Pixel 6’s Slow December Update Leaves Owners Frustrated

Because I’m writing this, Google will probably open the floodgates and give you the update that it keeps asking, but yeah, this month seems slower than usual. We are not sure what is happening, all we know is that the December update for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro is not available for all owners to simply use and update as we are used to.

To go back for a second, everyone knows that Google released the December update for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro for a full week, separately from the other Pixel phones that are still supported. All other Pixel phones got their builds on December 6, and Google said the Pixel 6 files would appear the following week. That happened later – Pixel 6 factory image and OTA files were released on December 13th, only the wireless update has been hard to find in the US.

Since that time Monday morning, we have seen numerous readers complain about not being able to head to Settings> System> System Update and hit the “Check for Update” button successfully. Usually this is not how it is supposed to work. Remember, Google told us years ago that tapping the “Check for Update” button is a “user-initiated” trigger that should confirm to Google’s servers that you want the update and send it to you. For the most part in recent years, it has worked, too.

My Pixel 6 Pro running on Google Fi didn’t update properly and I’ve been checking it every day.

Google’s only semi-official word on this slow launch has been through the @MadebyGoogle Twitter account, where they are simply responding to complaints about the slow release of this update with:

We started rolling out the December security patch update and your Pixel phone should receive it soon. Updates are released in phases and you will be notified once they arrive. I appreciate your patience.

And to be honest, rolling out this update slower than usual makes some sense. The December update is important, at least in terms of how many items you intend to fix or address. The list of bug fixes and tweaks Google shared earlier in the month is one of the longest we’ve seen for an update. Android 12 clearly came with a lot of problems that Google has worked to fix in these first few months since it debuted in October on Pixel phones.

Also, for everyone to know, the factory image and OTA files are still available for you to flash if you want. Google hasn’t pulled them, as I’ve seen people on the internet suggest. The US carrier build is listed as SQ1D.211205.017 for both the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. I showed the OTA build to my Pixel 6 at the time it crashed and have been running it ever since. If you want to follow the same route that I did, here are the instructions to do it. Flashing the OTA file will not factory reset your phone.

In short, yes, the December update for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro has not come as quickly as we are used to. We do not know why. It’s supposedly rolling out though, and you should be here in no time if you want to keep hammering that “Check for Update” like we used to do.

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