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Android Update Technology Reviews

Google rolls out January 2023 security update for Pixel phones

Google has started rolling out the 2023’s first update for Pixel phones. Yes, the January 2023 security update is out for eligible Pixel phones. As always, the Pixel 4a or later models are eligible for the new software. Read along to know more details about the Pixel January security update.

Google already released a stack of new features to the Pixel phones with the last month’s Pixel Feature Drop update, so, you can not expect much from this incremental upgrade. Today’s release is more focused on the security side and brings a few enhancements.

Talking about the enhancements, then the software brings support for Spatial Audio to Pixel 6 Pro, Pixel 7, and Pixel 7 Pro. This month’s release brings improvements to fingerprint and biometrics. The upgrade addresses a couple of issues including corrupted or distorted photos while zooming, fixed the issue occasionally causing UI to display in landscape layout while device is in portrait position, and a few more.

Here’s the complete list of changes coming with the Pixel January security update.

  • Audio
    • Add support for Spatial Audio with certain devices and accessories *[1]
  • Biometrics
    • Additional improvements for fingerprint recognition and response in certain conditions *[2]
  • Bluetooth
    • Fix for issue occasionally preventing certain Bluetooth Low Energy devices or accessories from pairing or reconnecting
    • Fix for issue preventing audio from playing over certain headphones or accessories while connected in certain conditions
  • Camera
    • Fix for issue occasionally causing captured photos to appear corrupted or distorted while zoomed in *[3]
  • Display & Graphics
    • Fix for issue occasionally preventing display from waking or appearing turned off while device is powered on *[3]
  • User Interface
    • Fix for issue occasionally causing UI to display in landscape layout while device is held in portrait mode

It is a small incremental software upgrade weighing only 35MB in size. Google officially confirmed the rollout and shared the details on the Pixel support page.

Google plants the new firmware on Pixel 4a, 4a 5G, 5a, and 5a 5G with the TQ1A.230105.001 firmware version. Whereas the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and Pixel 7 receive the new software with TQ1A.230105.002 version number, and the remaining Pixel 6a and Pixel 7 Pro pick up the new firmware with TQ1A.230105.001.A2 build number.

If you own the Pixel 4a and live in Canada then this build is rolling with a TQ1A.230105.001.B1 version number. And the Telstra (AU) model receive the new update with TQ1A.230105.002.A1 on the Pixel 7 Pro and TQ1A.230105.001.A3 on Pixel 7.

The update is rolling in a staged manner, you will receive the January 2023 update OTA notification once available on your device, you can tap on it and download the update or simply head over to the Settings > System > Advanced > System update and install the new software.

Additionally, you can manually install the January 2023 update on your Google Pixel phone by sideloading the update. The factory images and OTA files of the September update are already available. But make sure to take a backup before sideloading the new software.

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