Android 13 gets its first update since its August launch thanks to the Pixel security patch and a large number of fixes for Android devices.
The September patch will affect several devices in the Pixel 4 series (4, 4 XL, 4a and 4a 5G), as well as the Pixel 5 (5, 5a and 5a 5G) and Pixel 6 (6 and 6 Pro lines). According to Google (opens in a new tab)Deployment begins today and “will continue for the next week in phases depending on operator and device.” The update will also be released on Pixel 6a devices later this month. Device owners will receive a notification letting them download the patch once it becomes available.
Google highlights four specific changes regarding battery and biometric data issues on these Pixel phones. They were reports on the rapid discharge of the battery (opens in a new tab) after upgrading to Android 13. The blame has been attributed to “some launcher background activities”, but the patch notes do not detail what these background activities are.
The update also fixes an issue that prevented wireless charging. Return in August, users of the Google Pixel subreddit suddenly discovered that the wireless charging feature on their phone suddenly stopped working. A few found a workaround like pairing the Pixel Stand to the phone and a difficult device restart, but it wasn’t a consistent solution.
For biometrics, Google has improved “fingerprint recognition and response under certain conditions.” Some Pixel Owners Discovered (opens in a new tab) a bug that unlocks the phone with a fingerprint not registered in the scanner. In some cases, the scanner would accept a completely different person’s fingerprint. Needless to say, this was a serious security vulnerability.
As for the other two changes, the patch fixes a Bluetooth connectivity issue that was preventing some devices from connecting to Pixel phones, and Google is making some tweaks to the UI. Apparently, the notifications would appear for much less time than they should be on the lock screen.
In addition to the four Pixel updates, all Android devices will have 51 additional patches to address security vulnerabilities. This update will be released periodically throughout the rest of the month.
Looking at the September Security Bulletin (opens in a new tab) on the Android Open Source Project site, the fixes are split into two packages and address bugs that range from moderate to critical. One of the major fixes will come in the first package, called the September 1 security patch. According to the notes, there is an issue with the Android platform that could allow a bad actor to gain elevated access to device resources without requiring administrator privileges.
For the second package, known as the September 5 security patch, it fixes some problems with some third-party components such as MediaTek and Qualcomm. The patch notes do not go into detail, which exactly is included in the September 5 bundle. Instead, it prompts readers to consult the relevant security bulletin websites for these third-party components for details.
Looking at the September MediaTek newsletter (opens in a new tab)The company’s patch seems to focus on fixing inappropriate validations that could give bad gamers similar increased access on Android devices. For Qualcomm (opens in a new tab)its update fixes the same vulnerabilities while fixing some memory corruption issues.
In total, Pixel owners are potentially looking at 55 security patches that will appear on their device. If you want to receive various updates, Google has a set of instructions for updating your phone (opens in a new tab).
And in case you weren’t aware, Google recently confirmed that the upcoming Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro smartphones will be revealed on October 6 at the Made By Google event. Be sure to check it out TechRadar Pixel 7 coverage learn more.