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WeChat will soon support displaying at 90Hz on the Google Pixel 4

Last month, we found that the Google Pixel 4 explicitly disables its 90Hz “Smooth Display” for a small handful of apps. One of those, WeChat, is now being redeemed and removed from the Pixel 4’s 90Hz blocklist.

Yesterday, the November 2019 security patch arrived on Pixel devices, bringing with it the first set of post-launch software improvements for the Pixel 4. One of the more highly requested improvements was to the Pixel 4’s 90Hz Smooth Display, allowing it to work in more scenarios, instead of being disabled at lower brightness levels.

However, there are other factors in play as to whether or not the Pixel 4’s 90Hz refresh rate kicks in. For example, four apps are very explicitly restricted from using a higher refresh rate, namely Google Maps, Pokémon Go, Waze, and WeChat. Those first three apps all have technical limitations in place that prevent them from working well at 90Hz on the Pixel 4, but WeChat is different. According to a Google engineer’s own explanation, WeChat just had “poor performance.”

In the intervening months since WeChat was added to the 90Hz blocklist in August, however, Tencent has apparently spent time optimizing the app for the Pixel 4. In a new commit posted late last week to the Android Open Source Project, Google has deemed that WeChat version 7.0.8 fixes all of the “jank” issues the app faced, and subsequently removed the app from the blocklist.

Pixel 4 WeChat 90Hz commit

While this is undoubtedly good news for anyone who uses WeChat on the Pixel 4, there are still a few roadblocks preventing you from sliding into anyone’s DMs at 90Hz. The first is that WeChat 7.0.8 is currently unreleased, and secondly, yesterday’s November 2019 patch made no changes to the blocklist. That means even once WeChat 7.0.8 arrives, the app won’t use the Smooth Display until Google updates the list, which may not be until the December security patch.

Dylan Roussel contributed to this article

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Avatar for Kyle Bradshaw Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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