Owners of Google Pixel smartphones report issues with accessing internal storage, opening the camera, taking screenshots, and even opening apps after installing the January 2024 Google Play system update.
Owners of many Pixel variants, such as the Google Pixel 5, 6, 6a, 7, 7a, 8, and 8 Pro, have reported the issue, indicating that it is not specific to any one hardware architecture.
Although the exact cause is unknown, it is most likely a software bug that Google hasn’t yet identified or resolved with the January 2024 Play system upgrade.
The majority of alternatives put up by impacted users fail to remedy the issue; some claim that a factory reset resolves the issue, but in such scenario, all data is erased.
These suggestions, however, come from the owners of affected Google Pixels rather than from Google, which just stated that it is aware of the problem and is investigating it.
“Why isn’t this something that is getting so bad that Google has to address it, I wonder? “It is quite frustrating to spend so much money on a phone and then have an update render it unusable,” a frustrated owner wrote in Google’s Pixel Phone support forums.
The monthly security patches and Google Play system updates are not the same thing; you may get both by going to Settings > Security & privacy > System & updates.
In order to provide critical security updates, system component enhancements, and protections to devices that are not running the most recent patch level or that have reached the end of manufacturer support, Google introduced Play system updates in Android 10.
They are effective in keeping older Android versions compatible with contemporary apps and Google services, and they are also rather safe. Google serves them directly, avoiding the OEM update routes.
It seems that Google staged the roll-out of the January 2024 Play system updates for Pixels, meaning that some Pixel owners have not yet received the faulty update.
It is advised to stick with the November 1, 2023 upgrade if you are still using an older version and wait to install the January 2024 update until the matter is resolved.
Though we have not heard back from Google by publishing, BleepingComputer has reached out to them on the issues that have been brought to their attention and their plans to fix them.
The same incident occurred a few months ago.
The specifics of the present issue are still unknown, but in October 2023, memory problems brought about by a Play system upgrade rendered Pixel devices utterly inoperable.
Google eventually released an update on November 7, 2023, to fix the issues with media storage access and recurrent reboots. But by then, a lot of users had already tried a factory reset, which resulted in the loss of their data.
For Pixel device owners who are unable to utilize their phones’ functions, the recurrence of this kind of problem in such a short period of time is extremely worrying.
The incident calls into question the thoroughness of Google’s validation and testing procedures prior to releasing a system upgrade, undermining public confidence in the company’s quality assurance procedures.