Google Pixel January Android update is now available

There's no better way to start the year right than by getting a fresh serving of security fixes for your Android phone. Of course, while Google has just rolled out the January security bulletin for Android, it could take weeks for manufacturers to actually push those to their customers. Not so Google's own Pixel phones that are now getting not only this month's security patches but also a few bug fixes for some known functionality issues as well.

No phone is without its fair share of bugs that manage to sneak past QA before product launch but Google's Pixels have been a bit notorious for those issues of late. There have been reports of audio problems for the Pixel 5 and the Pixel 4a (5G), both of which launched at the same time. The January drop, while having no big features, does address this as well as other bugs that plague all currently supported Pixel phones.

Those problems include apps suddenly restarting because of an issue with the phone's display subsystem. Even worse are complaints about the phones being unable to connect to MVNO networks. Those two are reported as fixed in this update.

The January patches are provided only for the Pixel 3 and later generations. The Pixel 2 is, of course, no longer supported, having received its last security fix in December. Owners of the Pixel 2 and 2 XL that want to continue getting updates might consider installing a custom ROM instead, preferably one that also keeps on top of Android's monthly updates.

For those in the US, Google's rollout strategy for Pixel updates seems to have also changed a bit. Only two kinds of images are now provided, one for phones under Verizon and another for everyone else. This could help reduce the waiting time for Pixel phones from other carriers as they will get the patches on the same day as unlocked models.