Google Android 13 review |  PCMag

Google Android 13 review | PCMag

After several months of beta testing, Google Android 13 is now available for everyone Pixel phone users. The operating system is an iterative update based on Android 12Basic, and includes more detailed and customizable textures, convenient multitasking tools, cross-compatibility with Chromebooks and Google tablets, language customization for each app, image capture improvements, and expanded privacy and security features. Android 13 isn’t a flagship OS like Android 12, but it polishes up last year’s excellent features set in a few useful ways.

How to get Android 13

limited number of Android phones agree with Android 13namely Google’s Pixel 4 series, Pixel 5 series, Pixel 6 series, and Pixel 7 series. a Google blog post(opens in a new window) It says the OS is headed to other device makers, including Asus, Nokia, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Vivo, and Xiaomi sometime later in 2022. If you have a Pixel phone, check to see if it qualifies for Android 13. Update by heading to Settings > System > System Update. If you see Android 13 as a new version, you are all set to download and install the operating system.

You can trust our reviews

This process is relatively quick and painless, provided your phone is updated with the latest software. Downloading and installing Android 13 took between 5 and 10 minutes on our Pixel 4XL test, and after a quick reboot the phone was ready to go.

(credit: PCMag)

Article You, Personalization and Accessibility

Materials that redefined personalization for Android users last year. So much so, that Apple has stepped up its game by offering similar screen customization with iOS 16 this year. This feature allows you to customize the user interface (UI) to match your wallpaper; It adopts a color scheme to match the background. Android 13 offers a wider range of colors, giving you more control over the appearance of the home screen and lock screens. This feature has been extended to the color scheme for non-Google apps, which is a nice touch. Developers must opt-in to enable this functionality, so many applications may not support this feature. LinkedIn pulls in your choice of colors, for example, but Facebook, Messenger, and Twitter don’t. It goes against Google’s perceived coherent outlook.

Multilingual Android users can set their preferred language for individual apps. This showed great promise during the beta build, but unfortunately it wasn’t the case in the official Android 13 build. Only apps that support language selection can be customized in this way, and this is very limited by our testing. This is a feature that iOS and iPadOS have had for quite some time. When you also consider many other language features in Apple, such as direct text Highlighting translation functions, Android seems to have some catching up to do.

Of course, Google’s own apps, such as Calendar, maps, and News use this feature, so there is still some benefit to it despite its limited implementation. For example, my dad uses English for most of his phone functions, but needs his driving directions in Spanish. Using the excellent Spanish-language Google Maps app is a game-changer for him.

Android 13 bundles support for braille displays by default, which is a very nice touch. This feature is for visually impaired people who cannot interact with or read a touch screen. Previously, the visually impaired had to download and use the BrailleBack app to get the most out of their phone. With Android 13, this can be used once the update is installed.

Manage app permissions in Android 13

(credit: PCMag)

Permissions, privacy and security

This update also comes with several new permissions and privacy improvements that make the operating system less intrusive and more comfortable to use. With Android 13, apps ask for permission before they can send you notifications. You no longer need to worry about the buzz of notifications whenever you unlock your device; These notifications can be turned off directly upon installation of the app (or later in the Privacy menu in Settings).

Another noticeable privacy improvement comes in the form of the photo picker. Similar to the functionality seen in iOS, you now have the ability to specify which photos the photo apps can access when you share something, instead of giving those apps permission to peek through your entire library.

One particularly important thing to note in terms of security: Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and Pixel 6a cannot be reverted to the older Android 12 once they’ve been updated to Android 13. Google states that the bootloader is a security vulnerability(opens in a new window) This is caused by rollback prevention. Anyway, it’s a one-way street, so only download and install Android 13 if you’re absolutely sure you want to.

Bonanza for multitasking in Android 13

Google is expanding device functionality and interoperability with each OS version, as the Android architecture is supported by many smart devices. Your Android phone can easily act as a control center for your smart device. With Android 13, Google is enriching multitasking functionality, which is especially useful as many of us return to work or work from home. if I were Chromebook Owner, you can stream messages from your phone directly to your Chromebook. You can send and receive messages without having to reach for your phone, as long as those devices are connected via Bluetooth.

Another useful feature is the cross-device copy and paste functionality. We’ve all been in situations where we want to quickly share content between our devices, be it text, a screenshot, an image, or a URL, without having to go through the hassle of juggling multiple apps to save and send it. With Android 13, you can simply tap and hold on what you want to share, search for nearby Android devices, and simply paste it on your other device.

Tablet owners benefit from the enhanced features productivity With the ability to open a second app from the taskbar and enjoy split screen viewing, it makes multitasking much easier. We’ll see how it compares Stage Manager in iPadOS 16 (which lets you juggle four apps at once) when the Apple feature debuted. We’ve come a long way from a single app that uses a wave ‘screen space.

Share across devices with Android 13.

(credit: PCMag)

Other cool features of Android 13

  • Android 13 finally supports exFAT files(opens in a new window)and allowing Pixel devices to handle files larger than 4 GB (a previous storage limitation due to the use of a FAT32 format on previous devices). with 4K video And high-resolution photographs are now commonplace, which is a huge improvement.

  • You now have a quick QR code scanner setup. It’s accessed via the Notification Center (pull it down from the top of the screen). A new QR code option can be set to scan notifications, making it more convenient than navigating through Google Lens.

  • You can summon the Assistant by swiping up from the bottom corners of the screen.

Bug fixes and updates after the launch of Android 13

The launch of Android 13 brings excellent improvements, but also brings bugs and stability issues. This is par for the cycle for new OS updates, which is why many users tend to wait for newer versions to work around the kinks that were introduced at launch. Google has rolled out two updates since the launch of Android 13 in August (one in September(opens in a new window)And the one in October(opens in a new window)) to facilitate the operating system experience. Some of these corrections include:

  • Fixes battery drain and charging issues for certain phones.

  • Improved fingerprint recognition.

  • Bluetooth connection problems.

  • Notification errors on the lock screen, in the media player, and in the personal work profile.

  • Audio distractions during calls and volume control fails.

  • The VPN connection caused crashes.

  • Widget compatibility.

  • Wi-Fi networks are not discoverable in certain apps.

Although many users worry about installing OS updates too soon, brave souls enjoy being an early adopter. If you’d like to get more hands-on with the development process, you can enroll your Pixel device into a Google device Quarterly platform beta(opens in a new window) (QPR) to test new builds.

polished to shine

Android 12 was a significant update for smartphones when it dropped last year, so it’s really no surprise that Google is expanding Android stuff instead of targeting another major overhaul in 2022. Android 13 sounds like a bunch of improvements, but that’s not harmful to the operating system. Attractive new customization functions. The security and privacy changes are long overdue, and are a welcome improvement. Multitasking add-ons are a huge boon for productivity, and we hope to see more of them going forward. Android 13 provides a neat OS package that improves your Pixel device without overwhelming you with new features and functionality, but that’s all you need.

To learn more about Google Android, check out The best Android appsAnd the The best Android gamesAnd the Forget FaceTime: The Best Android Video Chat Apps.

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