements for auto-focus response in certain capture modes *[1].
  • General improvements for color consistency in viewfinder preview *[1].
  • Fix for issue causing blank viewfinder preview in certain conditions *[1].

Display & Graphics

  • Enable ANGLE graphics support library for certain apps and games *[1].
  • Add additional example images for display color options in Settings *[7].
  • General improvements to keep the screen on after multiple manual wakes *[7].
  • General improvements for Adaptive brightness response in certain conditions *[7].
  • Fix for occasional screen flicker during brightness adjustment *[1].
  • Fix for issue preventing Smooth Display to switch display refresh rate in certain conditions *[1].
  • Fix for issue causing screen flicker after locking or unlocking device in certain conditions *[1].
  • Fix for occasional white screen flash after display goes to sleep *[7].

Framework

  • Fix for issue causing app icons to display as pending downloads after installation completes *[7].
  • Fix for issue causing Play store app installation to pause indefinitely in certain conditions *[7].
  • Fix for issue occasionally preventing Work Profile setup to complete in certain conditions *[7].
  • Fix for issue preventing all settings or apps to be restored from backup during setup in certain conditions *[7].

Media

  • Fix for issue causing system crash during media playback in certain conditions *[7].

Network & Telephony

  • General improvements for network connection stability & performance *[7].
  • Fix for crash in Settings when toggling Airplane mode on certain network configurations *[7].
  • Fix for issue that disabled call features on certain devices or networks in certain conditions *[1].

Sensors

  • General improvements for sensor stability & response in certain conditions *[2].
  • General improvements for Quick Tap response & performance *[2].
  • General improvements for Auto-rotate response in certain device orientations *[4].
  • General improvements for Adaptive brightness response in certain conditions *[7].
  • Fix for issue preventing lift to wake and double tap to wake in certain conditions *[1].
  • Fix for issue preventing Always-on-display from turning on in certain conditions *[1].
  • Fix for issue causing unexpected haptics or vibration in certain conditions *[1].

System

  • Kernel update to 4.9.279 for Pixel 3a & Pixel 3a XL.
  • Kernel update to 4.14.243 for Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL & Pixel 4a.
  • Kernel update to 4.19.202 for Pixel 4a (5G), Pixel 5 & Pixel 5a (5G). 
  • General improvements for system stability & performance *[7]
  • Fix for issue causing device to freeze after sleeping while charging in certain conditions *[1].
  • Fix for issue occasionally preventing OTA updates to install *[7].

User Interface

  • Add Material You dynamic theming support for the device boot animation *[7].
  • Improvements for Internet tile in Quick Settings *[7].
  • Improvements for Quick Settings layout in certain device orientations *[7].
  • Fix for issue causing display to stay on during wireless charging *[5].
  • Fix for issue causing Game Dashboard icon to display over lock screen *[7].
  • Fix for issue causing incorrect colors or theme to display in Quick Settings in certain conditions *[7].
  • Fix for issue causing lock screen icons to display in notification shade in certain conditions *[7].
  • Fix for issue causing notification History & Clear all buttons to occasionally display incorrectly *[7].
  • Fix for issue causing persistent app media controls in notification shade in certain conditions *[7].
  • Fix for issue causing persistent call notification in certain conditions *[7].
  • Fix for issue causing persistent Turn off work apps button in app drawer *[7].
  • Fix for issue causing screen flicker after locking or unlocking device in certain conditions *[7].
  • Fix for issue causing Settings to crash in Conversations menu in certain conditions *[7].
  • Fix for issue causing undismissable Game Dashboard button during gameplay in certain conditions *[7].
  • Fix for issue causing app drawer to scroll to the top after clearing search query *[7].
  • Fix for issue causing certain home screen icons to appear misaligned in certain conditions *[7].
  • Fix for issue enabling Quick Settings toggles to be tapped from home screen in certain conditions *[7].
  • Fix for issue hiding date or time in Quick Settings in certain conditions *[7].
  • Fix for issue occasionally causing blank background on home screen after setting wallpaper *[7].
  • Fix for issue occasionally causing Quick Settings to pull down after unlocking device *[7].
  • Fix for issue occasionally causing UI elements to display with transparent backgrounds *[7].
  • Fix for issue occasionally displaying Work Profile badge icon on personal apps or contacts *[7].
  • Fix for issue preventing conversation bubble to be dismissed in certain conditions *[7].
  • Fix for issue preventing search results to display in Settings in certain conditions *[7].
  • Fix for occasional screen flicker in notification shade when dragging from top of screen *[7].
  • Fix for occasional flickering when quickly switching between apps in certain conditions *[7].

Wi-Fi

  • General improvements for Wi-Fi stability & performance *[7].
  • Fix for issue that would occasionally disconnect device from Wi-Fi in certain conditions *[1].

As the table below outlines, Google has added nine features to its Pixel smartphones this month, although two are expansions of existing services to more countries. Additionally, Google had already announced Digital Car Key (DCK) support last week via a wider Android feature drop.

Strangely, this month's Pixel Feature Drop is not yet available on the Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro. Instead, Google has moved all other devices onto its SQ1A software branch, starting with the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL. The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL have received more features in this Feature Drop than the Pixel 3a or Pixel 3a XL, but not via a software update. The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL will receive one more update in Q1 2022.

Google states that the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will receive their December 2021 updates 'later this month'. You can read what changes Google has made with the December 2021 security patch in its latest Android Security Bulletin.

(Image source: Google)

Source(s)

static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment on this article
Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - Senior Tech Writer - 5766 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.
contact me via: @aldersonaj
Please share our article, every link counts!
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 12 > Google releases Pixel Feature Drop with December 2021 security patch from the Pixel 3a to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro
Alex Alderson, 2021-12- 7 (Update: 2021-12- 7)