Pixel January 2023 update brings Spatial Audio, other improvements and fixes

Google Pixel 7 Pro home screen full view next to bookmark
(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google's January 2023 security patch begins arriving on Pixel phones.
  • This update is for the Pixel 7, Pixel 6, 5, 5a, and 4a devices.
  • The security patch is light, only bringing in a few quality-of-life improvements for users.

The Pixel series' first security patch of the year is light on the stomach with small fixes.

According to Google's Pixel community help post, the January 2023 security patch is beginning to roll out for devices. The Pixel 7 Pro, Pixel 6, and 6 Pro will receive variants of firmware TQ1A.230105.002. The Pixel 7, 6a, Pixel 5, 5a, Pixel 4a, and the 4a 5G variant will receive versions of the TQ1A.230105.001 firmware build.

The January 2023 security patch version numbers.

(Image credit: Nickolas Diaz / Android Central)

The patch notes for the January update are pretty light especially if you consider the 70 bug fixes Google implemented for its Pixel line in December. Along with this being the most recent security patch, users will also gain added support for Spatial Audio with certain devices and accessories. Google has also brought in an improvement for its biometric scanner. This should, hopefully, increase fingerprint recognition and the phone's response to your finger.

The Pixel's Bluetooth connectivity also received some fixing as this patch includes a solution for certain headphones and accessories not receiving audio. There's also a fix for certain low-energy devices occasionally being unable to pair or reconnect with your phone.

An issue where photos taken with the Pixel's camera would appear distorted or corrupted if they were zoomed in has been resolved. Google's expansive Pixel line will also benefit from a fix to an issue where the display wouldn't wake and would appear off when actually on.

Lastly, the UI of the Pixel line has been fixed and should no longer pop itself into landscape mode when being held in portrait mode.

It's also worth mentioning that while the Pixel 4a has tagged along for the ride with the others, this is its final year for security updates. Google's Pixel 4a devices will not receive security patches after August 2023.

If your Pixel is among those eligible for the January 2023 security patch, it should automatically alert you once it's received. However, you can always manually check and begin the update's download by heading into your Settings > System > System update.

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.