November 2019 Android security update now available for Pixel phones, but not the original Pixel
It’s a new month, which means new security updates for Android… unless you have an original Pixel or Pixel XL.
Google is rolling out the November 2019 security updates for the Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, and the Essential Phone. Notably absent is the Pixel and Pixel XL, which ended their monthly security patch schedule with last month’s update.
There are a handful of feature improvements in this update, including some tweaks that should make the Google Assistant Hotword feature of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 3 families better, improvements for the Pixel 3’s bottom speaker quality, and some stability improvements.
One update that sticks out is for the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. Labelled “Smooth Display improvements,” this may be a part of the patch Google discussed concerning the controversial 90 Hz display used in the Pixel 4 family of handsets. Eagle-eyed users noticed that the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL would downclock the refresh rate of their displays to 60 Hz (or even 30 Hz) when certain apps were open. Similarly, others cried foul upon discovering the display would drop to 60 Hz at brightness levels of 75% or less.
After being called out, Google promised a fix that would allow users to force 90 Hz mode without diving into developer settings. It looks like this security update includes at least part of that fix.
Essential also began pushing the security update to the PH-1 handsets still in use. Say what you will about the Essential Phone, but the company’s dedication to software updates this long after launch is admirable.
If you own a Pixel device or Essential Phone, have you received the latest software update? If you have a Pixel 4, are you able to force 90 Hz mode? Let us know in the comments below.