While Google has been enjoying the success of its Pixel smartphones, it seems to have stumbled as of late. Sources point out that it appears to have started with the launch of the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, which despite the hype it generated, apparently fell flat shortly after it was shipped. Consumers quickly flooded the internet with complaints about the handset's battery life, security features, and design. The most recent one is a glitch that turns app icons invisible on devices that have the December security patch installed.

Reports indicate that the units affected by this new issue are those that are on Android 10 with the latest software updates. It appears to be tied to the Pixel Launcher and causes the icon only to disappear, while leaving the app name to remain. While it might not be a big deal for some users, those who regularly use the Favorites tray will find it difficult to look for what they need, 9to5Google explains.

So far, experts have not pinpointed the exact cause of this random bug, but it is not limited to a certain model either. It has been observed on the Pixel 4 and older generation handsets as well. Others speculate that the missing icons are somewhat connected to the opening animation. Unfortunately attempts to replicate the issue are not consistent, but it has been confirmed as limited to units with the abovementioned criteria.

Restarting the mobile phone triggers the Pixel Launcher bug. Since the missing app icon issue is not a widespread problem, it might take a while before Google releases a fix. For now, users can attempt to reset the home screen launcher via Settings > Apps & Notifications > App Info. Next is to look for Pixel Launcher and access the storage menu then clear the data.

It should be noted that the workaround is just a temporary stopgap until the Pixel Launcher bug is patched out. A related report reveals that Google has confirmed its plans to release both the December and January security patch in one go very soon. Those who have not received the updates should expect it to go live this month.

Google Pixel 4 Smartphones
Google has touted Motion Sense as a key feature of its new Pixel 4 smartphones AFP / Johannes EISELE