Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet get some extra love in this release
- Android 14 Beta 5.3 has been released by Google, showing that the next major Android upgrade is running behind schedule.
- The update includes UI fixes for Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet, as well as improvements for calling issues on other Pixels.
- The new version also addresses various stability and performance issues, and includes important security fixes for high-severity vulnerabilities.
Android 14 has been in testing since February, and Google’s initial timetable for its development listed July as the last month of beta testing. So it’s safe to say that this year’s major Android upgrade is running a little behind at this point, and more evidence has just been added to the pile: Google is releasing yet another beta build for its new operating system.
Google announced Android 14 Beta 5.3 on Reddit today, reporting a build number of UPB5.230623.009 and a security patch level of September 2023. The company also published its release notes for the new version, which are heavy on UI fixes for the new Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet, but also contain some changes that should clear up calling issues on other Pixels:
- Fixed an issue where apps crashed in some cases after a
CallStylenotification was posted.
- Fixed various issues that could cause call or carrier service interruptions.
- Fixed an issue where the system was using an inefficient path when placing CPU restrictions on apps running in the background.
- Fixed issues with
SurfaceFlingerthat were causing a loss in system performance.
- Fixed an issue on Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet devices where the taskbar sometimes turned invisible while interacting with it.
- Fixed an issue on Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet devices where the animation on animated wallpapers stuttered when launching apps.
- Fixed an issue on Pixel Fold devices where the interface layout was misaligned while customizing the Home screen.
- Fixed an issue on Pixel Fold devices where the clock on the lock screen was flickering while animating.
- Fixed various issues that were impacting system stability and performance.
Yesterday, Google also published its Android Security Bulletin for September, giving us some insight into what has changed under the hood in this update. There are fixes for 20 CVEs of high and critical severity in the September 1 patches, plus another 12 patched vendor-specific CVEs in the September 5 set. The worst of these vulnerabilities could have allowed an attacker to remotely execute code on the device with no user interaction — a hack Mishaal Rahman suspects is related to an out of bounds bug in the Bluetooth stack.
All enrolled Pixel devices from the 4a 5G onward are eligible for this update, which has begun rolling out already. However, in the past, we’ve seen beta updates take as long as a week to reach all users, depending on device type and carrier. If you’re not already seeing the new version in Settings → System → System update, the manual method using Android Flash Tool to sideload the OTA or flash the factory images is surprisingly simple and can get you updated right away.