Google has just pushed out the December security update for Android, and for Pixel users, this release includes over a dozen functional patches to improve performance and early bugs in the Pixel 3 and 3 XL. Most notably, the patch should fix the poor memory management that until now has caused the phones to prematurely close background apps like Spotify.
You should be able to multitask without abruptly having your music or podcasts stop after installing the patch. That annoying problem put an ugly spotlight on Google’s decision to leave the Pixel 3 with 4GB of RAM.
The update also contains numerous other optimizations and fixes. Several are related to the camera: Google says it has “adjusted autofocus behavior” and “improved camera shutter performance” on the Pixel 3 and 3 XL. But both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 3 will get “improved camera capture performance,” which might be Google’s way of saying your photos won’t disappear anymore. (There’s nothing in this monthly patch about vanishing text messages, unfortunately.)
Other functional patches relate to the Pixel Stand — with better keyword detection and improvements to the always-on display) — and Android Auto. Google says Android Auto compatibility has been improved for Pixels 2 and 3. There’s one fix that dates back all the way to the original 2016 Pixel: Google says all generations will now experience improved unlocking performance over Bluetooth devices.
The December patch should be available sometime today from your Pixel’s settings menu.