Android 13 is getting its first update since launching in August via a Pixel security patch and a slew of fixes for Android devices.
The September patch will affect multiple Pixel 4 series devices (the 4, 4 XL, 4a, and 4a 5G) as well as those in the Pixel 5 (the 5, 5a, and 5a 5G) and Pixel 6 (the 6 and 6 Line Pro) . According to Google (opens in new tab), rollout starts today and “will continue over the next week in phases depending on carrier and device.” The update will also roll out to Pixel 6a devices later in the month. Device owners will receive a notification informing them to download the patch as soon as it becomes available.
Google highlights four specific changes that address issues with battery and biometrics on these Pixel phones. There were reports of batteries running out quickly (opens in new tab) after updating to Android 13. Blame is being blamed on “certain launcher background activities”, however the patch notes don’t detail what those background activities are.
The update also resolves an issue that prevented wireless charging. back in august, Google Pixel subreddit users suddenly found that the wireless charging feature on their phone suddenly stopped working. Some found a workaround like pairing the Pixel Stand to the phone and resetting the device, but it wasn’t a consistent fix.
For biometrics, Google has improved “fingerprint recognition and response under certain conditions”. Any Discovered pixel owners (opens in new tab) a bug that would unlock the phone using an unregistered fingerprint on the scanner. And in some cases, the scanner would accept a fingerprint from a completely different person. Needless to say, this was a major security breach.
As for the other two changes, the patch fixes a Bluetooth connectivity issue that prevented certain devices from connecting to Pixel phones, and Google is making some UI tweaks. Apparently the notifications would appear much shorter than they should on the lock screen.
In addition to the four Pixel-specific updates, there are 51 additional patches that will be released for all Android devices that address security vulnerabilities. This update will be released periodically during the rest of the month.
Looking at the September Security Bulletin (opens in new tab) on the Android Open Source Project website, the fixes are split into two packages and pertain to bugs ranging from moderate to critical severity. One of the most important fixes will arrive in the first package, known as the September 1st security patch. According to the notes, there is an issue with the Android framework that could allow a malicious actor to gain elevated access to a device’s resources without needing admin permission.
For the second package, known as the September 5th security patch, it fixes some issues with certain third-party components such as those from MediaTek and Qualcomm. The patch notes don’t detail what exactly is in the September 5th patch. Instead, it instructs readers to review the respective security bulletin web pages for these third-party components if they want details.
Looking at the September newsletter for MediaTek (opens in new tab)The company’s patch appears to be focused on fixing improper validations that can give bad actors similar elevated access on Android devices. for Qualcomm (opens in new tab)their update addresses the same vulnerabilities as well as fixing some memory corruption issues.
So in total, Pixel owners are potentially looking at 55 security fixes for their devices. If you are interested in getting the various updates, Google has a set of instructions on how to update your phone (opens in new tab).
And in case you didn’t know, Google recently confirmed that the upcoming Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro smartphones will be unveiled on October 6 at the Made By Google event. be sure to check ‘s Pixel 7 Coverage learn more.