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March Pixel Android 10 Update: 5 Things to Know

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Google recently released another big Android 10 update for several Pixel phones. You can expect plenty of changes and new features in this month’s March Android 10 upgrade. Here’s what you need to know, what changed, and how to get it right now.

As usual, this software delivers some important changes and fixes for the latest Pixel 2, 2XL, Pixel 3, 3XL, 3a and Pixel 4. Not to mention new features and fixes a slew of small bugs. Google is calling this the “March Pixel feature drop”.

Expect this release to improve security & performance, patch issues and fix any lingering problems. You’ll want to accept and download this new release right away to enjoy what’s shown in the video below.

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It’s worth noting that some of the stuff in the video above or lists below are very specific to the Pixel 4, while the rest are just changes and improvements to Android as a whole. Either way, this week your Pixel phone will get a new update with the latest, greatest, fastest and most secure version of Android 10 available in 2020.

Update: Select carriers like T-Mobile have paused the March Android 10 upgrade as it broke Google Pay completely. It looks like Google quickly fixed the problems and have resumed the rollout as of Monday, March 9th.

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

March Android 10 Update: What’s New

Google releases the latest security updates on the first Monday of every month, which is Monday, March 2nd, 2020, this month. As we mentioned above, those that didn’t get it right away still might not have it yet, as it saw a small delay. Those still waiting should get the OTA notification and update within the next 24-48 hours as of March 9th.

Below we’ve added the changelog and bug fixes from Google, but you can also read more at the Android security bulletin, and the Pixel security bulletin page. This month we’re seeing a much bigger list of changes than we got in February, which is a good thing. Some of these are likely in anticipation of Android 11.

Additionally, after browsing around we were able to find a fuller list of all the features coming in the March Pixel drop, even if not all of them are available right away. This is according to AndroidPolice.

  • New play/pause gesture for Pixel 4 Motion Sense
  • Live Captions feature for Pixel 2
  • Car Crash Detection rolls out for Pixel 4 in Australia and the UK
  • AR effects for Duo video calls
  • Pixel 4 front-facing/selfie camera portrait blur improvements
  • 169 new emoji options
  • New power button wallet menu for quick access to Google Pay payment methods, boarding passes, tickets, etc.
    • Support for screenshots of boarding passes is also coming for Pixel 3, 3a, and 4, with real-time flight updates
  • Scheduled dark theme/mode, including sunset/sunrise triggers
  • New automation Rules for Wi-Fi networks or physical location (possibly including a wider rollout spotted earlier)
  • Long-press in the Pixel Launcher for the Pixel 4 now includes “firm” presses
  • Pixel 4 screens set to adaptive brightness will get brighter now in strong, direct light (probably the hidden/disabled HBM support spotted last fall)

None of those are particularly big or noteworthy, although there does appear to be a bunch of neat little additions that will improve devices like the Pixel 4. We saw some of these in the Android 11 beta too, which is odd that Google is adding them now instead of waiting for the Android 11 release later this year.

Furthermore, we’re seeing several “critical or high” patches by Google in March, which will make Android 10 more secure. Then, there is a decent list of functional patches or bug fixes for Pixel 3 and Pixel 4 phones.

Download the March Pixel Android 10 Update

These updates usually arrive within the first few days of being announced not to mention Google already released factory images of them, too. However, sometimes we see them take 2-3 weeks to arrive. So, If you’d like to get this newest version of Android for your Pixel device now, instead of waiting, you can download or flash the update with these files found below.

Additionally, there’s a specific March factory image for AT&T, in order to fix Google Pay.

  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?

Considering there’s a new feature drop you probably want this update as soon as possible. And while they typically arrive right away, as in March 2nd, many people are still waiting.

Either way, expect an over-the-air update notification today, tomorrow or soon. So while this should arrive immediately, don’t be surprised if you have to wait for more than a few days or until the weekend.

Keep in mind that Google’s check for updates button should work in the settings menu on your phone. Simply go to Settings > System > System Update > Check for Updates to get it right now. 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.

March Pixel Android 10 Update Problems

We’re seeing a lot of people on social media who’ve already received the March update, and so far it’s going smooth. That said, we typically see complaints about installation problems, freezing, and bad battery life after the update. It’s best to wait for the over the air update, rather than manually install the files, as that’s usually the easiest and problem-free way to do it.

So while Google did release the images for people to manually install it, just have patience, and wait for the over-the-air update which is a much easier process. As a reminder, you need more than 30% battery for the update, and WiFi is recommended. We suggest doing the update tonight or tomorrow at home, not at work when you don’t have time to deal with any potential problems. If you do run into issues, here are some common fixes.

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

Google fixed a lot of stuff with the December, January, and then February updates, so it’s nice to see these most recent ones focusing on new features. However, Android 10 introduced a few new issues even after a long 6-month beta period, and not all of those have been fixed either. Google is still working out a few kinks, and we’re glad to see this March update address some of those.

Google is still slowly working to improve the experience, fix bugs, and tweak the software for the best performance each and every month. Don’t expect Android 10.1 anytime soon, or at all. For now, just expect an update this week, and another on the first Monday of the month each month moving forward.

We’ll remind you one more time this month that the original Google Pixel and Pixel XL are no longer supported by Google. They will not get this March update, or any other updates moving forward. Sorry. All newer devices will continue to see monthly releases.

So what’s actually next for your Pixel phone? Aside from monthly updates, that’s the Android 11 Developer Preview that just started and new versions of Android 11 sometime later this month once the dev preview switches into a public beta. The search giant kicked off the Android R developer preview early this year, but the first stable versions won’t arrive for another few months. You can try Android 11 right now if you dare, but we recommend waiting until at least the 3rd beta.

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. Also, don’t forget that this update is only for Google’s own smartphones, and not something like the Galaxy S10. 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 newer Google Pixel device.

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