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January Pixel Android 10 Update: What You Need to Know



Google just released its first big software update of 2020, the January Android 10 update and security patch for Pixel devices. And while they typically release a new update on the first Monday of every month, this one is important because most people didn’t get the December update last month. Here’s what you need to know, what changed, and how to get it right now.

This software delivers some important changes and fixes for the original Pixel 2, 2XL, 3, 3XL, 3a and Pixel 4. Not to mention delivers the Pixel Feature drop to some devices and fixes a slew of small bugs.

Expect this Android 10 update to improve security & performance, patch issues and fix any lingering problems. You’ll absolutely want to accept and download it right away. Here’s more info.

This week your Pixel phone will get a new update with the latest, greatest, fastest and most secure version of Android 10 available. Keep in mind that the original Pixel won’t get these monthly updates anymore, and only newer devices will. Also, if you never got the December update this January release combines both months into one bigger, better release.

Supported Devices

  • Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL
  • Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL
  • Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL
  • Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL

January Android 10 Update, Changes, & What’s New

Google releases the latest security updates on the first Monday of every month, which was Monday, January 6th, 2020, this month. The over-the-air update started hitting devices immediately. My Pixel 2 XL got it that morning, but my Pixel 4 is still waiting.

You can find out more about any changes on the Android security bulletin, and Pixel phone-specific info at the Pixel security bulletin page. Overall we’re seeing 30+ patches that will help keep your Android device safe. Furthermore, there are several function changes and bug fixes that will make your phone better.

This month Google added several “critical or high” patches that improve security, patch potential issues and then delivered a round of bug fixes bigger than most months. That’s because they’re improving the new Pixel 4 and older devices at the same time with these updates. Not to mention a bunch of exciting features from the new Pixel 4 are finally hitting older devices.

What you see below is the list of “functional fixes” that Google posted on its forum. For January, Google made some important tweaks you’ll absolutely want to take note of. Mainly fixes for WiFim notifications, devices stuck in bootloops or weird reboot issues, speaker quality, and improved the display, to name a few.

Overall, this is a decent list of changes for all three of their latest devices — the Pixel 2, 3 and 4 family of phones.

Download the January Pixel Android 10 Update

If you’d like to get this newest version of Android for your Pixel device now, instead of waiting, you can download or flash it from the links below. That said, we’re already seeing the update hit most devices, so we recommend waiting for the OTA instead of manually downloading the files.

  1. Download Factory Images
  2. Grab OTA Update Files

If you do manually download the files, here’s how to update your Pixel device.

When Will I Get the Update?

Typically, you’ll get this update the same day Google releases it or within 24-48 hours. Occasionally we see delays or them take upwards of 5-7 days, but that’s rare. My Pixel 2 got it already, but not my Pixel 4. Either way, expect an over-the-air update notification soon. If not, it’ll most likely arrive within the next 24-48 hours. That said, the December update took several weeks for some people, and others didn’t get it at all. So while this should arrive immediately, don’t be surprised if you have to wait for more than a few days.

However, you can always go to Settings > System > System Update > Check for Updates to get it immediately. This button pulls the update from Google’s servers to your phone. The entire process should take less than 10 minutes. From downloading to installing and rebooting on Android 10. Or, check again this week if you have the Pixel 4.

If you did NOT get the December update don’t worry, you can still get the January release. That’s because Google combined the changes and fixes into one for this month.

Pixel 4 Feature Drop

Since not everyone got the December update, we’re going to mention the “Pixel Feature Drop” one more time. This is what Google is calling its latest slew of features they added into the December/January monthly update. After the January Pixel Android 10 update, you’ll have these new features on your Pixel phone.

  • Portrait Mode – Blur any photo before AND after you take the shot
  • Bye Bye Robocalls – Improved automatic call screening to prevent Robocalls completely
  • Better Video Calls with Duo – Follow faces during video chat, improved video/audio, and more
  • Faster Maps, Google Recorder App, Digital Wellbeing Focus Mode, and more

It’s interesting to see Google take this route, but it’s also a nice way of them showcasing exactly what’s better or new for those with a Pixel 4. This feature drop also has a few things for older Pixel devices, like the faster Google Maps and Recorder app, which are available to older devices.

What’s Next for Your Pixel 2, 3 or Pixel 4?

With all the changes and fixes from the October, November and maybe December updates, Pixel devices are running great and with very few problems. However, Android 10 introduced a few new issues even after a long 6-month beta period. Google is still working out a few kinks, but and this January update should fix most of them.

Now that we’re on official Android 10 software, the next step is to simply improve the experience, fix bugs, and tweak the software for the best performance each and every month. We doubt Google will release Android 10.1 anytime soon, but it’s certainly possible. For now, just expect an update this week, and another on the first Monday of the month in February, March and moving forward.

If you have an original Google Pixel or Google Pixel XL, you didn’t get an update this month because December was the last major update for those older phones. You will not get an update in January. All newer devices will continue to see monthly releases.

Also, don’t forget that these updates each month are only for Google’s smartphones. Other phones from OnePlus, Samsung, LG, or others are waiting for updates from the makers. Basically, this update doesn’t apply to you yet unless you have a Pixel device.

So what’s actually next for your Pixel phone? Well, aside from the January and Feb updates, that’s the Android 11 beta in early March of 2020. Each year Google kicks off a beta and developer test several months early, and we’ll start learning more about the upcoming Android R release and beta soon. For now, get the latest Android 10 software for your Pixel. Then, leave us a comment below if it fixes your problems, or causes a new one.

In closing, stay tuned for more details in the near future, or fix your Pixel problems with this guide.

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