Android 13 phone on a table with small Android robot in the background.

Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

Android 13 was only recently unleashed to Pixel users last month and, as expected, there’s a new patch available that fixes several issues. I applied the new update and wanted to report what I’ve found.

But first, what issues did the September patch resolve? Let’s find out.

Also: Android 13 on the Pixel 6 Pro is a brilliant upgrade — with a one exception

Premature battery draining

First off, the September patch fixed a rather serious issue that led to increased battery drain due to background activities within the launcher. Some users experienced their Pixel devices getting rather hot because of this, which ultimately resulted in much-shortened battery life. I experienced this almost immediately after upgrading to Android 13 on my Pixel 6 Pro. Battery life went from very impressive to very concerning.

More on this in a bit.

Also: How to find out which what apps are draining your Android battery

Charging issues

Another issue I experienced with my Pixel 6 Pro was that charging had become somewhat less reliable. On my first evening with Android 13, I put my device on its Pixel Stand, only to find out the phone failed to recognize the charger. 

Thankfully, the new patch resolved that issue. Now, every time I place my Pixel 6 Pro on the charger, it is immediately recognized. The only lingering issue is that the charge animation doesn’t always appear when I first place the phone on the charger. That’s a problem I can live with, so long as the phone reliability charges.

Although this issue primarily affects Pixel 4 devices, my experience proves that it’s not limited to that iteration.

Improved biometrics

First off, there still is no facial recognition for the Pixel 6 Pro (and I’m growing doubtful that’ll ever happen). That said, the upgrade to Android 13 did improve the fingerprint scanner by quite a large margin. And with the September patch, the developers have made it even more responsive. With the latest update, the fingerprint scanner recognizes my fingerprint almost instantly, which is an exponential improvement over Android 12 and a subtle improvement over the initial release of Android 13.

Also: Your Google Pixel has car crash detection, too. Here’s how to set it up

Bluetooth

Although I didn’t experience the issue with particular Bluetooth devices failing to connect, some users did report this issue, which was fixed with the September patch.

Lock screen notifications

There had been reports of notifications being shortened on the lock screen, which was also fixed.

On the battery issue

I wish I could report that the battery issue has been completely resolved. However, I have found (even after the update) that my Pixel 6 Pro is still having issues. For instance, at around 11 AM this morning, I discovered my battery was already at 68%, which is unusual for my Pixel. Looking at the battery usage, nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary. Battery consumption looked like this:

  • Pixel launcher had consumed 7%.
  • Chrome had consumed 2%.
  • Spotify consumed 2%.
  • Google consumed 2%.
  • Gmail had consumed 1%.

However, when I tapped on System usage for the past 24 hours, I spotted these entries:

Phone Idle had used 18%.

  • Mobile network had used 16%.
  • Screen had used 14%.
  • Ambient display had used 13%.

That all adds up. To remedy the situation, I did clear any cache for those oddities listed (that had cache to clear). In my case, that was limited to the Phone app and no more.

Also: One year later, the Pixel 6 Pro is still Google’s best smartphone 

In the end, every Android user should always apply the latest patches as soon as they’re made available. Not only do you benefit from possible new features, but also security fixes. Given how critical security has become for mobile devices, you do not want to have an operating system with vulnerabilities. 

So…patch, patch, patch!

Jack Wallen: Here’s how to…

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