Google reveals first new features of Android 13

Android 13 is supposed to replace the current version Android 12 in late summer. Google is already working on numerous new features that the upcoming version of the mobile operating system should 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. It will still take a few months until Android 13 is ready and officially presented. Nevertheless, the first developer versions already give a preview of the new features. In this article, atechbook summarizes which innovations Android 13 is supposed to bring.

First developer version brings new type of screen mirroring

Google has published a first version of Android 13 on its developer blog. This is intended for developers. However, the new features are already exciting. The company already announced at CES 2022 that it wants to better connect Android and Chromebooks in the future. Google is now implementing this. Among other things, Android 13 will allow users to transfer Android apps and content from the smartphone directly to PCs and laptops.

For the transfer, Google uses a web application for the Chrome browser. The Google-specialized website 9to5Google has already been able to try out the so-called screen mirroring. From a Pixel smartphone, they were thus able to stream content to a Windows 11 laptop and interact with the apps there in the same way as on the smartphone. They were thus able to send tweets via the Twitter apps and even send and receive messages with Messenger apps.

According to 9to5Google, the special thing about the transfer is the implementation. Because instead of simply mirroring the smartphone screen on the laptop, a completely independent is generated, which 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 if 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. Thus, Google does not rely on a web application like in Windows, but on a system-side integration.

The new functions of Android 13

With Android 13, Google wants to offer users even more options for customization and even more data protection. Accordingly, the company has continued to tweak the features that we already know in part from Android 12. However, new features are also added in Android 13.

Photo Picker

A privacy function that is supposed to enable users to only allow apps to access individual, specific or a few photos or videos. So far, 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 immediate vicinity currently also always receive the location data of the smartphone or tablet under Android. This does not really have to be the case. Therefore, there is a new permission in Android 13 (Nearby-Wifi-Devices) that allows apps to search for WLAN devices in the vicinity and connect to them without getting the location.

Faster updates

The Play services app is to finally become the pivot for forced, faster system updates past the smartphone manufacturer in Android 13. Google calls this approach Project Mainline internally. 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 already be adapted to a background image color – so goodbye to motley. In the future, this will be possible with the icons of all apps to emphasize the new Android design language Material You with a monochrome color scheme.

In addition, user-defined tiles for the quick settings can be created directly in an app in Android 13, as can the language. It then only applies to this app. Prerequisite for the three features: They must also have been scheduled 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.

Sources

  • Google Developer Blog
  • 9to5Google

With material from dpa