Google started rolling out the latest Android security patch to its Pixel phones last week, as the first system update since the March Pixel Feature Drop (which also included Android 12L/Android 12.1). It seems like every monthly update fixes bugs and introduces new ones, and now an interesting issue has appeared: ringtone and notification sounds were randomly changed on some devices.
9to5Google pointed out a series of bug reports and complaints, which indicate a recent update reset the sounds for ringtones, notifications, and alarms to random values. Given the timing from most of the reports, it seems like the April security update was the main culprit, but it’s not entirely clear. The bug also appeared to reset any custom sounds set for specific applications.
Last updated has given me all bad ringtones & message alerts & every time I change them back to what they were they go back to default sounds again.
— supermattman (@HappyMattTastic) April 6, 2022
The bug also hasn’t affected all Pixel devices, only a small subset. 9to5Google reports that one of their Pixel 6 Pro phones on the Android 12 QPR3 Beta 1.1 was affected, and the sounds were changed to options not normally accessible from the sound picker (’87_r80_gcam_o_video_start,’ ‘reverse_charging_start,’ and ‘Mash-up’).
There doesn’t seem to be an easy way to restore previous sound settings, but it’s not too difficult to restore the original sounds. Once you open the Settings app and navigate to ‘Sound & vibration,’ change the ringtone to ‘The Big Adventure,’ notification to ‘Popcorn,’ and alarm to ‘Bright Morning.’
Google’s April update for Pixel phones included the April security patch level, as well as a number of bug fixes for the notification shade, app drawer search, three-button system navigation, Picture-in-Picture mode, and other functions. However, it seems to have also introduced at least one additional bug — such is modern software development.