Android 13: Everything we know about Google's big OS update

Android 13: Everything we know about Google’s big OS update

Google’s Android 13 is finally available after months of testing. It’s a very small update that sees Google build on what it started with Android 12 And the 12 liters. Materials get even more colorful with additional customization features, and Google plans to expand the range of icons beyond the small selection of currently supported Google apps. The company is also highlighting Android 13’s privacy and security features, and there’s a lot to build on Android’s larger-screen ambitions in foldables and tablets.

Finally, people with Chromebooks You’ll see some functionality across Apple-like devices that let you stream messaging apps to the big screen. This comes in addition to other Chrome OS features like the shared clipboard and flexible phone center.

It’s a small update but a very subtle one. Here’s everything you need to know about Android 13.

What’s new in Android 13?

Google is building on what it started with Android 12 and 12L. Materials get even more colorful with additional customization features, and Google plans to expand them beyond select Google Apps. The company is also highlighting Android 13’s privacy and security features, and there’s a lot to build on Android’s larger-screen ambitions in foldables and tablets.

release date

The Google

Google released the first Android 13 Developer Preview in February, and the second will arrive in March. In April, Google opened Android 13 to the general public with First beta Two more have been released through June. The platform has arrived More With the third beta update, and the program continued until July with the debut of the final version of Android 13 pixels shortly after. Samsung and Oppo will roll out their updates later, and Google will join other brands like Asus, HMD (Nokia phones), iQOO, Motorola, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Sharp, Sony, Tecno, Vivo, Xiaomi, and more. party later in the year.

New accessibility features

Google will now Build support for braille displays in Android. Braille displays are devices that allow visually impaired people to interact with computers and read text that would normally appear on a screen. They can be used on computers, phones, and other devices, as well as connect via Bluetooth or USB.

Previously, visually impaired users had to make use of the BrailleBack app downloaded from the Google Play Store to interact with them, but Google changed that with Android 13. The feature will roll out in Android 13 Beta 3.

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material you It debuted with Android 12 as a kinda-sorta Google-optimized personalization feature for Android that pulls colors from your wallpaper to customize your apps and your phone’s interface. It’s available now on Google Pixels and some other Android 12 phones, while Google is making it widely available for all devices running Android 12L and above. With Android 13, Google will allow users to change how these colors appear. At the moment, material you are very light. While this is to some people’s taste, not everyone feels this look. It also gets a little boring, especially when Android 11 unexpectedly has a much larger color selection that’s immediately available to choose from.

With Android 13, Google is improving color tones with four new options. Materials You’ll still choose the colors from your wallpaper, but how you display them will be up to you—to an extent. The current options are Tonal Spot, Vibrant, Expressive, and Spiritz, but you won’t see them named as such; You will simply see more options. Coming to Android 13, the number of available textures of colors swelled from five to 11, paving the way for enhanced customization when this hits your phone.

Google also announced the expansion of its themed icons feature to third-party apps. While it arrived as a Pixel-exclusive feature with Android 12, Google says it’s expanding it to its hardware partner partners. It’s not clear if the company will be able to see any major uptake just yet because Android 12 is still very much an exclusive endeavor from Google.

Android 13 icons feature.
The Google

Improved notifications

Settings on Google Pixel 6 Pro.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

If Google wasn’t fiddling with notifications in Android, could it really be called a major upgrade? With Android 13, notification permissions are here. What this means is that Google will not allow anything android app Sending you notifications right from the start. Just like you see in Chrome or other modern browsers, they will have to explicitly request and give you access to send you notifications. For apps like WhatsApp and Telegram, most users do without hesitation, but gaming and shopping apps may find it difficult to get rid of the spam notification messages they’ve been sending for years.

Click to convert

Between iPhones and HomePods, Apple introduces a feature known as Tap to Transfer. When you’re playing a song on your iPhone with Apple Music, you can easily tap Homepod to move the playback over to the speaker for richer sound without fiddling with onscreen controls. Google is said to be working on it for Android 13 according to a mockup shared by Android Police. Nothing is known about him other than he exists at the moment, so this is more a possibility than a certainty. Still, with Google selling live audios And the Nest minis – as well as the wider ecosystem of Cast-enabled smart speakers – this would be nice to have an edge.

Easier access to QR code scanner

QR codes are becoming more important in the era of COVID-19, and Google could be working on a way to make them easier to use going forward. It’s worth noting that you can actually scan QR codes via Google Camera or a third-party Android phone app. With Android 13, Google has introduced a built-in QR code scanner that will be able to run directly on the lock screen and be accessed through the Quick Settings app. It will be more convenient than a camera, although in practice it may not change much.

Polyglot madness

Google is adding native support for per-app language settings to Android. Currently, users can set a default system language that all apps on their phones use, but Google is working on a new setting that will let you choose which apps use which language.

“Some applications allow users to choose a language that differs from the system language to meet the needs of multilingual users. Such applications can now call a new platform API to set or get the user’s preferred language, Google’s Dave Burke explained, which helps reduce boilerplate code and improve compatibility. When setting the application runtime language.

It can be WhatsApp in English, Telegram in Russian, WeChat in Chinese, and so on. It’s a nice little tool for people who speak multiple languages ​​and communicate with others around the world.

New privacy features

Privacy dashboard in One UI 4.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

With its first Android 13 beta, Google highlighted New support for media sharing features. This means that for apps that can request access to files on your phone, they will need to specify whether they want photo, video, or audio files.

Currently, apps that ask for your media permission can access all types of files at once. Implementing this feature will prevent apps from accessing file types that they don’t need. For example, Instagram doesn’t need your audio files, and the recorder app doesn’t need to see your photos. Although it relies on developers to complete this change, Google says that any app targeting Android 13 will need to enable this.

Stream Android apps

Google earlier this year announce It plans to allow Chromebooks to quickly open chat apps as it seeks to integrate more tightly with Android phones. Now report from 9to5Google It shows the building blocks of this feature in the current Android 13 preview. When this feature is turned on, people will be able to broadcast not only chat apps but any installed apps Android applications on their phone to a linked Chromebook. It’s not clear if this will be a Pixel exclusive or a fee that Google will use to entice people to upgrade to the next version of Android (how attractive a Chromebook feature could be).

A beta showing Google's plans to stream Android and Chromebook apps.

Since Samsung is already offering something similar on Windows PC with its Microsoft Your Phone app, Google is also said to be working on a feature that would allow the app’s streaming service to run on both PC and Mac. It’s not as native as what Google will offer on Chromebooks since it runs through a web app, but the report says the experience Feel I pray enough that the average person probably won’t mind.

Although there is a use case on PCs, there is a question as to why one would want something like this on Chromebooks, which already work Android applications. The easy answer – and the one Google gives – is that it allows people to quickly use the app without installing it for short, one-time tasks. Additionally, some apps are prohibited from running on Chromebooks — banking apps like Starling in the UK, for example. This feature, if Google ships it in its full form, will help fill in those gaps.

This Easter egg is very, very cool

Reaching Android 13 Beta 3.3 is Google’s annual Android Easter egg. This Android 13 feature is not a very functional feature, but what are Easter eggs? You can find the Android 13 Easter egg by going to Settings > About phone > Android version. Once there, triple click on File Android version number quickly. When the clock widget appears, you can move the clock hands so that the time is set to 1:00 (so, 13:00 for Android 13), and the easter egg appears.

It’s the Android 13 logo on a screen full of circles, but tapping and tapping anywhere on the screen fills it up with different emojis like in the image above. It’s fun for five minutes, but it’s better than nothing.

PSA for Pixel 6 owners

Three colors of Google Pixel 6a

If you have a Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro or a Pixel 6a phoneAndroid 13 is a one-way trip. While most users wouldn’t mind, there is usually a small subset of users who might want to go back to a previous version of the operating system, perhaps for application compatibility purposes. This does not happen with Android 13.

Android 13 update for Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro phones Pixel 6a phone It contains a bootloader update that increases the anti-rollback version. After flashing Android 13 to these devices, you will not be able to update to versions earlier than Android 12,” Google warns, adding that for Android 12 devices (such as observer By Esper’s Mishaal Rahman), “Your device is running a vulnerable version of the bootloader. After flashing this build, your device’s anti-rollback counter will be incremented to prevent flashing previous vulnerable versions of the bootloader on the device in the future. This will prevent flashing existing Android 12 builds “.

In other words, the version of Android 12 that ships on Pixel 6 phones has a security flaw of some sort that Google mitigated on Android 13, and rolling back that will work. You’re not likely to encounter this in normal usage, but if you’re tempted to downgrade to Android 12 – you’ve been warned.

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