What you need to know
- The recent December Pixel Drop caused significant mobile connectivity issues for some Pixel 6 owners.
- Google has "identified a fix" but won't deliver it to users until late January.
- The next update will include all of the previous bug fixes.
- If you've downloaded the update already, your only recourse is to use the Android Flash Tool to revert to the previous version.
Google's December update fixed a variety of Pixel 6 bugs that had plagued the phone since launch. Unfortunately, it also introduced an even worse bug that hamstrung the Pixel 6's network connectivity. Some users couldn't connect to networks in areas with great coverage and reported frequent signal drops.
Google said it was looking into the issue on December 17, and paused the update's rollout. Now, nearly two weeks later, a Pixel support page indicates Google has found a fix for the issue. Unfortunately, they won't roll out that fix until "late January," meaning anyone with the current update would have to endure an extra month of poor reception.
"If you received the December software update on Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro and are still experiencing mobile connectivity issues, you can revert to the previous software version using the Android Flash Tool (flash.android.com) and performing a factory reset," the post explains.
If you're not experiencing any signal issues, you can continue to use the current build. But if you never received the update to begin with, you'll have to wait an extra month for all of the bug fixes and new features associated with it.
There are several obvious issues with this solution. One, it requires people to back up their phones and go through a manual update process, instead of Google fixing the problem via OTA; many Pixel 6 owners may never see this option. And two, reverting to the last build will reintroduce all of the bugs the Google devs had fixed and roll back the security patch.
Evidently, this Pixel 6 bug isn't something that the developers can fix quickly, or else they would have. We've seen other bugs, like Microsoft Teams blocking 911 calls, patched in days rather than weeks.
Nevertheless, it's disappointing that Google's first foray with its own SoC, Tensor, has led to such a buggy experience all around. While we consider the Pixel 6 one of the best Android phones for hardware quality, the software experience has proved sub-optimal for many users.
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Michael spent years freelancing on every tech topic under the sun before settling down on the real exciting stuff: virtual reality, fitness wearables, gaming, and how tech intersects with our world. He's a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves running, D&D, and Star Wars. Find him on Twitter at @Michael_L_Hicks.