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Google starts rolling out major Pixel 6 update with camera and fingerprint sensor improvements

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Plus fixes for display, audio, and Bluetooth issues

Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 6 Photo by Becca Farsace / The Verge

The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are today receiving their most significant software update since Google released the phones in October. Last week, the company detailed a very lengthy list of bug fixes and improvements that are included in the December update, which has now started rolling out to both devices according to Redditors.

Older Pixel devices already started receiving this update last week. But Google needed a bit more time to deliver the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro version since there are a ton of improvements directed at the company’s latest flagship phones. Google is also continuing to further polish and optimize Android 12 with this release.

Headlining the list of changes are tweaks to the fingerprint sensor; Google promises “general improvements for fingerprint sensor stability and performance.” We’ll have to see whether unlocking the phones has gotten any quicker or more consistent after installing the update.

There are also a handful of camera refinements that are specific to the Pixel 6 lineup. They include

  • General image quality improvements in camera preview / capture
  • General improvements for camera stability and performance
  • General improvements for auto-focus response in certain capture modes
  • General improvements for color consistency in viewfinder preview
  • Fix for issue causing blank viewfinder preview in certain conditions

Google doesn’t mention anything about reducing the amount of noise in videos captured on the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, unfortunately, so that issue might take more time to iron out.

But the December update includes plenty more, like fixes for screen flickering and a bug that could prevent the display from switching its refresh rate as intended. There are a range of audio and Bluetooth bugs that’ve been resolved, and Google says battery performance and thermals “in certain conditions” have been improved across the entire Pixel lineup. If there’s a particular snag you’ve been running into, definitely look over Google’s list to see if it’s been fixed.

Notably, this update is also required to get the full 23W wireless charging speeds from the new Pixel Stand 2 that’s just started shipping to buyers. To install the update on your Pixel 6 or 6 Pro, head to settings, scroll down to “system” and tap on that, and then select system update.