Android 13: What we know so far
It’s hard to believe Android 12 hasn’t made it onto the majority of phones yet. However, Google releases a new Android version every year, and to test for faults and ensure applications are ready, it releases developer previews first, with full betas following later. Because Android is open-source and so many people work on it, we already know a lot about Android 13 before its official release.
What is Android 13 Developer Preview 2?
Android 13’s first developer preview was released in early February, giving us a sneak peek at Google’s next big version. A month later, Google released Android 13 DP2, as promised, laying the basis for the first beta release scheduled for April. Meanwhile, Google I/O, the company’s developer conference, is scheduled for May 11th. Prepare to get a comprehensive preview of what’s to come in this year’s upgrade. Android 13 is anticipated to focus on behind-the-scenes adjustments, especially in light of last year’s complete overhaul.
What’s new about Android 13 Developer Preview 2?
Unlike Android 13 DP1, which did not include many new features not seen in prior 12L betas, DP2 has a lot going for it, both on and beneath the surface. While Google chose only a few modifications to highlight when OTA files were sent globally, we discovered a slew of changes on our own, both large and little.
If you’re seeking for aesthetic modifications, we’ve got you covered. Android 13’s new media player and output selector are now out, and they’re every bit as beautiful as we imagined. The Quick Settings menu’s power and settings shortcuts have been reorganized to make them simpler to discover and grasp. We get our first official glimpse of Material. You’ve gained additional color options, as well as three new ways for creating dynamic themes. The lock screen notification overflow now features a bar that adapts in size to the amount of notification icons contained within. Android now has a taskbar icon for the app drawer, however only on tablet-sized devices. And, while we haven’t seen it in action yet, the addition of a snazzy new 3D wallpaper mode seems very interesting.
If you explore Android’s numerous settings, you’ll discover even more innovative features. Do Not Disturb has been renamed “Priority mode,” following Google’s increasingly annoying practice of renaming its features. Language options for individual apps are now available, however not all apps support them. A couple of new vibration options are fascinating, particularly the new “media haptics” slider, but it does not appear to accomplish anything at the moment. Google has combined the display and font size options into a single menu, and the screen saver selector has been redesigned. Finally, Android’s touch indications for recording have been restored following their disappearance in 12L.
As is the case with every developer preview, there are a slew of incomplete and hidden features. A new “kids mode” taskbar reintroduces certain classic Android characteristics. Smart home controls will eventually be useable without the need to unlock your phone, albeit this feature is not yet available in this release. Split-screen mode from 12L enables you to run two apps concurrently in multiple windows from notification center. Android 13 will alert you about excessive battery drain, particularly from background apps. Additionally, a bevy of hidden improvements, like an automatic dark mode and a new location for the search box in the app drawer, help complete out a sizable release.
That’s a lot to cover, and as always, you can learn even more by diving even further into our Android 13 DP2-specific content.
Remember Android 4.4 KitKat or Android 9 Pie? Google no longer uses these codenames for marketing purposes, although its developers do. Tiramisu has been announced for Android 13, after Snow Cone for Android 12, Red Velvet Cake for Android 11, and Quince Tart for Android 10.
Remember Android Beam, when you could touch two phones to transmit links, files, and more? It was superseded by Nearby Share, which uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Direct instead of NFC. But this tap-to-transfer mechanism is too convenient and straightforward to die, and Google appears to want to revive it. In Android 13, we’ll see a similar approach for sharing and playing media. It’s now dubbed “Media TTT” (tap to transfer), although Google is unlikely to sell it as such.
To transfer or even play media, you need to be close to the device, so it’s likely you’ll be able to link to future smart home gadgets like Apple’s Home Pod. We don’t know which technologies it will use, although NFC and UWB appear likely.
Android 13 may have new palettes for pulling colors from wallpapers. The new colors would be in addition to the current “tonal spot” colors: “vibrant,” which differs somewhat in supplemental accents, “expressive,” which offers a larger spectrum of colors, including hues not seen in the backdrop; and “spritz,” a desaturated, practically monochrome theme. Our unique coverage includes samples and a detailed overview in DP2.
Material You themes are coming to handsets from Samsung, OnePlus, Oppo, and more. It’s about time for some fresh color options.
Android has always been better at organizing and showing alerts than iOS, but one thing we like about Apple is that apps must ask for permission to send notifications. A new permission on Android 13 asks you to accept notifications for newly installed applications, reports XDA.
We now know how this prompt will appear. It appears when an app initially launches and seeks the POST NOTIFICATIONS permission. You’ll be able to either allow or refuse notifications, and it’s unclear if you’ll be able to pick certain channels.
These additional permissions aren’t necessary yet, according to Android 13 DP1. Due to API limitations, the update won’t take effect until 2023. And with DP2, we finally saw them live, with applications asking for permission to send notifications.
Most tech-savvy people know that they can just aim their phones’ cameras at QR codes to scan them, but Google appears to want to make this more evident to others who aren’t aware. Android 13 may gain a QR code scanning fast settings tile and a lockscreen feature. You may either use the shortcut to launch the specialized QR code camera mode or just aim your phone at a QR code while on the lockscreen. To be fair to people who don’t live and breathe Android, making it easy to engage with QR codes is certainly a nice inclusion.
The QR scanner fast settings toggle in the notification shade was originally seen in Android 13 DP1, however it’s presently grayed out and unreachable.
Support spatial audio and head tracking
On supported devices, Android 13 may offer spatial audio with head tracking. The technology creates a three-dimensional audio experience that responds to the listener’s movement. Certain iPhone and AirPods devices already offer the capability through approved applications. Google has been working on it since Android 12L.
Android 13 adds a new “low power standby” mode
Android 13 introduces a new “low power standby” option that restricts app use while device is idle. While low power standby is activated, wakelocks and network access are disabled. This functionality is meant for devices running Android TV and is deactivated by default in other settings.