Several Pixel 6 users recently observed that the in-display fingerprint reader was not responding as well and as fast as they expected. Now, it looks like Google quietly fixed the issue with a surprise mid-cycle update released in November.
Two new versions of Android 12 went live on Tuesday, as first noticed XDA Developers. The updates were intended for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, including build SD1A.210817.037 for the global version and build SD1A.210817.037.A1 for devices purchased through Verizon.
The size of the software versions is less than 15MB, which suggests that they do not have major updates. However, a changelog released by Verizon confirmed that the minor update actually fixes a crucial issue on Pixel 6.
Verizon Pixel 6 software update page confirms that the update is part of the October 2021 patch, making it a surprising mid-cycle update. The changelog only has one time: “The current software update improves the performance of your device’s fingerprint sensor.” Then it is very likely that the software version of the global versions of Pixel 6 also fixes the same problem.
In the previous weeks, Pixel 6 users complained that the phone’s fingerprint reader was not scanning their biometrics properly. The function would have been either slow to respond or completely unable to recognize an owner’s fingerprint. Some then resorted to entering PIN codes when unlocking their phone.
At the time, it didn’t seem like Google was planning issue an OTA update to solve it. The official Made by Google Twitter page only asked affected users to try certain troubleshooting methods. In a response to a Pixel 6 owner, the company noted, “We’re sorry for the hassle. The Pixel 6 fingerprint sensor uses enhanced security algorithms. In some cases, these additional protections may take longer to verify or require more direct contact with the sensor.” Fortunately, this was not quite the case.
Several Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro the owners reported that the fingerprint sensors on their phones have started responding quickly and working well since the update. Some of them even noted that the changes were noticeable even though their phones had tempered glass or other screen protectors.