New updates are being added at the bottom of this history……

Original story (published on August 23, 2021), follows:

Google recently released the Pixel 5a 5G, a phone that steps in the shoes of the now discontinued Pixel 4a 5G from last year.

No denying the Pixel 5a is a great phone, but it hasn’t had the best start to life following reports that it is overheating when recording 4K videos at 60fps.

Google has yet to respond on this matter. And it seems the search giant may have to put out a statement for more than just the Pixel 5a.

After the December 2020 security update, multiple Pixel 4a 5G units started experiencing a weird touchscreen issue where affected devices failed to respond to touches on the lower part of the display.

This had a huge impact on those who still depended on the traditional 3-button navigation system instead of the modern-day swiping. Google was quick to respond, promising a fix with the February 2021 security update.

Well, another touchscreen-related issue has surfaced. According to reports, the gesture that lets users pinch to zoom is not working on the Pixel 4a 5G for some.

While we do have reports that are less than 24 hours old, a quick scan in the Google Pixel support and other user forums reveals existing threads from late last year, implying this isn’t exactly a new issue.


I have a 4a and I remember when I first got it I had 0 problems doing pinch to zoom. Then around last fall it more or less stopped working, looking around it seems like this was due to an update and now it’s the double tap and hold to zoom.

I cannot tell you how much I hate that method of zooming. I usually end up having to double tap atleast 4 times before I finally get it the right way to zoom in and out. And I’ve actually run across some apps that specifically need you to pinch to zoom and it just doesn’t work at all.

Touch sensitivity and pinch zoom doesn’t work. Not sure if it’s Android 11 update, but I can’t pinch zoom on pictures or on Google maps.

Affected Pixel 4a 5G owners say the issue pops up randomly, especially when using apps like Google Maps and Google Photos where pinch to zoom is an essential gesture.

Of course, there is the option to double-click to zoom, but this doesn’t sit right with everyone. After all, the broken gesture is the most convenient to use.

One user pointed out that an update to Android 12 beta addressed the issue for them. If anything, this suggests the bug is software-related, especially since it surfaced after Android 11 update.


The fact that the issue has been fixed for at least one user with the update to Android 12 beta should bring relief to affected Pixel 4a 5G owners.

Even better is that back in June, a forum product expert revealed that Google is aware of this issue and is working on a fix.

The issue has been reported. It is helpful if you use your phone to send feedback. Also, while waiting for a fix, there is a workaround that may be helpful at least on a temporary basis

Meanwhile, those affected may try the workarounds suggested here. This should buy you some time while Google puts final touches on Android 12 beta ahead of the stable rollout sometime next month.

We will keep an eye on this development and update this story once we can confirm that a fix has been rolled out. Stay tuned to PiunikaWeb.

Update 1 (October 22, 2021)

02:25 pm (IST): Although the solution to the problem was expected to come with Android 12, this has not been the case. Users report that, even after updating their phone, the situation remains the same.


Therefore, Google Pixel 4a 5G users should keep waiting for a fix.

Update 2 (October 5, 2022)

12:23 pm (IST): It appears that the issue with pinch to zoom functionality persists even after the Android 13 update as fresh reports for the same are still coming in.

PiunikaWeb started as purely an investigative tech journalism website with main focus on ‘breaking’ or ‘exclusive’ news. In no time, our stories got picked up by the likes of Forbes, Foxnews, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, Macrumors, and many others. Want to know more about us? Head here.

Hillary Keverenge
2172 Posts

Tech has been my playground for over a decade. While the Android journey began early, it truly took flight with the revolutionary Lollipop update. Since then, it's been a parade of Android devices (with a sprinkle of iOS), culminating in a mostly happy marriage with Google's smart home ecosystem. Expect insightful articles and explorations of the ever-evolving world of Android and Google products coupled with occasional rants on the Nest smart home ecosystem.

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