Google's Pixel, Pixel 2, Pixel 3, and Pixel 3a series devices are now receiving the October 2019 security update, according to the search giant's monthly update bulletin. Since this is a monthly patch, the bulk of the company's effort has been put into bolstering security but not all of it. That includes squashing related bugs that could weaken that aspect of the devices.
This particular update is somewhat slim on those kinds of reinforcement though, in the lead-up to the launch of Pixel 4. Google only lists a total of three such fixes. One of those is a "high" severity bug in the framework. Google denotes that as an information disclosure type issue.
The company has patched up two further "moderate" severity bugs in Qualcomm components with this update too. Those are both related to the WLAN host component.
That's all on top of the dozens of fixes in the more general October 2019 Android Security Bulletin. Since Google recently updated all of its Pixel devices to Android 10, only a few of those are applicable here. Among those, there are two moderate-level media framework bugs, a high-severity USB audio bug, and around a dozen Qualcomm-related issues.
But what about feature fixes in the October 2019 Pixel security update?
Google has gone beyond the standard security patches to fix a number of Pixel-device-specific bugs on the user-facing side of things as well. A couple of those apply only to the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL while the rest apply to all Pixel devices to-date.
For the latest flagship Pixel gadgets, users can expect to see improvements for "sensor calibration" but also a fix for notifications. Specifically, the latter of those is notifications that went missing when the gadgets were in "Pixel Stand mode."
Wi-Fi and overall system stability improvements have been made to all Pixel-branded Google handsets. Following off from that, Google has fixed a boot-loop that was occurring for some device locale modes. Namely, that's the subsystem for locale matching. Stability in both memory management and gesture navigation is improved here too. In the former case, Google has patched up a memory drain in the UI.
Finally, Google has fixed a problem that was occurring with heads-up notification. More succinctly, it fixed a bug that was causing those notifications to go missing.
Rolling out now
The update is rolling out now and should arrive fairly quickly on Pixel-branded smartphones.
Users who want to check for the update manually will need to navigate to the Settings app and scroll to the bottom to find and tap the "System" submenu. In that menu, another tap to expand the "Advanced" section will reveal the "System Update" option. In the subsequent UI, tapping on the "Check for Update" option will start the process.
For those who are more technology-savvy, the update can also be downloaded and flashed manually. Google provides Factory Images and Full OTA Images for each of the Pixel gadgets, alongside instructions for getting those installed.
That's not going to be an easy process for every user. It also bears the risk of erasing data on the device. So waiting for either an over-the-air update or manually checking for the update is recommended.