Android’s November security patch is rolling out today and brings several improvements to Google’s Pixel 4, as well as some older Pixel devices.
According to the Pixel Update Bulletin, there are six ‘Functional patches’ in total.
Two of those are specifically for the Pixel 4 and 4 XL, which is set to get improvements to the Smooth Display. Filed under ‘Display/Graphics,’ it isn’t immediately clear what this patch does.
However, it likely relates to the Pixel 4’s 90Hz display and Google’s promised fix for how it automatically adjusts the refresh rate.
The Pixel 4 automatically adjusts the refresh rate of its display to preserve battery life. This means that in some scenarios, the screen scales down to 60Hz when the higher 90Hz isn’t needed — such as when watching 60fps video or in some apps that cap at 30fps.
However, Google also added a parameter that forced the display to run at 60Hz when below 75 percent brightness. After some outcry, Google said it would fix the issue in a future software update.
The second Pixel 4-exclusive patch relates to the camera. The Update Bulletin says the update brings “camera quality improvements” to the Pixel 4 and 4 XL. It isn’t clear what, exactly, that entails.
Additionally, every Pixel from the Pixel 2 to the Pixel 4 will get “additional support for Xbox [Bluetooth] controller mapping” with the November security patch.
The patch brings improvements to the Google Assistant hotword on the Pixel 2, 2 XL, 3 and 3 XL. The Pixel 3 will get improved audio quality on the bottom speaker too.
Finally, the Pixel 3 series and 3a series get “additional fixes for some devices stuck during boot” with the patch.
Ultimately, the November patch is jam-packed with new features and improvements for Google’s Pixel line. The update is rolling out to devices now — you can check for it by opening the Settings app, tapping ‘System,’ ‘Advanced’ then ‘System update.’ Typically, these updates roll out in stages, so you may not see it immediately.
For those who are really impatient, you can access the factory and over-the-air (OTA) images, here and here respectively, for a manual installation.