While it may have been delayed from its usual release schedule on the second Monday of the month, the March Google Pixel update has finally arrived. As anticipated, this update is larger than usual, packed with numerous bug fixes and improvements. It also features the stable build of Android 13 QPR2, which many of the developers have been testing.
Android 13 QPR2
This update aims to resolve any remaining issues that you may have encountered since the last major QPR1 update a few months ago. In a community blog post, Google has also hinted that there will be new features arriving soon, possibly as part of a Pixel Feature Drop. However, the link that they have provided for those features is currently not functioning.
After the release of QPR1 in December, the latest Android 13 QPR2 update mainly focuses on a few minor visual adjustments. The most notable change is the addition of a large digital clock that appears when you fully expand the Quick Settings menu. As you swipe down to open it, you will notice that the time in the top-left corner gets bigger. The clock is displayed in the top-left corner and shows the day and date below it. Additionally, the name of your cellular carrier is now displayed above the row of status bar icons.
In addition to the visual changes mentioned earlier, Google has also made a minor adjustment in the Quick Settings menu by replacing the battery percentage with an estimate of the remaining time in hours and minutes or “Until hh:mm” instead. This change gives you a more accurate estimate of your battery life and helps you plan your usage accordingly.
Apart from the changes mentioned earlier, there are a few other minor tweaks in this update. The Pixel Launcher and folders have received some adjustments to the padding, giving a more polished and refined look. The Now Playing feature has been moved higher up on the lockscreen, making it easier to see and access. The “Emergency” calling button has also been made larger for easier access during emergencies. Lastly, the Google Home icon has been added to the Device Controls, making it more convenient for users to control their smart home devices.
March Pixel Drop
For Pixel 7 series users, this update brings support for Dual SIM Dual Standby using two eSIMs, as well as compatibility with T-Mobile 3CA. Additionally, the Pixel 6a and 7/Pro models in India now have access to 5G support.
Meanwhile, Pixel 6 Pro users can now switch to 1080p FHD+ “High resolution” from 1440p, giving them more control over their display settings. Night Sight on the Pixel 6 series has also been improved with faster processing times thanks to new and enhanced algorithms on the first-generation Tensor chip.
One exciting feature coming with this update is the support for Ultra-wideband digital car key, which will be rolling out over the next few weeks. With this feature, Pixel 6 Pro and 7 Pro users will be able to lock and unlock their cars without taking their phones out of their pockets. For those with compatible vehicles (2022+ BMW models), they can even start the engine with their phone in their pocket instead of placing it in the phone tray. This added convenience makes it easier for users to interact with their cars and eliminates the need for carrying around a separate car key.
Two other features that come with this update include Direct My Call and Health Connect. Direct My Call will now be available for Pixel 4a, 4a 5G, 5, and 5a models. Health Connect is also preloaded on Pixel phones now thanks to Android 13 QPR2.
Additionally, Hold for Me, a feature that enables Google Assistant to wait on hold for you during a call, is expanding its availability. Currently available in the US, Australia, and Canada, it will soon be available in Japan as well. This feature makes it more convenient for users to handle calls that require being placed on hold, freeing up their time for other tasks.
Another feature included in this update is the Cross Device Timer capability added to the At a Glance widget. With this feature, users can see the status of countdowns set on their Nest displays or speakers directly from their phone. When the timer goes off, users will receive an Assistant notification on their phone with details and options to “Stop” or “Add 1 min.” It’s worth noting that this feature is not compatible with Google Home Max.
Finally, this update includes 21 new emoji characters, including a pink heart and a goose. These new emoji additions expand the range of options available for users to express themselves in their messages and conversations.
It seems that Google is also focusing on its upcoming Pixel Watch with this update. Google has highlighted some of the accessibility features that were announced last month, including Fall Detection. In addition, they are adding a trio of new accessibility features: mono audio, color correction, and grayscale modes. Mono audio is meant to help limit disorientation caused by split audio, while color correction and grayscale modes optimize the display for a wider range of vision preferences. These features will be available on the upcoming “Wear OS 3+” and will be rolled out in the coming weeks.
It’s great to hear that Google has already posted the March factory image and OTA 13.0 files for all active Pixel phones, including the Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, Pixel 5, Pixel 5a, Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, Pixel 6a, Pixel 7, and Pixel 7 Pro. This means that users can manually download and install the update if they wish to do so. However, if some users do not see the update arrive on their devices in the next few days, we’ll keep them informed of any further updates.
Look out for the following build numbers for each Pixel phone and carrier.
- Pixel 4a: TQ2A.230305.008.C1
- Pixel 4a (5G): TQ2A.230305.008.C1
- Pixel 5: TQ2A.230305.008.C1
- Pixel 5a (5G): TQ2A.230305.008.C1
- Pixel 7: TQ2A.230305.008
- Pixel 7 Pro: TQ2A.230305.008.C1
- Pixel 4a (5G): TQ2A.230305.008.A3
- Pixel 5: TQ2A.230305.008.A3
- Pixel 5a (5G): TQ2A.230305.008.A3
- Pixel 7: TQ2A.230305.008.A1
- Pixel 7 Pro: TQ2A.230305.008.A3
- Pixel 7: TQ2A.230305.008.A1
- Pixel 7 Pro: TQ2A.230305.008.A3
If you are currently a part of the Android 13 QPR2 Beta program, this is a reminder that you will not receive the stable QPR2 update. Instead, you will receive Android 13 QPR3 Beta 1 this week.
It is important to note that manually updating your device using these files requires some technical knowledge and may result in data loss or other issues. It is recommended to wait for the official over-the-air update to be available on your device. If you still want to proceed with manual updating, you can download the necessary files from the Google Developers website:
Factory images: https://developers.google.com/android/images
OTA images: https://developers.google.com/android/ota
Or else, you can hit to appropriate the link below for your handset:
- Pixel 7 Pro: TQ2A.230305.008.C1 — Factory Image — OTA
- Pixel 7: TQ2A.230305.008 — Factory Image — OTA
March 2023 builds for the Pixel 6, 6 Pro, and 6a are not available yet.
- Pixel 5a: TQ2A.230305.008.C1 — Factory Image — OTA
- Pixel 5: TQ2A.230305.008.C1 — Factory Image — OTA
- Pixel 4a 5G: TQ2A.230305.008.C1 — Factory Image — OTA
- Pixel 4a: TQ2A.230305.008.C1 — Factory Image — OTA