The latest Android beta QPR is bricking Pixel devices

Pixel 6 Android 14 google lockscreen AH

Days after rolling out the second Android 14-based feature drop update, aka QPR (Quarterly Platform Release), for Pixels, Google released a new beta build for QPR3. It is pushing Android 14 QPR3 Beta 2 to eligible Pixel devices enrolled in the beta program. However, the firm has warned against sideloading the new release due to known a bricking issue.

Android 14 QPR3 Beta 2 arrives with more bug fixes and a bug

The second beta build of Android 14 QPR3 of Pixels brings fixes for several bugs present in the previous build (Beta 1). But before we get to those, let us discuss the issue with sideloading the update. According to Google, a known issue with sideloading Beta 2 OTA images “can sometimes cause a device to fail to boot properly.” The sideloading process is completed normally but the device doesn’t restart.

To avoid potential disruptions, the company has temporarily disabled downloads for OTA images. It is working on a resolution and recommends beta testers flash a factory image to their Pixel until the fix arrives. Alternatively, they can wait for the OTA update. Unfortunately, several users have learned this the hard way. They tried sideloading Android 14 QPR3 Beta 2 and ended up bricking their Pixel.

The folks at 9to5Google confirmed the issue. They tried sideloading the update on four Pixel devices but only one restarted properly after the process. The other three, which include a Pixel 8 Pro and a Pixel Fold, are stuck on the Google logo. “The sideload from your computer proceeds normally. However, when you attempt to restart, your device will get stuck on the Google logo,” the publication reports.

Many other users reported the issue on online platforms such as Reddit. If only Google had checked the package thoroughly before releasing the OTA images. The Android 15 Developer Preview 1 has the same issue and downloads for OTA images are still suspended. It appears Google is finding it difficult to fix this sideloading issue. We will let you know when we have more information.

Google fixed fingerprint and camera bugs with this update

Google has suspended downloads for OTA images of Android 14 QPR3 Beta 2. So, this sideloading issue shouldn’t affect more Pixel users, unless someone downloaded the file earlier and goes on to sideload despite the warning. For users whose Pixel is bricked by this bug, 9to5Google says entering the recovery mode and sideloading Beta 1 might work. It has detailed the steps and provided links to OTA images here.

As far as bugs patched with Beta 2 are concerned, Google says it has fixed the incorrect display of battery information in the system settings, status bar, and lock screen. It has also fixed the fingerprint unlocking issue that occasionally surfaced if AOD (always-on display) was enabled. The update also brings bug fixes for cameras,  device-to-device transfers and backup, and more.