Google rolls out January 2023 update to Pixel smartphones with improved fingerprint sensor recognition and Spatial Audio support


Google has released another set of updates for its Pixel smartphone product stack, a month on from its last Feature Drop of 2022. While this month’s update does not contain as many changes as the December 2022 Feature Drop, it should introduce some much-needed features for Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 series smartphones. Strictly speaking, all models from the Pixel 4a onwards are eligible for the update, but Google has earmarked most changes for its two most recent smartphone generations.

Arguably the biggest feature contained within this month’s patch is Spatial Audio, which is available across the Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 series. According to Google, any earbuds or headphones can make use of Spatial Audio. However, the company limits head tracking support to certain devices, such as the Pixel Buds Pro. Also, these earbuds require updating before they support head tracking themselves. Separately, Google hopes that the January 2023 update will improve fingerprint recognition on the Pixel 6a and Pixel 7.

There is no mention of an equivalent fix for the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro or Pixel 7 Pro, though. Moreover, Google claims to have addressed bugs that caused issues with some Bluetooth Low Energy devices from pairing or reconnecting and headphones or accessories playing audio while connected in certain conditions. The full changelog can be found on Google’s support document, while the update should arrive as an OTA with the build number TQ1A.230105 or TQ1A.230105.002, depending on which pixel smartphone you own.



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