It looks like some Pixel 3 XL owners accidentally received the November security patch from Android earlier than expected. The security patch is scheduled to be released on Monday, yet some users received an early update version intended only for Googlers.
This is not the first time something like this happened. Last summer, Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL owners received an update a week earlier than it was intended to be released.
Today’s case showed that some Pixel 3 users received a confidential version of the November Android security update. This was supposed to be only delivered to Google employees, as stated in the accompanying note:
CONFIDENTIAL INTERNAL ONLY -- This is a confidential Googlers-only OTA to update your device to Android 9 with July 2019 security patches and critical bugfixes. You may use your device normally but do not discuss or comment on this update externally. Send feedback to android-dogfood-discuss@. See go/release-faqs for more info!
Google has referred to this as “dogfood” as a way of saying that they are “eating their own dogfood” or using their own software. In doing so, Google has a way of discovering any update issues before they send it out to the public.
With this update in place, third-party launchers should be compatible with Android 10’s new gesture navigation system on the Pixel 4. This will be the first update Google unleashes for Made by Google 2019 phones. It will address a number of bugs and let the 90Hz Smooth Display perform better in more lighting conditions.
It looks like the Googler-only OTA for the Pixel 3 just rolled out this afternoon.