Google has dropped its November Android 10 update for the Pixel 2, Pixel 3, Pixel 3a, and Pixel 4, which is funny given that Samsung apparently beat Google to the punch on this one—an unexpected move.
If you’re using one of Google’s flagship phones, there’s no reason for you not to update to the latest version of Android 10. Not only does it fix bugs and patch holes, it might add a little functionality, too, depending on what device you’re using.
Before we get to what’s in the update, let’s go over how to install it. Open up your app drawer by swiping up from the bottom of the display, and tap on Settings. From there, scroll down a bit until you see the System section. Tap on that, tap on Advanced, and tap on System update. With luck, your device is already installing the November security update. If not, you can tap it to check for (and install) any available updates.
While that chugs along, here’s a quick look at what’s in the November Android 10 update. Not only do you get a ton of patches for various vulnerabilities—rated from “moderate” to “critical” severity levels by Google itself—but the update also contains a number of “functional updates” that should tweak various aspects of your Pixel device:
Improvements for Google Assistant Hotword (Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL)
Improvements for bottom speaker audio quality (Pixel 3)
Additional fixes for some devices stuck during boot (Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL)
Additional support for Xbox BT controller mapping (Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL)
Smooth Display improvements (Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL)
Camera quality improvements (Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL)
That second-to-last improvement should be of particular interest to Pixel 4 owners, at it appears to widen the brightness level for when your device will use its 90Hz refresh rate (for a smoother picture) instead of dropping down to 60Hz. Reportedly, your regular Pixel 4 kicks up to 90Hz at around half brightness and the Pixel 4 XL will run 90Hz at any brightness.
we won't know until google tells us what it did, but i just dropped brightness waaaaaay down and it held 90Hz. https://t.co/0TFsIwM0gi
— Kellen (@iamkellex) November 4, 2019
It’s unclear what Google means by “camera quality improvements,” but it would be great if this included a fix for the Pixel 4's white balance issues, as we’ve previously reported. We haven’t seen anybody talk about improvements here, but it does appear as if the update potentially improves the quality of your selfies (and allows you to save still images from 4K videos).
Most noteworthy, Google’s November Android 10 update is the first that officially drops support for its O.G. Pixel—the 2016 Pixel and Pixel XL, that is. But we all saw that coming, right?