The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are great smartphones, but not without flaws. People immediately noticed the fingerprint readers seemed slow and fussy, and Google even acknowledged the problem. Now a new update might solve it altogether.
The good news is, “correcting” the slow fingerprint reader with an update suggests the underlying problem isn’t hardware. That’s not too surprising, as while plenty of people did complain the fingerprint readers are slow, others didn’t see a difference between the Pixel 6 and OnePlus 9, which uses the same in-display optical reader.
Still, it didn’t work well for everyone, and that’s not good. Google offered a few solutions and workarounds (as did Review Geek) and depending on where you bought your Pixel, that still might be worth investigating. We noticed on personal units that the screen protector T-Mobile installs on retail units interferes with the fingerprint reader. That’s something Google even pointed to in its suggested solution—noting that you need “certified” screen protectors to ensure functionality.
But, as first noticed by XDA-Developers, Google also seems to have turned to a software fix to help the situation. While the company already released an update in late October with the usual security patches, it’s following up with a sudden early November update.
It’s a small update at just 14.56 MB, and Google didn’t directly state what it does for the Pixel phones. Thankfully, Verizon issued its own patch notes to match which state:
The current software update improves the performance of your device’s fingerprint sensor.
That doesn’t tell us how Google tried to address the problem or if it plans to continue improving the sensor. But it’s better than nothing. Unfortunately, it seems to be a staged rollout, and we aren’t seeing the update yet to test how much it improves the fingerprint unlock experience.
But you can check if your phone sees the update by heading to Settings > System > System Update.