Google has encountered various issues with Pixel smartphones over the years although compared to past years, the Pixel 4 launch seemed to be going down relatively smoothly. For some users though, there has been one particularly annoying issue, as some USB cables don’t seem to work for charging.
Some Pixel 4 devices face compatibility issue with certain USB-C cables. This isn’t something new, as one Google engineer went on a well-known mission to test and review many popular third-party USB-C cables to root out the ones that don’t meet actual industry standard requirements.
As reported by Android Authority, the Pixel 4 works fine with chargers that support USB Power Delivery (PD) over USB-C to USB-C. However, the Pixel 4 won’t always charge when using a USB-A to USB-C, despite those same cables working fine with other smartphones, like the older Pixel 3. These problematic cables also lead to issues making data transfers between devices, which could be a bigger issue, as not all PCs will have a direct USB-C to USB-C connection available.
The current theory is that Google is cracking down on Android devices and third-party cable makers that don’t meet the industry standard spec for USB power delivery, even on its own smartphone. However, Google has not said this publicly yet. If this is the case, then it is a smart safety feature that probably should have been in place all along, although it will be frustrating for some users that now need to go out of their way to find new cables that specifically meet the proper specification.
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KitGuru Says: USB-C cables not conforming to standard industry specifications has been an issue for years now, which means thousands of these cables will be sitting around in people’s homes seeing regular use. With that in mind, it might be harder to convince big Android partners to follow Google’s lead in a hard-stance crackdown.