Google’s Pixel 3 has been suffering from a memory management bug since it was released last month. Many believed that this was because Google had decided to stick with 4GB of RAM instead of jumping to 6GB or even 8GB like every other Android smartphone on the market today. But it turns out that this is just a bug, and while memory management won’t be as good as say the OnePlus 6T, it will improve from where it is at today. Google has confirmed that this is indeed a bug, and it is working on a fix. In a statement that Google sent to 9to5Google this week, there will be a fix coming soon, within the next few weeks. So it is possible that Google could put this fix in with the December security update, instead of pushing out a couple of different updates to the Pixel 3.
This memory management bug is just one of many that Google has been experiencing with its smartphones since they launched last month. They have already rolled out a bug fix for the camera, where it wasn’t saving photos when you took some photos. That was a pretty embarrassing bug, but then again so is this memory management bug. Especially considering the fact that it seems like Google did not even use the phone before launching it in October. The memory issues here have been pretty annoying for many that are using these phones everyday. This is because the apps are being redrawn every time you open the app again, even if you did just have it opened in the background. It seems like the Pixel 3 is being very aggressive at closing these apps, something that Samsung used to do, to save memory here. And if you use the camera, forget about it. Everything in the background will be closed, because the camera needs that much RAM to work as intended. There’s no timeline yet on when the update will be out, but it’s coming soon.
Background: One of the main complaints with the Pixel 3, is on its spec sheet. And that is the 4GB of RAM there. In 2018, it does seem to be a bit low. And with this memory management issue, it showed that a lot of users were right in that it was a pretty small amount of RAM. But it’s also important to remember that this is Google, they do know what they are doing. The search giant does say that this is a bug with how memory is being managed on the phone, and it will be fixed in an upcoming update, so hopefully all of the issues will be solved. But it likely won’t be perfect, and that’s because software just can’t make up for missing hardware, which in this case is missing RAM.
Many users were finding that if you were streaming music from Spotify or Google Play Music, and then opened the camera to take a picture, it would stop streaming music. This was because the phone was closing apps to free up RAM for the camera. That is something that really should not be happening in 2018, even with 4GB of RAM. Users were also seeing that if they had more than a handful of apps open in the background, some would be closed and need to reload when you go back to it. Which this can be common on smartphones, but typically only when you have a ton of apps open, not a handful (like five apps). So the bug fix that Google is working on here should fix that issue with memory, but it is still a pretty big issue for many people, until the bug fix arrives.
Impact: As usual with high-profile smartphones, the Pixel 3 has been hit with a whole lot of bad press regarding issues with the phone. Whether that was the camera not saving photos, or memory management issues, or the backside scratching super easily, it’s all expected in today’s world of smartphones, where every new release is looked at under a microscope to find every single little thing that might be wrong. The Pixel 3 is going to get a round of bug fixes that will fix the majority of these issues, and then it will be fine. But this just goes to show why quality control is such a big deal for companies. Smartphone makers, especially ones the size of Google, should be able to do plenty of quality control before launching a smartphone, to make sure that these issues are not, issues. But that apparently did not happen here with Google and the Pixel 3, forcing Google to do all of these bug fixes later on. It’s also forcing a lot of customers to return their Pixel 3 and pick up something else, because they don’t want to deal with these bugs and/or wait for Google to get around to fixing them. And you really can’t blame them. These bugs are a pretty big deal and can really destroy a user’s experience with the phone. So not only is Google getting bad press, bug also losing out on potential Pixel 3 customers.
Google will get this bug straightened out, hopefully sooner rather than later. This doesn’t mean that memory management will be completely fixed for Google and the Pixel 3. But since Google is able to control the software from the ground up, they should be able to optimize it a bit more to work with the 4GB of RAM included in the Pixel 3. Of course, Google could have avoided all of this if they had added 2GB of RAM to the Pixel 3, and it would have made the spec-heads happier too, seeing the 6GB of RAM on the spec sheet, as opposed to 4GB. Google should be rolling out this update in the next few weeks, baring any issues that they come across while developing the fix. It should hopefully be part of the December update, which will come out on the first Monday of December, and should hit all Pixel 3’s within a week or two.