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Google’s May Pixel update fixes weak notification vibrations on Pixel 6 phones

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The update will roll out this week in phases

Photo by Becca Farsace / The Verge

For multiple lines of Android phones, the shift to Android 12 has been a rough one, including withdrawn updates and occasional bugs. Still, the number of issues we’ve seen for Google’s flagship Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro devices alone has been surprising. Today, Google announced the May 2022 update for Pixel devices is starting to roll out. It fixes a problem people noticed on the Pixel 6 phones after the March update, where the vibration for notifications was suddenly much weaker.

Two fixes apply to all Pixel devices from the Pixel 3a through the 6, resolving issues that could cause the display to wake up without interaction and a problem that could crash the launcher, but one line is only for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro:

Improvements for haptic feedback under certain conditions and use cases

When we wrote about the change, many people said they actually preferred the weaker notifications, but without acknowledgment from Google in response to threads on Reddit and its support forum, we weren’t sure if it was an intentional change that would stay that way or a bug. I can confirm that on my Pixel 6, after installing the update, the vibrations are much stronger when set to maximum than they were before.

Now you should be able to tune the strength to your liking in the settings menu based on your own preferences. According to Google, the May 2022 Pixel update will continue to roll out over the next week in phases; however, you can sideload it on your device manually using the web-based Android Flash Tool as described here or from a command prompt. Of course, those steps should be followed only if you’re willing to accept some risk to your device, and if you’re not in a hurry, then you may want to wait and see if anyone finds an issue or two with this latest update.