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Android 13: Top New Features and Updates

Android 13 is finally here and it comes with lots of new features and updates. Users can expect improved personalisation, updated privacy controls, enhanced language settings and all-round better functionality. There’s a lot to take in, so here’s a rundown of everything you need to know including all the best new Android 13 features to look out for.

Android 13 new features

What is Android 13?

Android 13 is the 13th major release of Google’s Android operating system, released for the public on August 15, 2022. Codenamed Tiramisu, it was announced in an Android blog back in February, followed by Beta 1, Beta 2 and Beta 3 in April, May and June respectively. The final release of Android 13 came on August 15 for Pixel phones.

The latest Android release includes a number of updates to privacy permissions and security, along with great Material You improvements, new language and accessibility options, and lots of expanded features and refinements . We’ll cover the user-facing features and updates in this article, and the developer-facing updates in our next post so check back for more details. 

Android 13 release date 

Android 13 was released on August 15, 2022, at 1pm ET. If you own a Pixel 4, Pixel 5 or Pixel 6 phone you should have already received the software update. Google says the roll out for devices from other manufacturers such as Samsung, Motorola, Realme, Sony and more is expected “later this year.”

Which mobiles will get Android 13?

Many mobile devices are already confirmed to get Android 13, while others are likely to receive the update but are not yet confirmed. It’s likely that premium mobiles will get first dibs and mid-range to budget models will follow. 

Google’s Pixel 4 and upwards have already got the latest release. Other brands will include Samsung, Nokia, Xiaomi, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Vivo, Poco, Motorola, TCL, iQOO and Asus. You can find out more about which handsets will get the update in this Android 13 phones list.

If you’ve got a Pixel phone, check to see if it’s eligible for Android 13 by going into Settings > System > System Update. If it shows Android 13 as a new version, you can download and install it in around 5 minutes.

Android 13 vs Android 12

So, what is the difference between Android 12 and Android 13? Since Android 12 was a pretty huge update, Android 13 is more of a fine tuning for your phone, building on the many new features and updates from Android 12.

Material You gets a fantastic upgrade to its theming and customization, there are handy new multitasking tools, plus you’ll find more cross-compatibility with Chromebook and tablets.

Android 13 features a slightly bigger navigation bar than Android 12. There’s also a new method for entering a split-screen view and copy and pasting across devices. Photo Picker gets an update, and per-app language personlization is a welcome addition for bilingual users.

The difference between Android 12 and Android 13 isn’t overwhelming, but you can expect your phone’s general usability, speed and performance to improve when it’s updated to Android 13.

Android 13 – biggest features and updates 

Material You 

Android 12 saw the introduction of Material You theming, allowing you to personalize your smartphone with redesigned widgets and custom color palettes based on your wallpaper.

Android 13 features upgrades to the Material You UI, so you can choose from a greater selection of colors and have more control over the aesthetic of the home and lock screens. Another nice touch is auto-theming app icons for all apps, not just Google’s.

Bedtime mode also gets more personalisation with new options for wallpaper dimming and the system dark theme via your Digital Wellbeing controls.

Language preferences

A big feature for multilingual users, Google’s latest update includes per-app language personalization for those who want to have apps display in different languages. Language preferences now include the option to set languages on a per-app basis so you can keep your overall system in one language and each of your apps in another. 

Better multitasking

With Android 13, Google has ticked a lot more boxes in terms of cross-device multitasking. If you own a Chromebook you can now stream messages from apps like Google Messages directly to your Chromebook. Easily send and receive messages even when your phone is out of reach as long as your devices are connected via Bluetooth.

There’s also a cool new feature for copying and pasting content between devices. For instance, you can quickly copy a photo, text, video or URL from your mobile phone and paste it into your tablet or vice versa. Simply tap and hold what you’re sharing, search for the device you want to share it with and paste it to that device. Simple!

What’s more, the update gives Android tablets a true taskbar. The newly updated taskbar lets you easily open a second app from the taskbar and enjoy a nifty spilt-screen view for better multi-window experiences. Tablet screens also register palm and stylus touches separately for a seamless distinction between writing and drawing on your tablet.

Enhanced audio

You’ll feel like you’re right in the heart of the action with Spatial Audio support for supported headphones. When you use head tracking enabled headphones, Spatial Audio will adapt with your head movements for a more immersive listening experience. 

Android 13 also brings audio improvements in the form of built-in Bluetooth Low Energy for lower latency, enhanced audio quality, and the ability to broadcast audio to multiple devices at the same time.

What’s more, Android 13’s redesigned media player now showcases the album artwork from your music, with a playback bar that dances in time with the music. 

Android 13 media player

Privacy and permissions

Android 13 brings several updates to notifications permissions and privacy, giving you more control over what apps can send you messages or access your media and clipboard. 

Similar to iOS, the apps you download will now need your permission to send you notifications. Notification permissions can be granted or denied when you install an app, or later in your Privacy settings. You may want to run through your favorites to make sure they are allowed to keep sending you notifications.

Access to photos has also been updated with new Photo Picker which allows you to choose which photos you want to share with apps rather than granting access to your full media library.

Another notable update is clipboard clearing. The system now alerts you when an app accesses your clipboard, and will automatically clear your clipboard history to safeguard your copied passwords and credentials.

Android 13 notifications

Other cool new features and updates

  • A super-handy shortcut for the QR code scanner.
  • Summon the Assistant by swiping up from the bottom corners of the screen.
  • Supports exFAT files enabling Pixel devices to handle files larger than 4GB.
  • There’s HDR video support on third-party camera apps.
  • An updated media output switcher.
  • Braille displays for Talkback.
  • Smart home controls in an unlocked state.
  • Integrated Fast Pair.
  • Easier searches for people who use phonetic lettering.

Are you an app developer?

Need help preparing for Android 13? If you have any concerns, please contact us today or check back for our Android 13 developers guide.

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