Update, November 5, 2019 (11:45 AM ET): It looks like WeChat will be removed from the list of apps blacklisted from utilizing the 90Hz display on the Pixel 4. Recently, 9to5Google spotted a new commit posted to the Android Open Source Project to remove WeChat from this list after it fixed all the app’s “jank” in its latest 7.0.8 update.
This WeChat version is still unreleased, so it may take a while for Pixel 4 owners to use the app at full 90Hz. After the update rolls out, Google will still need to officially update the blacklist, which probably won’t happen until December’s security patch.
Original article: The Google Pixel 4 90Hz display refresh rate is one of the best features of the phone (despite the fact that it will drain the small battery). However, there are at least five apps that you won’t see in 90Hz on the Pixel 4.
The five apps are essentially blacklisted by the Pixel 4, as discovered by Mishaal Rahman from XDA Developers. Rahman found a string within the AOSP source code labeled config_highRefreshRateBlacklist. So far, the five apps on the list are Google Maps, Pokémon Go, Waze, WeChat, and the default Android file explorer app.
Essentially, if one of these five apps is active, the Google Pixel 4 90Hz display refresh rate will drop down to the normal 60Hz, regardless of what settings you have on your Pixel 4.
Both Google Maps and Waze render at just 60Hz no matter what you try to do to force 90Hz.
Why is this happening? According to a comment from a developer near the string in question, the apps “do not work well when the display refreshes at 90Hz.” Judging from this, Google decided that there would be problems with these apps as they are and, rather than trying to fix the apps, just made it so 90Hz would be blocked.
Three of the five apps in question Google has control over, so it’s very possible Maps, Waze, and the file explorer app will get fixed and then removed from this blacklist. Pokémon Go and WeChat, however, Google doesn’t control, so they’ll need to be changed independently.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen issues with the Google Pixel 4 90Hz display refresh rate. Earlier, we found out that the Pixel 4 changes the refresh rate of the display depending on brightness settings. However, Google has promised a fix for this is on the way.