After months of troublesome bugs the Google Pixel 6 range is in fairly good shape now. But with a recent software update Google took two steps forward and one step back, adding various new features but changing haptic feedback in a way that users didn’t like. Now though, it seems that change is being rolled back.
The May 2022 Google Pixel update (opens in new tab) is now rolling out, and one of the changes is listed as “improvements for haptic feedback under certain conditions and use cases.” This change applies specifically to the Google Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro, so it’s clear that it’s designed to address the issue Google itself created with a recent update.
Presumably, this new update will make the vibrations stronger, as users found they became too soft with the March feature drop, but the changelog doesn’t specify.
In any case, this isn’t the only change that’s included in the May 2022 update. All supported phones (meaning the Google Pixel 3a onwards) are also getting a fix for an issue that would occasionally make the display wake on its own, and a fix for a bug that could cause the launcher to crash after restarting the phone.
Beyond that, there are also security fixes that are always worth grabbing, but there aren’t any new features included here.
The update is rolling out now, so keep an eye out for it – but it might take days or more to reach every Pixel phone.
Analysis: an unwanted feature, not a bug
One interesting aspect of the vibration change is that Google lists it as “improvements” rather than a fix, suggesting the company doesn’t see the previous change as a bug.
At the time there was lots of speculation over whether the weaker haptics were an intentional change or not, with some users even liking the change, noting that it felt more “naturalistic.”
Given the wording in this May update, it seems the weaker vibrations may well have been intentional, and that Google is just responding to user feedback (the overwhelming majority of which was negative) in changing them back. Either that or it was a bug, and the company isn’t owning up to it.
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Via GSMArena (opens in new tab)