Android 13 is getting its first update since launching in August via a Pixel security patch and a slew of fixes for Android devices.
The September patch will affect several Pixel 4 series devices (the 4, 4 XL, 4a and 4a 5G) as well as the Pixel 5 (the 5, 5a and 5a 5G) and Pixel 6 (the 6 and 6 Pro) . According to Google (opens in a new tab), the rollout begins today and “will continue over the next week in phases depending on carrier and device.” The update will also be available on Pixel 6a devices later this month. Device owners will receive a notification informing them to download the patch once it becomes available.
Google highlights four specific changes addressing battery and biometrics issues on these Pixel phones. There was reports of batteries draining quickly (opens in a new tab) after upgrading to Android 13. Blame is placed on “certain launcher background activities”, but the patch notes don’t go into detail about those background activities.
The update also fixes an issue that prevented wireless charging. Back in August, users of the Google Pixel subreddit have suddenly discovered that their phone’s wireless charging feature has suddenly stopped working. A few found a workaround like pairing the Pixel Stand to the phone and restarting the device, but it wasn’t a consistent solution.
For biometrics, Google has improved “fingerprint recognition and response under certain conditions”. Some Pixel Owners Discovered (opens in a new tab) a bug that would unlock the phone using a fingerprint not registered with the scanner. And in some cases, the scanner would accept a completely different person’s fingerprint. Needless to say, this was a major security breach.
As for the other two changes, the patch fixes a Bluetooth connectivity issue that was preventing some devices from connecting to Pixel phones, and Google is making some tweaks to the user interface. Apparently, notifications would appear much shorter than they should on the lock screen.
Along with the four Pixel-specific updates, 51 additional patches will be released across all Android devices that address security vulnerabilities. This update will be released periodically throughout the month.
View the September Security Bulletin (opens in a new tab) On the Android Open Source Project website, the fixes are split into two packages and address bugs ranging from moderate to critical severity. One of the most important fixes will arrive in the first package, called the September 1 security patch. According to the notes, there is an issue with the Android framework that could allow a bad actor to gain elevated access to a device’s resources without requiring administrator permission.
For the second package, called the September 5 security patch, it fixes some issues with some third-party components like those from MediaTek and Qualcomm. The patch notes don’t go into detail about what exactly is in the September 5 package. Instead, it directs readers to check the respective security bulletin web pages for those third-party components if they want details.
Looking at the September newsletter for MediaTek (opens in a new tab)The company’s patch appears to be focused on fixing incorrect validations that could give bad actors similar elevated access on Android devices. For Qualcomm (opens in a new tab)its update fixes the same vulnerabilities, while fixing some memory corruption issues.
So, in total, Pixel owners are looking at potentially 55 security patches coming to their device. If you want to get the different updates, Google has a set of instructions on how to update your phone (opens in a new tab).
And in case you didn’t know, Google recently confirmed that the upcoming Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro smartphones will be unveiled on October 6 at the Made By Google event. Be sure to check TechRadar’s Pixel 7 coverage to learn more.