Android 13 features and UI design changes have already been revealed. Yes, the Android 12 update was released only a few months ago (October 4, 2021, to be exact), and then Google unveiled Android 12L, which is a version of Android for large screen devices. The Android 13 update could be unveiled, sometime in 2022, after the stable release of the Android 12L update. Someone got access to a very early build of Android 13, and they leaked all the details of the unreleased version of the operating system.
Before we dive into Android 13 features, let’s sum up what features were introduced with Android 12. Google claims that Android 12 offers a faster performance by reducing the CPU time used by core system services by 22% and the use of big CPU cores by 15%. It brought the new ‘Material You’ UI design to help users customize their device to their liking through the wallpaper of their choice. It also helped developers create aesthetically pleasing apps with dynamic colours. It also revamped notifications using a standard template. Widgets got a much-needed makeover with rounded corners and a subdued colour palette.
Android 13 Update: List Of Compatible Devices
Flagship smartphones from major brands are likely to get the Android 13 update.
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These Google devices will officially get the Android 13 update:
- Pixel 6
- Pixel 6 Pro
- Pixel 5
- Pixel 5a (5G)
- Pixel 4
- Pixel 4 XL
- Pixel 4a
- Pixel 4a (5G)
Samsung had announced that it would be updating quite a few of its phones for the next three generations. So, if you own a recent Samsung flagship or upper-mid-range phone, your phone might be eligible for the Android 13 update. Here’s the list of some of the Samsung phones that could get the update:
- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
- Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G
- Samsung Galaxy M12
- Samsung Galaxy M21 2021
- Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
- Samsung Galaxy M52 5G
- Samsung Galaxy M32
- Samsung Galaxy F62
- Samsung Galaxy A83 5G
- Samsung Galaxy F22
- Samsung Galaxy M32 5G
- Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G
- Samsung Galaxy A73 5G
- Samsung Galaxy M42 5G (8GB RAM + 128GB)
- Samsung Galaxy M21 2021 (6GB RAM + 128GB)
- Samsung Galaxy F22 (6GB RAM + 128GB)
- Samsung Galaxy F42 5G
- Samsung Galaxy A03s (4GB RAM + 64GB)
- Samsung Galaxy F12
- Samsung Galaxy A52
- Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G
- Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
- Samsung Galaxy M52 5G (8GB RAM + 128GB)
- Samsung Galaxy A03s
- Samsung Galaxy M33 5G
- Samsung Galaxy A32
- Samsung Galaxy A22 5G (8GB RAM + 128GB)
- Samsung Galaxy M42 5G
- Samsung Galaxy M32 5G (8GB RAM + 128GB)
- Samsung Galaxy A22
- Samsung Galaxy A72
- Samsung Galaxy A32 5G
- Samsung Galaxy M21 Prime Edition
- Samsung Galaxy F12 (4GB RAM + 128GB)
OnePlus had also stated that it will be updating its flagship phones for the next three generations. So you can expect your latest OnePlus device to get the Android 13 update.
Interestingly, after LG announced its exit from the smartphone market, the company reassured LG smartphone users that it will continue to deliver the next three Android OS updates for all premium phones launched in 2019 and later. Here’s the list of LG phones slated to get Android 13 updates:
- LG Wing
- LG Velvet
- LG Velvet LTE
Top Android 13 Features
- Android 13 Codename: T For Tiramisu
- Android 13 Set to Improve Bluetooth Audio Streaming With Bluetooth LE Audio
- Android 13 Features NFC Payments For Secondary User Profiles
- Android 13 Brings Language Customisation On App-By-App Basis
- Android 13 Runtime Permission for Notifications
- Android 13 TARE: The Android Resource Economy
- Android 13 Brings Single-Line Clock Layout On Lock Screen
- Android 13 To Bring Support For DNS Over HTTPS (DoH)
- Android 13 Brings A New Way To Open Notifications In Split-screen Mode
- Android 13 Adds Granular Vibration Sliders For Notifications, Media, And More
- Opt-in Notifications
- QR Code Scanner
- Home Button Assistant toggle
- Output Picker And Media Player Changes
- Unified Text And Display Size Sliders Page
- Create A Custom Profile Photo
- Photo Picker
1. Android 13 Codename: T For Tiramisu
Back in July 2021, rumour mills suggested that the dessert name for Android 13 was “Tiramisu”. It was also first seen on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) Gerrit:
Rename T to Tiramisu
PLATFORM_VERSION_CODENAME is being updated from T to Tiramisu.
Google’s tradition of naming Android versions as desserts only lasted a decade. With the release of Android 10, Google decided to go with non-sugary names. However, the dessert names still continue to be used for internal reference.
For those in the dark, Android 11 was codenamed ‘Red Velvet Cake’ and Android 12’s internal codename is ‘Snow Cone’.
2. Android 13 Set to Improve Bluetooth Audio Streaming With Bluetooth LE Audio
Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) Audio is touted as the future of wireless audio streaming for headphones as well as hearing aids. It now looks like Android 13 may be the first release with full support for Bluetooth LE Audio. According to a commit spotted by Mishaal Rahman in the AOSP, Google has merged the LE Audio codec (LC3), adding it as a new option in system settings. This A2DP codec will get the highest priority while connecting to an audio device.
Bluetooth LE Audio won’t guzzle as much power as the Classic (BR/EDR) audio standard, which means it could greatly improve battery life. Additionally, it will allow you to broadcast audio via Bluetooth to multiple devices and provide you with a more stable connection. That’s not all, to aid accessibility, it will also integrate with hearing aids. Bluetooth LE Audio is set to do all this without compromising on audio quality.
Android 12 already comes with partial support for Bluetooth LE Audio. However, it requires more improvements in order to fully support the standard. It’s still unclear if the patches spotted in the AOSP commit will provide full support for Bluetooth LE Audio, but Mishaal expects the codec to be ready for the Android 13 release.
3. Android 13 Features NFC Payments For Secondary User Profiles
Unlike iOS, Android allows multiple user accounts on the same device. However, it still doesn’t allow you to configure and make NFC payments through secondary user accounts, perhaps due to security concerns. All that could change with Android 13. Google could finally let secondary profiles make contactless payments via NFC on devices running Android 13.
4. Android 13 Brings Language Customisation On App-By-App Basis
While Android has always let you choose your preferred language from a wide array of languages, the chosen language applies universally across the device. If you decide to switch languages, it would have to be done at the system level. Apps are allowed to provide their own in-app language settings, but most developers don’t use the feature. Multilingual users may prefer to choose different languages for different apps.
Leaks suggest that Google is working on a feature codenamed ‘Panlingual’. It is reported to let users make changes to language settings on a per-app basis, separate from the universal system-wide language setting. For instance, you could set messaging apps to Hindi while keeping the system UI and other apps in English UK. It could be available in the Settings > Language & Input > App Languages.
5. Android 13 Runtime Permission for Notifications
Google tried to reduce annoying push notifications from every app that you’ve installed by adding features like Notification Importance and Notification Channels in the previous versions of Android. You could disable some Notification Channels like Marketing but allow other Notification Channels like Delivery Updates. You could even turn off notifications entirely for specific apps.
With Android 13, Google is working on making notifications an opt-in feature. This would be similar to Camera and Location asking you to allow permissions after you open the app and try to take a picture. With the next version of Android, apps would have to ask for notification permissions after you open the app.
6. Android 13 TARE: The Android Resource Economy
Android 13 could see a new energy management feature called The Android Resource Economy (TARE). With its main focus on the device’s energy-use management, it will work via Android’s AlarmManager and JobScheduler policies.
A few weeks ago, it was reported that TARE introduces “Android Resource Credits”, a form of currency associated with the device’s battery level. Based on how the battery depletes, Google will award credits to apps, which, in turn, will allow them to use the credits as “payments” for the chance to perform tasks.
In short, Google is working on setting limits on the number of tasks that an app can schedule through AlarmManager and JobScheduler on the basis of battery charge level as well as the requirements of the app. This could help improve battery life on devices running Android 13.
7. Android 13 Brings Single-Line Clock Layout On Lock Screen
With Android 12, a new layout was introduced wherein the clock on the lock screen switches from a double-line layout to a single-line one when new notifications arrive. And when the notifications are cleared, it goes back to the initial double-line layout. Many users requested Google to revert to the single-line layout, and it appears that this feature will be added for Android 13. It is reported that it is being added to Android 12L as well.
It is to be noted that Android 13 is still in the early stages of development, so you can expect more notable features to be revealed soon.
8. Android 13 To Bring Support For DNS Over HTTPS (DoH)
Currently, Android only supports a private DNS standard called DoT (DNS-over-TLS). However, a recently merged code change in the AOSP indicates that Google will add DoH (DNS-over-HTTPS) support to Android 13.
DoT and DoH both have essentially the same function. DoT uses TLS (also called SSL) to encrypt DNS traffic. Whereas DoH uses HTTP or HTTP/2 protocols to send queries and responses instead of directly over UDP. This gives DoH a slight advantage over DoT, when it comes to privacy.
9. Android 13 Brings A New Way To Open Notifications In Split-screen Mode
With the Android 12L update, it finally looked like Google started paying attention to Android on large-screen devices (tablets, foldables). The update brought about a taskbar and updated layouts for large-screen devices, including a new feature for notifications, which allowed the user to drag a notification to one side of the screen to be able to open it in split-screen mode.
Android 13 refines the feature even further, as it now comes as a default feature and does not need to be manually enabled. You can simply long-press a notification and drag it to the bottom half of the device’s display to enter split-screen mode.
In Android 13 DP2, you can now long press a notification and drag it to enter split-screen mode.— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) March 17, 2022
This was actually added to Android 12L and was hidden behind a feature flag: https://t.co/M7Cre8ZEon
It's still pretty buggy, though. pic.twitter.com/9qY0zMcwm2
10. Android 13 Adds Granular Vibration Sliders For Notifications, Media, And More
Another noteworthy feature that Google has introduced with the latest Android 13 developer preview is a granular slider for different vibrational scenarios. While some Android devices do offer users the ability to change the vibration intensity during an incoming call and/or notifications, but Android smartphones, so far, have lacked granularity when it comes to vibrations.
With the latest Android 13 developer preview, the vibrations are split up between alarms, media, notifications, phone calls, and touches, allowing you to control them on a more granular level. Plus, you can also have the vibration start off before gradually ringing. This could turn out to be quite useful if your phone is on your table and you won’t want it to ring at full throttle straight away.
Granular vibration sliders have been added to control alarm and media vibrations. pic.twitter.com/Tk6zRskPbS— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) March 17, 2022
With Android 13, Google seems to be resurrecting its Android Beam, albeit in a slightly different manner, technically. Android Beam was replaced with Nearby Share a little while ago. Nearby Share does not rely on NFC technology for data transfer and instead uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Direct for the same. That, however, has made the fans of the tap-to-transfer method upset, which Google appears to have duly noticed.
The exact functioning and the technicalities behind the new Media TTT (tap-to-transfer) are relatively unknown for now, so we will have to wait for some more time to understand how this feature works.
12. Opt-in Notifications
Though Android usually handles notifications a tad bit better than iOS, the latter has always been more aggressive when it comes to explicitly asking the users for permission before sending notifications. Android 13 is seemingly gearing up to follow suit, as a new opt-in permission feature has been spotted in the Android 13 developer preview.
Much like most other notification prompts, the new opt-in notification prompt will also pop up when an app first runs and requests the POST_NOTIFICATIONS permission.
13. QR Code Scanner
With Android 13, Google has finally added a native QR code scanning quick settings tile for those who need to scan QR codes on a regular basis. At the moment, it is unclear whether the QR code scanning quick settings tile is just a shortcut to a dedicated QR code-recognizing camera mode or it will be a standalone QR code scanning app.
14. Home Button Assistant toggle
Ever since Google released gesture navigation to the Android ecosystem, the world have been divided into those who can’t live without gestures and those who can’t let go of the traditional three-button navigation. Android 13 seems to be providing its users with a best-of-both-worlds solution, as there will be an option to disable the gesture that lets you long-press the home button for Assistant.
15. Output Picker And Media Player Changes
Android 13 has an all-new look for the output picker, which was introduced way back with Android 10. With Android 13, the output picker will come with a total redesign for both selecting the destinations for audio and the media player as well. Plus, it will come with additional functionality.
16. Unified Text And Display Size Sliders Page
With Android 13, Google has combined the display and text size sliders into one single settings page. Before Android 13, both these sliders were located on separate pages, which made little sense. The new interface comes with a unified settings page, dubbed Display size and text, which lets you adjust the display size and the font size at the same time and gives you a real-time look of how the combination will look like.
17. Create A Custom Profile Photo
Google has been supporting the ability to create multiple user profiles on Android devices for ages now, but the way various profiles are differentiated has been rather limited so far. With Android 13, things appear to be changing, as Google has added full customization including more profile colors.
In Android 13, users get to choose an avatar from a list which includes green, blue, orange, and more color tones. Additionally, the Android 13 profile design has a more modern look when compared with Android 12.
18. Photo Picker
With Android 13, Google has introduced a new photo picker feature. It operates more or less like how Apple handles photos on iPhones. Instead of showcasing all the pictures in a single layout, Google will now separate your photos into their own menu. Whether or not the new photo picker feature is, well, useful, is still anyone’s guess, as information surrounding it is pretty scarce for now.
First Developer Preview Of Android 13
Google has released the first developer preview of Android 13, giving us a peek at its features. The preview is available for Pixel-owners brave enough to try it out, as it is still rough around the edges. The update is geared more towards developers than end users, so it’s best to wait until Google releases a stable build for Android 13.
Let’s check out what the Android 13 Developer Preview has to offer.
Android 13 Photo Picker APIs
Android’s document picker lets users share documents with an individual app, without having to give the app permission to see all the files you have on your phone. Now, with the developer build of Android 13, this capability is extended to the photo picker. The new photo picker API will let you access shared photos and videos without requiring permission to see all media files on your device.
However, this feature will not be limited to Android 13 devices. Google says that it plans to roll out the new photo picker API to users running Android 11 and newer via Google Play system updates. It will be available as part of a MediaProvider module update for all Android devices, with the exception of Android Go devices.
Material You Theme for all App Icons
One of the biggest highlights of the first Android 13 Developer Preview is support for Material You dynamic colour theme across all icons, and not just limited to Google’s own apps. Currently, Android 12 phones with the dynamic theme have a weird mix of both, icons with and without the theme, lending it a strange look. With the new Developer Preview, it will no longer be an issue.
Google announced that this feature will first come to Pixel devices, with plans to roll it out for other devices in the future.
New API for Nearby Wi-Fi Devices
Android 13 brings a new runtime permission for nearby Wi-Fi devices. It will allow apps to automatically discover and connect to nearby devices via Wi-Fi without requiring location permission. This could provide better privacy and make it more convenient to set up your smart home devices. Currently, the need for location permissions poses a challenge for apps that have no use for the location but need to simply connect to Wi-Fi devices.
Quick Settings Placement API
The new quick settings API will let users take action when an app wants to add a custom tile. The new feature will make it easier for users to make changes to settings via the notification shade without having to leave the app. A new system dialog will allow the user to add the custom tile in a single step, instead of navigating to Quick Settings to do the same.
Per-App Language Preferences, Faster Hyphenation, and Programmable Shaders
Google has confirmed that the developer build will also get the aforementioned per-app language settings, targeted towards multilingual users. Google adds that it has “optimized hyphenation performance by as much as 200%” in Android 13 to make wrapped texts easier to read and improve the UI performance. It also adds support for programmable RuntimeShader objects, that are used internally to implement ripple effects, blur, and stretch overscroll.
Android 13 Developer Preview 1 Availability
The Android 13 Developer Preview 1 will be available for the Pixel 6 series, Pixel 5, Pixel 4a series, and Pixel 4 smartphones.
However, regular users are not recommended to install this release, since early Developer Previews are notorious for breaking the functionality of phones, rendering them unusable in extreme cases. As the name suggests, it is solely geared towards developers. Google has also made it difficult to install by making it available for manual download only. Developers will have to either sideload it via ADB or download it through the Android Flash Tool.
Android 13 Beta 1 Rolled Out
Android 13 has finally exited the Developer Preview stage and Google has finally rolled out the first beta of its upcoming Android iteration. Android 13 Beta 1 has now been rolling out to compatible devices and comes with a bunch of new features.
1. More Granular Permissions For Media File Access
Android 13 Beta 1 features a set of granular permissions for media file access. Currently, if an app wants to access files on a device’s storage, it needs to request the READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission, which grants access to all types of media files. With the latest update, Google has introduced three different (granular) permissions, namely:
- READ_MEDIA_IMAGES (for images and photos)
- READ_MEDIA_VIDEO (for videos)
- READ_MEDIA_AUDIO (for audio files)
2. Better Error Reporting In KeyMint And Keystore
This feature is strictly for developers who generate KeyMint and Keystore keys. Android 13 Beta 1 brings about a new exception class hierarchy under java.security.ProviderException, with Android-specific exceptions that include Keystore/KeyMint error codes. The methods that are used for key generation, signing, and encryption, have also been made modifiable to throw these new exceptions.
3. Stylus Handwriting
Google has added a new Stylus handwriting input method for smartphones running Android 13 Beta 1. When enabled, a compatible stylus can be used for handwriting on the device’s display, which could turn out to be a useful feature especially for large screen devices.
3. Copy/Clipboard Notification
With Android 13 Beta 1, Google has started showing notifications when one copies a text from the screen. Though not a very big update, it might still come in handy during specific instance.
4. Google Calendar Launcher Icon Shows The Current Date
This feature was long overdue for Android. With Android 13 Bet 1, the Google Calendar launcher icon will finally show the current date, something various OEMs have already successfully pulled off in the past.
5. New “Control From Locked Device” Feature
Android 13 Beta 1 comes with a new locked device control. With the latest Android iteration, the Android devices will be able to control external devices without having to unlock their phone or tablet. The feature would require the device controls to be enabled by the app to function properly.
6. New Basic Colours Added In Wallpaper And Style
With Android 13 Beta 1, Google has added a total of 16 basic colours to the wallpaper palette, including 11 single colours and 5 dual colours.
Android 13 Release Date
You’ll have to wait at least a few months before the Android 13 update is released officially. Right now, Google hasn’t even announced Android 13 or released its Developer Beta versions. The company could reveal the Android 13 Developer Beta update to some Pixel devices in Q1 2022, and the Public Beta builds could go live in Q2 or Q3 of 2022.
We can ideally expect the stable Android 13 update to hit smartphones and tablets sometime in late Q3 2022 or early Q4 2022. Google expects Android 13 to be stable by June or July, ahead of an official release slated for later this year.