December 2019 security patches roll out with Pixel Themes, gesture navigation in 3rd-party launchers, & more
Today is the first Monday of December, which means Google is rolling out its monthly Android security patches. These monthly updates are pretty random in what features are included. Some months there’s nothing of note, while other months include some important things. December has brought a treasure trove of features to the Pixel family.
Typically, Google includes a chart for the “functional patches” on the Pixel Security Bulletin page. However, it looks like they will now be posting those notes on the Pixel Community Forum. A number of improvements have been outlined for the Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 2, and Pixel 2 XL.
This chart, however, doesn’t begin to list all of the features that users have discovered in the December 2019 Android security patches. Live Captions, gesture navigation for third-party launchers, Pixel Themes, and the swipe-down gesture for notifications for the Pixel Launcher, have all been spotted on older Pixel phones. These were features that exclusively launched on the Pixel 4. The OG Pixel and Pixel XL, unfortunately, have not gotten any of the features.
It should also be noted that the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are oddly not getting the December Android security patch this week. Google says it will be rolling out next week, and as we can see in the chart above, the “Pixel Wallet” may finally arrive. This was a previously discovered feature that wasn’t present at the launch. And to the surprise of no one, the Essential Phone is receiving the update today as well.