Pixel December 2023 update brings plenty of fixes and improvements alongside the new feature drop

Hands-on with the Google Pixel 8 Pro
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google is rolling out its December 2023 security patch for devices ranging from the Pixel 5a (5G) to the Pixel 8 Pro.
  • Quite a hefty patch, the December update features improvements for several device's battery and charging usage alongside several UI fixes.
  • Google delivers fixes for the Pixel 8 series' odd blank screen bug and the persistent black bar on the Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet.

Google's monthly update for its long line of supported Pixel devices is rolling out, bringing some enhancements and plenty of fixes.

According to a Pixel community post, Google is rolling out the December 2023 security update for the Pixel 5a (5G) up to the Pixel 8 Pro. Owners of a Pixel 5a (5G) will see firmware version UQ1A.231205.014 when updating, while the remaining devices will find UQ1A.231205.015.

December's update is substantial as it contains quite a few fixes aimed at Google's Pixel devices. An enhancement arrives to improve the battery and charging usage for the Pixel 8 series, Pixel Fold, and the Pixel Tablet. While not explicitly stated, the hope is that this alleviates the Pixel 8's sharp battery drain when using mobile data.

Camera stability fixes work to create a more reliable experience "under certain conditions."

Google's changelog can be viewed in full; however, here are a few more notable fixes:

  • Fix for issue causing emoji icons to be rendered brighter than the rest of the adjacent content (Pixel 8 series)
  • Fix for issue causing visual artifacts while scrolling on the home screen under certain conditions (Pixel 8 series)
  • Fix for users getting a green flash when using the phone in certain conditions
  • Fix for fingerprint issues on first attempt when always-on display is enabled under certain conditions (Pixel 6 to the Pixel 8 Pro)
  • Fix for Phone vibrating continuously in certain conditions (Pixel 6 to the Pixel8 Pro)
  • Fix for users facing issues in pairing Hearing aid with phone during calls under certain conditions

The Google Pixel 8 Pro's vibrant display outside

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

This month's patch notes additionally contain quite a few "User Interface" focused fixes. Google looks to rectify a persistent black bar that appears after changing screen savers on the Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet. There's also the odd black screen bug on the Pixel 8 series that should be solved now, too.

Other fixes include correcting a blank notification bug, disappearing wallpapers, clock and temperature overlap in At a Glance, and much more.

The latest security drop goes hand-in-hand with Google's December 2023 feature drop for Pixel phones. Not only does this large update finally deliver the Watch Unlock feature, but the Pixel 8 Pro gains the new Gemini Nano AI model. Designed to help with on-device tasks, the AI program brings "Summarize in Recorder" and "Smart Reply in Gboard."

Meanwhile, the Pixel Fold is gaining a potentially useful Dual Screen view with its camera, letting the subject see themself on the cover display while the photographer snaps the picture on the other side.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.