Android 13 – release date, best features

We run through what to expect from the next Android standard setter

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Latest: Android 13 Beta 4, the ‘final beta’, is now available for Pixel phones and other select manufacturer models. If you’ve yet to make the move to installing the Android 13 beta, now is a good time.

The Android 13 Beta 4 is obviously the best release yet, and a release candidate of Android 13, which means two things. First, is that all apps are now being polished and readied for the final release. And second, is that the next version will be the official release of Android 13!

Android 12 is still being considered the “new” Android that recently released devices are being equipped with. But Google has showcased Android 13 and released a few beta versions.

In fact, we’ve now got a good idea of the functions and features of Android 13. So let’s discuss this latest Google masterpiece.

Android 13 codename and release date

timeline shared by google
Source: Google

Before Android 10, Google gave its OS iterations names based on sweets. Although in public announcements it now uses a number, it still often refers to versions using sweets.

The codename for Android 13 is “Tiramisu,” which we know thanks to the first developer peek. You may find that codename for Android 13 in the settings for Android.

Unfortunately, Google has not yet disclosed a release date for Android 13. The release candidate will take form for a stable launch in Q3 2022. But the above schedule potentially suggests an August release date for Android 13.

With Beta 3, Android 13 attained “platform stability”, and Beta 4 is now the release candidate. So an August release ahead of the expected iOS 16 launch in September would be a boost.

However, Android 12 was released on 4th October 2021. While we expect Android 13 to arrive before October at its current pace of development, Google has scheduled the debut of the Pixel 7 series for the Fall.

New features

QR Scanner

The disadvantage of the Android OS in previous iterations was QR code scanning, but with the current version, this feature is simpler to use.

In the initial developer preview for Android 13, Google included a quick toggle button. However, it wasn’t functional. In the second developer preview, it became operational.

In addition, since it’s a toggle switch, users can access it from the lock screen. Anything that makes it simpler to engage with QR codes – which are more prevalent these days – will likely be welcomed by Android fans.

Tap-to-transfer

The upcoming version of Android will have a better version of Nearby Share. The additional functionality of the feature is unknown. However, it most likely uses short-range wireless technology like NFC or UWB.

So far, Google has demonstrated the feature through several screenshots showing how you must go closer to a device to communicate or play media. It now goes under the codename “Media TTT” (tap to transfer), although it’s doubtful that Google will use this as the feature’s final name.

 tap to transfer screen shots
Source: AndroidPolice

‘Panlingual’ per-app language settings

This may be the finest update to Android 13 if you speak more than one language. Language switches for each app were included in the initial development preview package.

If it makes it into the final release of Android 13, users could set distinct languages for various programs from the system option.

That means you can change the application language regardless of the general device language.

language adjustment change in apps
Source: AndroidPolice

Silent and “Do not disturb” modes

The silent mode has undergone some changes. Your phone should be completely quiet when you set it to silent. However, previously when in this mode, haptic feedback and sensations continue to occur.

In Android 13, silent mode turns off everything, allowing you to use your phone in complete silence.

Google renamed Do Not Disturb to Priority Mode in the second development preview of Android 13.

However, it then changed this back to Do Not Disturb. So it is unclear whether this name change will also affect the feature, or was only an effort to make it more appealing.

Sound output changes

According to Mishaal Rahman, Android 13 may be the first release to properly implement support for Bluetooth Low-Energy Audio.

The standard, intended to replace conventional Bluetooth audio streaming, offers several advantages. These include lower energy consumption while maintaining the same audio quality, the ability to send signals to multiple headphones or speakers simultaneously, and full support for the features added to Google’s hearing aid protocol.

In addition to this intriguing feature, Google will include a new output selection menu in Android 13.

The introduction of an output selector arrived in Android 10, allowing you to choose how you want to listen to audio and other media. Whether that’s on your phone, via a pair of wireless headphones, or Bluetooth speakers.

This feature has a new appearance in Android 13, with the audio destination locations and the media player getting complete redesigns. It looks even better than anticipated and has more capabilities based on early screenshots.

Additionally, Google included a cool new squiggly animation that moves to the beat of your music with Android 13 Beta 1.

Source: AndroidPolice

Battery saver and new technologies

The so-called PhantomProcessKiller, part of Android 12’s new battery-saving features, makes it much more difficult for applications to function in the background.

While this aids in controlling bad developers, it also has unforeseen implications for programs that must run several demanding tasks in the background.

A checkbox in the developer options of Android 13 could enable power users to disable this security safeguard for edge circumstances like Termux.

The battery-saving features are not limited to PhantomProcessKiller: The Android Resource Economy, often known as “TARE,” is a new feature that Google is currently working on.

It is intended to keep an eye on how applications operate in the background and the tasks they complete. It grants and deducts points from apps to prevent them from scheduling an infinite number of tasks in the future – effectively shutting down unnecessary battery drain.

Android 13 also may alert you to malicious programs that abuse high battery use, particularly in the background. Right now, it just exists in Google documentation, so we’ll have to wait to see how it performs in practice.

Material You new color options and wallpaper features

Google provides users and Android manufacturers with three additional color schemes in addition to the current so-called “tonal spot” colors in Android 13. These are: “Vibrant,” which differs only slightly in supplementary accents; “Expressive,” which offers a wider variety of colors, apparently even extending to colors not seen in the background; and “Spritz,” a desaturated, nearly monochromatic theme.

Android 13 Material You new color
Source: AndroidPolice

These themes were finally available to users in Beta 1 in the shape of 16 additional color extraction options in your wallpaper picker.

Cinematic wallpapers have also been introduced in the Android 13 DP2. Based on what we know, it seems plausible that this might enable customized live wallpapers based on images from your photos library – much like cinematic images in Google Photos.

For the time being, this merely appears to be an API for developers to connect to.

Material You themes are coming to devices from Samsung, OnePlus, Oppo, and other manufacturers, along with the release of Android 13 DP1.

Permission to receive notification from newly installed apps

Do you feel overrun by app notifications? The notification management in Android 13 is improved. XDA discovered new permissions which will allow users to accept or not accept notifications for newly installed applications.

Since then, we’ve also learned what the format of this question will be. Like most other permission prompts, it will appear when an app initially launches and asks for the POST NOTIFICATIONS permission.

This means that in Android 13 You will have only two choices: you may either accept or reject notifications altogether. With the release of android 13 DP2, it is apparent that this is certainly a function that will be available in the final release.

Features for Pixel phones

The spatializer effect shown in Android 13 Beta 1 might be Google’s take on the spatial audio function found in the iPhone (Apple’s spatial audio format can simulate a surround sound experience).

Even if the feature does make it into the final release of Android 13, it isn’t totally obvious currently as it still seems to be in active development and isn’t user-facing. Google has improved some of the existing features in the Pixel series though.

The on-device search feature that Google initially included in the Pixel app drawer in Android 12 was broken in Android 13 Beta 1, but there may be more significant changes than a quick fix.

The search mode will replace the default Google Search bar seen at the bottom of Pixel phones’ home screens.

Additionally, the navigation gestures on Pixel phones are getting new options, while some older versions are returning. With Android 13, the three-button navigation is coming back. There will also be a choice to turn off the gesture that allows you to hold the home button to activate Google Assistant.

That makes sense for the Pixel 6 series of phones since the latest models have shifted to launching the Assistant by holding down the power button for a long time, eliminating the need to hold down the home button.

Design changes

With the introduction of Material You, Android 12 saw one of the most major UI updates. More individualized customization choices were made possible by the redesigned interface, including more logical animations and settings for color palettes depending on wallpaper.

The changes in Android 13 don’t seem to be as drastic, but Google will still add new functionality and make cosmetic changes.

Android 13wallpaper design and themes
Source: Google

When the initial developer preview was released, Google published some interesting screenshots.

We can see that you may automatically theme your icons in Android 13 the same way you theme the rest of the operating system in Android 12.

The clock design has also undergone some changes. Android 13 will now allow users to choose between two clock designs on the lock screen.

The existing double-line layout or a single-line layout will be available to users.

Your notification section media player will have a fresh new design too. The controls have been slightly rearranged, and the widget’s backdrop will now be entirely covered with album art.

Small changes

Vibration setting: Haptics: In DP2, Silent Mode effectively deleted all haptic input; this contentious modification was reversed in Beta 1. There are also a few new vibration options, but they don’t appear to accomplish anything as of now.

Flashlight: The simple touch shortcut that was first provided to Pixels in Android 12 now includes the capability of turning on and off the flashlight.

Display and font settings: The screen saver picker has a new appearance, and Google has consolidated the display and font size choices into a single menu.

ExFAT support: If you’ve been clamoring for exFAT support on Android for years, this most recent update will finally make it happen.

Navigation bar: Despite not altering its gesture system, Google did thicken the bar that runs at the bottom of the display.

Final thoughts

The new and changed functionality seems intriguing. However, we are unaware of how Android 13 will appear in its final form. Tiramisu makes a lot of promises, so we’re hoping the finished product won’t disappoint.

Tempted to switch? Make sure to check out this post if you’re planning on making the switch from iOS to Android and need to transfer your valuable data.

For those who’ve had it with Android and want to transfer data over easily to iOS, here’s a step-by-step guide that includes both automatic and manual methods.