Google Pixel phones enjoy monthly updates with the latest security patch. The recent updates haven’t brought anything interesting to the phones. But, the latest December update improves RAM management and expands eSIM support for Pixel 3 while improving other features.
December Android update for Pixel 2 & Pixel 3: What’s new?
Here’s a list of a few issues that the December patch for Pixel phones is expected to fix:-
1. eSIM support expanded to more carriers
Multiple sources say that the December update also expands eSIM support on the Pixel 3 to more carriers globally. This includes Sprint in the US, EE in the UK, Telekom and Vodafone in Germany, Airtel and Reliance Jio in India. That being said, an official rollout of eSIM facility is yet to come.
2. Fix for aggressive RAM (Memory) Management
In 2018, a huge issue that plagues Pixel 2 and even the Pixel 3 is the 4GB RAM. Frankly, with phones like OnePlus 6T (McLaren Edition) and Mi Mix 3 aiming for 10GB RAM, 4GB RAM is a joke right now. Many Pixel 3 users had complained of the aggressive memory management that the phone adopts.
The December update brings changes which will fix the memory management issues on Pixel 2, Pixel 2XL, Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL.
3. Camera improvements
Pixel phones have always been known for their great Camera. The Camera capture performance on Pixel 2s and Pixel 3s is expected to improve with the update. Pixel 3 has some awesome Camera features you should know about.
On your Pixel 3, you will also notice better Auto Focus. The phone has a motion tracking feature which was recently ported to Pixel 2 too. Apart from that, there are improvements to Camera Shutter, very crucial for the Top Shot feature.
4. Better Android Auto with audio improvements
With the new update, you will notice better Android Auto compatibility on Pixel 2 and Pixel 3. We don’t know if the improvements apply globally. Moreover, the audio on Pixel 3s will be improved in some vehicles. FYI, Android Auto is the voice based Google Assistant that gives you directions for driving using Google Maps.
5. Bluetooth improvements – Audio and Unlocking
The new update brings adjustments to how volume switches when Bluetooth is turned on. Moreover, the unlocking is said to be better with Bluetooth on. This change will apply to all the three Pixel series phones.
6. Pixel Stand improvements
Pixel 3 docked on a Pixel Stand will now have better visible notifications. Moreover, there are changes in the hotword’s (“Hey Google”) performance. This update will only come to Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL since the older Pixels don’t support the Pixel Stand or Wireless Charging.
7. Display and HDR improvements
The update also improves Always on display triggering and contouring of HDR colour on some apps. This update again applies to Pixel 3 phones.
8. December Security Patch
At last, but not the least, the December patch comes with the latest security patch, dated 5th December, 2018.
If you want to take a look at the improvements on each phone, consult the table below:-
|Feature||Pixel||Pixel 2||Pixel 3|
|Improved RAM management||–||Yes||Yes|
|Improved Camera Capture performance||–||Yes||Yes|
|Adjusted Camera Autofocus behaviour||–||–||Yes|
|Improved Camera Shutter performance||–||–||Yes|
|Improved Notification visibility on Pixel Stand||–||–||Yes|
|Improved hotword (Hey Google) performance on Pixel Stand||–||–||Yes|
|Improved Android Auto compatibility||–||Yes||Yes|
|Android Auto Audio improvements in some vehicles||–||–||Yes|
|Adjusted Bluetooth volume when toggled||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Improved unlocking with Bluetooth On||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Improved contouring on HDR colours on certain apps||–||–||Yes|
|Improved Always On display triggering||–||–||Yes|
|Improved USB-C Audio accessory detection||–||–||Yes, on Pixel 3XL|
It’s been quite some time since Google phones had a worthy update. Most of the time, it was just the security patch that was being updated. This update aims at fixing a major issue with Pixel 2 and Pixel 3 – bad Memory Management. I hope the update does it properly. Anyways, if you have already updated and have something to add, please comment below.