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Pixel phones have an unfortunate pattern forming when it comes to updates causing issues with battery life, and it seems the June update is causing another round of issues with battery drain for some users.
A Reddit thread from last week has picked up hundreds of comments from Google Pixel owners, many of whom have noticed that the June 2023 update is causing faster-than-normal battery drain on their devices.
Some of those affected report seeing their battery needing a charge by the afternoon and requiring a charge multiple times per day. Google’s Pixel phones have never had tremendously good battery life, but this is certainly not how things should be going. The phones even seem to be draining much faster when sitting idle. And, on top of that, the issue is also causing phones to run hotter than usual. The problem seems to mostly be affecting Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 series devices.
The issue doesn’t appear to be universal, with some even claiming improvements following the update, but it’s certainly not an isolated case either. Some also report signal issues following the update.
The good news here, at least, is that a fix may end up coming sooner than later. Google tends to release new updates on the first Monday of the month, which puts a potential fix just a week from today. That said, with June’s update having been delayed by almost two weeks, it stands to reason July’s might, too.
June Feature Drop + Android 13 QPR3 rolling out: Pixel 7 Pro macro video, Palm Timer, new wallpapers, Home Panel
After a week’s delay, the next Pixel Feature Drop is rolling out with Android 13 QPR3 and the June security patch to the Pixel 4a – 7a. Compared to the previous quarterly update, this is a big one.
Macro Focus Video + Palm Timer
Starting on the camera front, the Pixel 7 Pro gains Macro Focus Video for “butterflies fluttering or flowers waving in the wind” after previously offering close-up stills (as close as three centimeters away) thanks to auto-focus on the ultrawide lens.
Similarly, Google Camera (on Pixel 6 and newer) will let you start a selfie timer (3 or 10 seconds) by raising your palm to the phone, a feature first introduced on the Pixel Fold. A yellow box will identify your hand before starting the sequence. This is very useful if your phone is propped up on a distant surface, though you can’t be that far away.
Google Camera 8.9 is rolling out via the Play Store with support.
Emoji + Cinematic Wallpapers
As debuted at I/O 2023, Emoji Wallpapers let you mix and match over 4,000 characters. Opening Wallpaper & style will reveal a new Emoji option alongside the other albums.
You can pick up to 14 emoji to display with the normal keyboard picker. The Patterns tab lets you select styles like Mosaic, Lotus, Stacks, Sprinkle, and Prism with a zoom density slider at the bottom. Lastly, you can choose a background and emoji color, while there’s also a “Randomize” option.
Once set, you have the option to make the emoji interactive. This is a live wallpaper, and a tap on your homescreen will cause them to react/jiggle. Emoji Wallpapers are available on the Pixel 4a and newer.
Cinematic Wallpapers (Pixel 6+) let you create a 3D image from any regular photo. Select an image for your wallpaper as you would normally, and in the top-right corner, you’ll be offered a new sparkle button to trigger the cinematic effect.
Google is estimating depth with an on-device convolutional neural network to estimate depth, while the in-painting as the background moves leverages a generative adversarial network (GAN). There’s a parallax effect when you tilt the device.
Home Panel on Pixel phones
First announced on the Pixel Tablet, Home Panel is coming to phones. When you tap the Home icon in the bottom-left corner of your lockscreen or the Quick Settings tile, you’ll see a new view that matches the new Google Home app’s Favorites tab.
Instead of having to customize a different grid of toggles just for this view, Google will carry over the in-app arrangement. Besides devices, this can include automations and actions. You’ll be prompted to unlock when accessing sensitive devices.
More for Pixel
In Recorder, Speaker Labels will be searchable in recordings, while named people will appear in the video clips you can generate (Pixel 6+). The app has also improved the transcription export option with your Speaker Labels appearing in Google Docs with accompanying time stamps.
On the safety front, you can start/stop Emergency Sharing with your voice, as well as tell Google Assistant to start a Safety Check. (“Hey Google, start a safety check for 30 minutes.”) Similarly, Car Crash Detection will share your real-time location and call status with emergency contacts in addition to calling emergency services.
In March 2023, Google made it so that Adaptive Charging no longer requires an alarm to be set. This is finally being announced this month of June 2023:
Adaptive Charging now uses Google AI to help extend the lifespan of your Pixel battery. When you plug in your phone, it can predict a long charging session based on your previous charging habits, and slowly charge to 100% one hour before it’s expected to be unplugged.
The company notes, “Adaptive Charging needs several days to learn your charging habits. The feature may not activate if your charging habits vary widely.”
Adaptive haptics will let the Pixel 6a and 7a “lower its vibration intensity when it detects that it’s on a hard, flat surface like a desk or table.”
There are only a handful of user-facing tweaks in Android 13 QPR3. When you swipe down for Quick Settings, the battery percentage is once again shown in the top-right corner instead of “Until xx:xx.” When setting wallpapers, there’s a revised fullscreen preview UI.
Settings app > Security & privacy > Screen lock page introduces a new “Enhanced PIN privacy” option that disables animations when entering a code on the lockscreen.
How to get Android 13 QPR3
- “Important: You must take action and opt out of the program in order to receive the public update. If your device is running a beta QPR3 build, you will not receive a downgrade OTA when you opt out so your device will not get wiped. Once you’ve opted out, you will receive the public June OTA update as it becomes available (may take a week+ as this is a phased rollout).
- “If you have a device that is currently enrolled and running Android 14 Beta (not Android 13 QPR3 Beta), opting out would apply a downgrade OTA (and wipe your device) per the usual program process.”
There are 23 security issues resolved in the Android 13 June patch dated 2023-06-01 and 34 for 2023-06-05. Vulnerabilities range from high to critical. The dedicated bulletin for Google devices lists 108 security fixes.
- Pixel 7a: TQ3A.230605.012 — Factory Image — OTA
- Pixel 7 Pro: TQ3A.230605.012 — Factory Image — OTA
- Pixel 7: TQ3A.230605.012 — Factory Image — OTA
- Pixel 6a: TQ3A.230605.010 — Factory Image — OTA
- Pixel 6 Pro: TQ3A.230605.010 — Factory Image — OTA
- Pixel 6: TQ3A.230605.010 — Factory Image — OTA
- Pixel 5a: TQ3A.230605.011 — Factory Image — OTA
- Pixel 5: TQ3A.230605.011 — Factory Image — OTA
- Pixel 4a 5G: TQ3A.230605.011 — Factory Image — OTA
- Pixel 4a: TQ3A.230605.011 — Factory Image — OTA