The Android Q Beta 1 update, prior to Android 10's release, hinted at Dual SIM Dual Standby (DSDS) support for the Pixel 3 series (and by default, the upcoming Pixel 4 and Pixel 4XL) back in March. Now, after rolling out the Android 10 update yesterday, Google has finally brought Dual SIM Dual Standby support to the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL.
What is Dual SIM Dual Standby (DSDS)?
Dual SIM Dual Standby is a feature that works for smartphones with "Dual SIM" or two SIM card slots. DSDS allows users to choose which SIM card handles texts, data, and phone calls. Essentially, you can have one SIM card handling text messages and one handling phone calls, or, in the case of no phone calls, you could have both SIM cards handling texts and data separately.
In the case of a phone with an electronic SIM (or eSIM), such as the Pixel 3 series, you can also choose between the two for your calls, texts, and data. Electronic SIMs, or electronic SIM cards, allow users to activate phone service without the need to enter into a carrier store to pick up a physical SIM card.
Google says that only some carriers have DSDS support for their devices, so the new feature will not work for all Pixel 3a users. Additionally, not all SIM/eSIM combinations turn out well, so prepare for a few obstacles. And finally, the Dual SIM Dual Standby feature won't work for Pixel 3a phones purchased in Japan.
Why Dual SIM Dual Standby is important for Google
Dual SIM Dual Standby support is important for the Pixel 3a series because it happens to be Google's budget-friendly Pixel phone series. A number of smartphones in Android support the feature, but this is the first time Google has ever supported DSDS in its Pixel phone series. The upcoming Pixel 4 series is sure to get it, but it will be Google's first flagship to offer the feature. The Pixel 3a series will be its first phone series overall to boast Dual SIM Dual Standby. The feature was briefly given to the Pixel 3 during the Android Q Beta rollouts but was removed a short time thereafter.
Android 10 update for the Pixel 3a series
The Android 10 update for the Pixel 3a series was expected to run smoothly, but unfortunately, it has not. Though Dual SIM Dual Standby support is a win for the budget handset, the update itself has caused some problems for Pixel 3a series and high-end Pixel phone users. According to Google's Pixel Phone Help forum, Pixel users across the board, including Pixel 3a users, are experiencing boot loop/boot screen issues with the phone as it attempts to start up after downloading the Android 10 update.
Google has confirmed the issue and said that it is working on a fix for it. A team representative revealed within the forum that users can restart their Pixel phones seven times to return to Android 9.0 Pie until a fix is provided. At this point, as exciting as Dual SIM Dual Standby is, it's not worth getting caught in the boot loop issue in the new update. A security patch should fix both issues.
In addition to DSDS support, the Android 10 update brings features such as Smart Reply, letting users access an address in Google Maps, a video in YouTube, and so on, from the notification window, Live Caption for the hard-of-hearing (HoH) that lets them read captions on the screens of their smartphones, and the long-desired Dark Theme that saves on battery life and reduces eye strain.
All Google's Pixel series, including the OG Pixel and Pixel XL, received Android 10 yesterday, alongside the Essential Phone and the Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro. The Redmi K20 Pro already had Dual SIM Dual Standby support prior to the Android 10 update.