Google is readying an update that should address its Pixel 3 phones inadvertently failing to save photos, after users voiced frustration at finding their latest shots hadn’t made it to the camera roll. The glitch in the camera app was first flagged in the days following the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL’s release, though users of other devices soon chimed in.
In fact, it seems to have become a problem affecting all generations of Pixel, including the original Pixel and Pixel XL, and the second-gen Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. The issue would typically be sporadic, with photos apparently being captured – and appearing as such in the preview thumbnail in Google’s Camera app – but then, after switching away from the app and back again, turn out to have not actually been stored.
No official explanation for the glitch has been given, though there have been a few suggestions. One is that the HDR+ processing that Google is using, in which multiple frames captured in short succession with different exposure and other settings are then combined, is to blame. Exit the Camera app too quickly, it has been posited, and you can inadvertently interrupt that combining process and thus have the phone fail to save the shot.
Now, Google says it will be addressing the issue with a software update. That’s due to arrive “in the coming weeks” the company said in a statement. It also suggested that the problem was “rare” to occur.
Until that new update arrives, there’s also no official recommendation for what to do to at least try to avoid the glitch. One suggestion has been giving the Camera app a little longer than you’d first think to before you exit it and start using another app: that makes sure there’s sufficient time for it to process and store the last image taken.