While we found photos taken with the Pixel 3 to be mighty appealing, we have also been fortunate enough to not run into a bug that has left many rumblings on social media. Periodically, photos taken with the phone simply won’t save for some users.
The issue appears to occur when the Pixel 3's camera app shuts down immediately after a photo is taken—not having time to save the photo before closing. This could be due to a shortage of RAM. The Pixel 3 has just 4GB of RAM, while many other flagship (re: $800) Android phones have 6GB or more.
In Android, applications shutting down suddenly is a common indication of a RAM shortage or a failure of the phone’s OS to manage memory appropriately, which is why many other Android phones have run into the issue, including all the earlier Pixels, the Nexus 5x, and a wide variety of budget devices.
According to Android Police, Google says a fix will be rolled out to the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, as well as earlier Pixel devices, which also appear to have been affected (though without a similar online furor). It is not clear if this fix will affect all Android devices, or just the Pixel line—we’ve reached out to Google for clarification.
“We will be rolling out a software update in the coming weeks to address the rare case of a photo not properly saving,” Google reportedly said.
In the meanwhile, if you find yourself with a camera app that unexpectedly quits after a photo is taken, it might be a good idea to manually close other applications open on the device. Android is usually good about doing that itself, but clearly this isn’t always the case. Most phones should have a recent applications button (check the manufacturer website for your specific device) that shows all applications currently open. From there, you can quickly close any apps you don’t plan on using, forcibly making more memory available to the camera app.
It’s not ideal, but it’s a reasonable solution until Google fixes things.