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March security patches now available for Pixels and Nexus phones; expect your OTA soon

Pixel 2 XL
Pixel 2 XL (Image credit: Android Central)

Factory images with the March 2018 patch for the Pixel and Pixel 2 family, the Nexus 6P, and Nexus 5X are available at the Google Developer site and can be manually installed today, and OTA updates are expected to begin shortly.

These are part of the March Security Bulletin and besides patches for the critical vulnerabilities found in Android and hardware partner's code, some bug fixes and software improvements are inbound for Google's family of devices. Don;t get excited, though, there's nothing fun in there.

  • Improve screen wake performance with fingerprint unlock (Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL)
  • Improve audio performance when recording video (Pixel 2 XL)
  • Improve crash reporting (Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL)

I guess better crash reporting could be fun for some of us, though. And if you've been unlucky and have been bit by the "fingerprint unlocking slow-down bug" you are probably happy to see some more fine tuning being done.

The usual applies: you can grab the factory images and flash things yourself, or hang tight as Google says to expect an over-the-air update soon, which it encourages you to accept. Fast updates are one of the reasons to buy a phone from Google, but faster updates through a USB cable are an even better reason. Here's what you need.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Jerry Hildenbrand

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

30 Comments
  • Just got the ota fingerprint unlock appears to be faster
  • I never found it slow
  • It wasn't slow for me but not that snappy. The update made it snappy again.
  • I have found that it is just slow to wake the screen when unlocking with the fps with the screen off. If you have the screen on and use it to unlock from the lockscreen, it is quick. Compared to my one plus 3, the fps on this phone is very slow. It did seem to get a bit better after this update though. Still nowhere as fast as the OP3. Lol
  • I was able to pull it with no issue by hitting check for updates. Installing now. Pixel XL on Verizon.
  • Nice to see it working now.
  • Nope, I think he was Lucky, I always get them like a week late and this one seems like it's going to be the same...
  • Hope they fixed battery life issues on P2xl cause it's been bad this last month at least for me
  • oh so it wasn't just me that had terrible battery life recently. I haven't installed any new apps and the battery has been draining a lot more than usual. maybe i'll do a factory reset to try and clean things up a bit.
  • Feb update killed mine as well on P2. It's been moderately better since yesterday and hopefully stays that way.
  • I see that the February update for the Play Store allows me to get the new updates immediately now by clicking "Check for updates". Usually it would've taken me a full week to get the update, but glad to see I could get it immediately.
  • Not working for me...
  • Downloading and installing it now. Seems the last update made just hitting check for update retrieve it right off the bat.
  • What version of Google play services is everyone on?
  • beta version and the update showed up when I pressed "check for update". I saw on Droid-Life that you might have to be on the beta version for the update checker to work? not entirely sure though.
  • Hopefully this solves the Smart Lock locations feature which has been all kinds of screwed up since the February security patch
  • Downloading now also
  • Blimey. Got it OTA on day one.
  • I have a Moto X4 Android One version (running 8.0), and I just got the February 1st, 2018 security update about a week or so ago. Not horrible, but definitely not as fast as Pixel/Nexus phones. What is funny is that all my other older devices are on Lineage OS (running 7.1.2), and they received the February security update a week sooner than my X4 did. IMO, the Android One program is decent, but not great. But it can be.
  • Pixel is the world's most secure Android phones.
  • Still on Dec 1 2017 Security Patch on my GS8... anyone feel the same pain..?
  • It's a shame really. Two months is more than enough time to exploit something. Good that most of these are not published, sure the day will come though, only a matter of time. Samsung is really lazy with any sort of update. Nice screens though.
  • 11-01-17 on HTC 10 Verizon
  • I think it might help if Google actually pushed the February patch to my 6P before I even get the March patch. 🙄
  • If you install the Google Play Services Beta first and then hit Check for Updates, you will get the March update immediately. I was surprised but it worked today.
  • Update button doesn't work again
  • Worked for me. 1st try
  • And Android one xiaomi mi a1 did not even get Feb updates yet.
  • Oreo 8.1 users have been experiencing multi touch problems with the OS since its first launched in Dec. When playing fps games requiring two thumbs to interact with the screen, sometimes the response goes haywire. At first I thought it's only on the pixel 2 xl but users from previous Google/nexus phones even other brands using aosp roms have been experiencing it too. And no, it's not hardware because when pixel 2/xl users revert back to 8.0 the problem is gone. Surprisingly, IT'S NOT FIXED ON THE MARCH UPDATE Check https://issuetracker.google.com/issues/70344455
    For hundreds of reports, rants, and video proofs of the bug. Strangely enough, the problem never been published by any tech sites.
  • Did they stop supporting the Nexus player?
    Haven't heard anything about it getting the security patch