Google has released the final Android 13 beta, signaling that the next major version of its mobile operating system is almost here. Like other major updates, Android 13 will come with various new features to your smartphone.
Here’s a brief overview of what you should expect to see in Android 13, when you should expect Android 13’s official launch, and some of the eligible phones.
When Will Android 13 Be Available?
According to Google’s official Android 13 roadmap, the stable version of the software should be released, as of writing, “in the coming few weeks.” There’s no official launch date yet, but if history is anything to go by, you can expect the update to land anywhere in August or September.
Which Phones Will Get Android 13?
As always, Google’s Pixel series are always given a priority when it comes to updates. The official list of supported Pixel phones includes Pixel 4, 4 XL, 4a, 4a (5G), 5, 5a, 6, 6 Pro, and 6a. If you have any of these devices, you can install the Android 13 beta and try it ahead of the stable release.
Different Samsung, OnePlus, Oppo, Xiaomi, Motorola, and Nothing phones are also eligible for OS updates. The Android 13-based beta of One UI 5 for Samsung devices will be available for testing ahead of its launch.
10 New Major Changes Coming in Android 13
There are many new changes in Android 13, and many will only be revealed after it is launched. Here are 10 key features you can expect to see.
1. Slight Design Changes
After launching Material You in Android 12, Google is going further in Android 13 by tweaking the UI interface slightly. The biggest change coming to the Android UI is an icon auto-theming setting, allowing you to make your icons match your current theme. On top of that, Google is also adding more theming options to Material You.
2. App Notification Permissions
Android has always allowed apps to send notifications by default and if you don’t want them you need to dig through your Android Settings app to disable them. With Android 13, Google is changing that by making app notifications opt-in, instead of opt-out, by default. That means you will have to grant an app permission to send notifications.
3. Photo Picker
The new Photo Picker allows you to only share select photos or videos with an app without permitting it to view all your media files in the way that it currently does. Photo Picker takes advantage of Scoped Storage that Google introduced back in Android 10, and the good news is that it will also be launching in Android 11 and 12 (excluding Go Editions) in the future.
The feature will be provided as an update via Google Play Store on older devices, so you’re guaranteed to get it without depending on your specific device manufacturer.
4. Granular Media Access Permissions
With Android 13, apps will now also have to request individual permission to access your audio, video, and images. This is a notable change from Android 12, where apps could access all media types through a single permission. However, if an app needs to access one or more, Android 13 will combine them into a single dialog.
5. Easier Pairing With Accessories
Pairing accessories to Android has become easier over time; however, there’s still been a long way to go. One way to solve this is by using Google’s Fast Pair, which removes the need to add your accessories manually. According to the website Esper, Google’s proprietary fast pairing protocol is part of Android 13, making fast pairing even easier.
6. Built-In Bluetooth LE Audio Support
Android 13 is adding support for Bluetooth Low Energy (LE), the next-generation Bluetooth standard. The main difference between BLE and previous versions of Bluetooth is low power consumption without sacrificing audio quality, all thanks to the new Low Complexity Communications Codec (LC3).
According to Esper, BLE also brings new features on board, including multi-device audio broadcasting, hearing aid support, and the ability to share audio based on location. The addition of BLE audio support will ensure that Android 13 devices can capitalize on the feature which is already available on a multitude of Bluetooth-enabled devices.
7. Per-App Language Preferences
Android 13 is moving away from the usual system-wide language setting where whatever you set as your language is used across the system. In Android 13, Google is adding the ability to set your language per app.
The new feature allows you to select different languages for different apps via a dedicated section in an app’s settings page in the overall Settings app.
8. Privacy Dashboard With 7-Day View
Introduced in Android 12, Privacy Dashboard only allows you to view a 24-hour history of how different apps accessed your sensitive sensors like location and camera. Building on this, Android 13 adds a 7-day view.
9. Control Your Smart Home Devices Without Unlocking Screen
If you would love to control your smart home devices without unlocking your screen, Android 13 is your best bet. The update will add a new setting for you to choose whether you should be able to access and control your devices using the Quick Access Device Controls feature without authentication.
10. Clipboard Revamp
The clipboard is being revamped in different ways on Android 13. First and foremost, a clipboard overlay will appear in the bottom left corner after you copy something. It includes a preview and an edit option that you can tap to edit copied text or images quickly.
Second, the clipboard overlay shows an additional option to take a specific action in a tap for actionable information like addresses, phone numbers, or URLs.
Get Ready for Android 13
Android 13 is almost here, and if you have an eligible device, you should be able to receive the update as soon as your OEM pushes it over the air. Depending on your Android manufacturer, you can expect to see the update sooner or later once Google officially launches Android 13.