Android 13 is supposed to replace the current Android 12 version in late summer. Google is already working on numerous new features that the upcoming version of the mobile operating system will bring to smartphones and tablets.
Although Android 12 has still not arrived on all current smartphones, Google has already given a preview of the next version. There was quite a bit of information about the update during this year’s Google I/O. It will still take a few months until Android 13 is ready and officially presented. Nevertheless, the first developer and beta versions already give a preview of the new features. In this article, atechbook summarizes which innovations Android 13 is supposed to bring.
Test Android 13 in advance as a beta
As with all major Android updates, Google also allows users to test the new version of Android 13 in advance. The latest Android beta can be downloaded from the developer blog. Currently, the second beta is available. According to the plan, Google wants to start with the platform stability versions in June, the final test phase before the release of the final firmware.
The beta of Android 13 is available on the Pixel smartphones. However, it also runs on devices from partners that Google lists as follows:
Google reveals exactly which smartphones from these manufacturers are unlocked for the beta phase of Android 13 on a special website .
The new features of Android 13
A major update would not be a major update if it did not bring some innovations. The pre-release versions already indicate which new features Android 13 might have. However, not all new features will actually make it into the finished operating system. However, a release in Android 13 is very likely for the innovations presented below.
Overall, Google wants to offer users even more options for customization and even more data protection in Android 13. Accordingly, the company has further refined the features that we already know in part from Android 12. However, new features are also added in Android 13.
New screen mirroring
The company had already announced at CES 2022 that it wanted to better connect Android and Chromebooks in the future. Google is now implementing this. Among other things, Android 13 will enable users to transfer Android apps and content from the smartphone directly to PCs and laptops.
Google uses a web application for the Chrome browser for the transfer. The website 9to5Google, which specializes in Google, has already been able to test the so-called screen mirroring. They were able to stream content from a Pixel smartphone to a Windows 11 laptop and interact with the apps there just like on the smartphone. They were thus able to send tweets via the Twitter apps and even send and receive messages with Messenger apps.
What makes the transfer special, according to 9to5Google, is the implementation. Because instead of simply mirroring the smartphone screen on the laptop, a completely independent one is generated that is adapted to the laptop. Among other things, the messaging apps installed on the smartphone appear here. Users can thus open an app on their laptop without interrupting the apps running on the smartphone.
Even though screen mirroring works on Windows PCs, the function is probably primarily intended for Chromebooks. Since Google itself manages the operating system here, a deeper integration of the new functions into the so-called Phone Hub – the interface between Android smartphone and Chromebook – is possible. So Google is not relying on a web application here, as with Windows, but on a system-side integration.
More data protection and Photo Picker
Google has already increased data protection in previous Android versions. Now, data sharing is to become even more precise. For example, instead of allowing access to “Files and Media” as before, users will find the subdivision into “Photos & Videos” and “Music & Audio” in Android 13. Within these categories, it is also possible to enable each medium, for example, each picture or video, as to whether an app is allowed to access it or not. Until now, the motto for this permission has been “all or nothing”. By the way, the feature is also supposed to come retroactively for Android 11 and 12 – via an update of the Google Play services.
Nearby search without location
Apps that want to connect to WLAN devices in the near vicinity currently always receive the smartphone’s or tablet’s location data under Android. This does not really have to be the case. That is why there is a new permission in Android 13 (Nearby-Wifi-Devices), which allows apps to search for WLAN devices nearby and connect to them without getting the location.
The Play services app is to finally become the pivot for forced, faster system updates past the smartphone manufacturer in Android 13. Google internally calls this approach Project Mainline. It is a reaction to the fact that device manufacturers often only deliver updates slowly or sometimes never. Google does not only mention the Photo Picker as an example, but also updates for system components like Bluetooth or ultra-wideband radio.
Design and operation
Up to now, the icons of Google apps could be adjusted to a background image color – so goodbye colorful. In the future, this will not only be possible with Google apps, but also with the icons of all apps, in order to emphasize the new Android design language Material You with a monochrome color scheme. If you select a color theme, it will be used throughout the entire operating system.
In addition, user-defined tiles for the quick settings can be created directly in an app in Android 13, as well as the language. It then only applies to this application. Prerequisite for the three features: They must also have been planned for during the development of the respective application.
Lock screen login
If several people use an Android device together or if you hand over your smartphone more often, for example to children, a new feature comes in handy. It was discovered by Esper, provider of an Android development platform. It is user switching and user log-in directly on the lock screen.
Individual language setting per app
In many cases, multilingual users set their system language to one language, such as English. However, some want to select a different language for certain apps. For this, Android 13 brings new options that, for example, allow you to set a different language for each app in the system settings. In this context, Google has also optimized the view of languages like Japanese, Burmese or Tibetan.
- Google Developer Blog
With material from dpa