Post Android 13 Update, Pixelers can’t Charge Wirelessly

Pixel owners who haven’t upgraded to Android 13 yet, beware: it seems that several people aren’t able to use wireless charging after installing the latest OS, which was released earlier this week.

There have been various posts on Reddit about the issue from people using the Pixel 4, 4 XL, 6, and 6 Pro using a variety of wireless chargers, including Google’s first-party Pixel Stands.

Unfortunately, for Pixel 6 and 6 Pro owners, this could be an even bigger problem — they’re not allowed to roll back to Android 12 after updating to Android 13.

According to some users’ reports, the phones seem to recognize that they’re on a wireless charger, with one user even saying that their 4 XL shows the charging battery icon. However, the batteries won’t pull in any juice, and some charging pads report that the phone is misaligned or that there’s been a general charging error.

A variety of fixes have been suggested, especially around the Pixel Stands — one user reported that after disabling the Pixel Stand app, booting into safe mode and charging with the stand, and then forgetting and adding the stand, their device started charging with it again. However, others haven’t had luck with those steps.

A handful of users have also reported that various Pixel models had issues with rapid charging. For example, one user said their Pixel 4A 5G only charges 10 percent in an hour and gets very hot. They didn’t specify precisely whether they were using wireless or wired charging but did reference plugging and unplugging their phone, suggesting that it was the latter.

Unfortunately, this issue is cropping up in Android 13, especially since some users say it started during the beta, meaning that Google’s had some time to hear about and fix the issue. Android 12 was an incredibly rocky release, with some updates breaking core functionality on Pixels. The fact that Android 13 is having problems with something as fundamental as charging doesn’t inspire confidence that Google’s turning a corner on the stability of its updates.

The update includes support for spatial audio with head tracking. It is designed to make sounds appear as though they’re coming from a fixed point in space when you push your head while wearing compatible headphones, similar to a feature Apple delivers for its AirPods. Post doesn’t say exactly which headphones this will work with, but Google announced it would update its Pixel Buds Pro to provide support for spatial audio.

Secondly, there’s the ability to stream messages from apps, including Google Messages, directly to a Chromebook, similar to iMessage on the Mac. It’s another feature that Google described in January. As well as its own Messages app, one of Google’s promotional assets also indicates this working with the messaging app Signal.

The company says the feature will function with “many of your other favorite messaging apps.” The update also contains a feature that lets you copy content from an Android phone to be pasted on an Android tablet and vice versa.

Other Android 13 features enclose the ability to establish languages on a per-app basis and a redesigned media player that alters its look based on what you’re listening to. In addition, it supports Bluetooth Low Energy for better sound quality at lower bitrates and reduced latency, improved multitasking on large-screen devices with a drag and drops support for multitasking, and better palm rejection when using styluses.

Google broke down which Pixels are getting the Android 13 update today and a long list of fixes it includes. A developer page lets you download the images before the update is pushed to your device. It automatically also notes that upgrading to Android 13, at least with a factory image, is a one-way trip — a bootloader update means you won’t be able to flash back to Android 12.

There’s a blog post for developers or anyone in the Android 13 beta with more information for you here. Everyone in the beta will get the Android 13 final release and then stay enrolled to receive beta updates for upcoming Feature Drops. If you’d somewhat back out and stick to absolute release software, you can head to the Android Beta site and opt out without needing to wipe your device first.

If you’re ready to install Android 13 on your Pixel phone, the OTA images are available here, or you can use the web-based Android Flash Tool to upgrade compatible devices.

The Android update will come to devices from other manufacturers, including Samsung, Oppo, OnePlus, HMD, Motorola, Realme, Sony, Xiaomi, and Asus “later this year.”It sounds like Google finally watched an Apple ad and discovered that making hardware and software together does help. Who knew! But Google’s position is genuinely tricky here. Google’s ad business relies on a mind-bending colossal scale, which it gets primarily thanks to other companies creating Android products.

Google has to support all those partners happy and discern like they’re on a level playing field with the Pixel team. And it simply can’t control its ecosystem as Apple can. It is forever fretting about backward compatibility and how fortes will work on all sizes, prices, and power devices. It has to engender support to make significant changes, whereas Apple brute-forces the future.

Another way of telling the only way Google can get to its ambient computing dreams is to make sure Google is everywhere. Like, everywhere. Google invests in products in seemingly every square inch of life, from TV to the thermostat to the car to the wrist to the ears. The ambient-computing fortune may be one computer to rule them all, but it needs near-infinite user interfaces.

The second step to creating ambient computing work is making it easy to use. Google is relentlessly trying to carve away every friction in accessing its services, particularly the Assistant. So, for instance, if you own a Nest Hub Max, you’ll soon be able to converse with it just by glancing into its camera, and you’ll be able to set timers or turn off the lights without giving a command at all.