Google’s critical Pixel 6 January update is here

Google appears to be in the process of releasing a much-anticipated update for Pixel 6 phones. Earlier today, Android expert Mishaal Rahman noted that Google posted OTA and factory images to its developer site for the January 2022 patch. That means anyone can sideload the update to their Pixel phone now, and the official over-the-air update has already started rolling out to some devices (including some owned by Verge staff).

Using the phones’ built-in checker may start the process, and if it doesn’t, sideloading is still an option. However, waiting for the regular rollout instead of doing a manual install may be the best way to go, given the trouble caused by December’s update.

This patch includes numerous bug fixes and a few new features that Pixel 6 owners have been anxiously awaiting. It’s supposed to tweak the fingerprint sensor and camera and support 23W wireless fast charging with the second-generation Pixel Stand.

Google originally intended to ship those features in the December update but halted and ultimately removed the files from its site when users complained of connectivity troubles after installing the patch. Google says that the January update will fix the problems caused by December’s update and address bugs that have driven at least one well-known Pixel 6 user to ditch the phone entirely.

With the images public and one Canadian telecom company citing Monday, January 17th for the release, we thought the patch would arrive next week, but it’s already here. That’s none too soon for people who bought the Pixel 6 or 6 Pro expecting to get a premium device. While the hardware is truly flagship-level, the software experience hasn’t always been smooth.

Update January 14th, 4:30PM ET: Updated to reflect that the update is rolling out now.

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