Everything to know about Android 13

Android 13
Android 13

The Android 13 era is rapidly approaching. The final beta for Google’s next software update was released in July. Now it’s just a matter of Google releasing the full version of Android 13, which should happen sometime in August.

Google released Android 13 beta 3, the platform-stable version of the update, in early June, allowing developers to test Android 13-compatible versions of their apps. Android 13 beta 3 includes a new taskbar, multi-window mode, and new optimizations for large-screen devices for tablets and devices with larger screens, such as the best foldable phones.

By mid-July, we had beta 4, which appears to have resolved the update’s stability issues. That means we’re getting closer to the release of Android 13 than ever before.

Here’s what we know so far about Android 13.

Android 13 release date speculation

Android 12 Go

Android 12 Go

When developer previews of Android 13 became available in February of this year, the release schedule for the Android update appeared to be very straightforward (especially if you were familiar with the rollout of Android 12).

Even before we saw that timeline, we assumed the final Android 13 release would take place in the fall, ahead of the Pixel 7’s release. With Google describing the release as “weeks away” when it released beta 4, it now appears that Android 13 will be released in August.

Android 13 features

With the release of Android 13 Developer Preview 1, Developer Preview 2, Beta 1 and Beta 2, the entire feature set has come into focus. We also had some rumored Android Police features to give us an idea of what Android 13 would offer.

Whatever you want to call it, Google appears to be working on the ability to give your audio devices a more 3D effect when paired with your Android phone.

Bluetooth LE compatibility: The most recent Bluetooth standard consumes less power, allows for multi-device pairing, and reduces stuttering. That’s why it’s great to see the required audio codec included in Android 13.

Copied text editing: Similar to how you can edit a screenshot preview before saving it, Android 13 allows you to edit any text you’ve copied before adding it to your clipboard, hopefully saving you from a few mistakes. If the phone detects that you’ve copied a hyperlink, a button to open it in Chrome appears.

Photo Picker: Introduced in the first developer preview for Android 13, the new Photo Picker is based on an iOS 15 feature. You’ll be able to select which photos to share with an app rather than your entire gallery. The feature adds an extra layer of privacy by only allowing apps to see the data you want to share with them.

Permission for nearby Wi-Fi devices: Another new feature in the Android 13 developer preview is the Nearby Device permission, which now includes a Wi-Fi component. A NEARBY WIFI DEVICES permission, for example, allows apps to access your phone’s knowledge of Wi-Fi access points, potentially limiting what you share with third-party apps.

Themed third party icons

Themed third party icons

Themed third-party icons: As you may recall, Android 12 allowed icons to shade themselves according to the wallpaper, albeit only for Google apps. According to the developer preview, Android 13 extends this functionality to third-party apps.

Dual eSIM support: According to a report, Google may include a feature in Android 13 that allows multiple carriers to connect to a single eSIM. This dual eSIM support in Android 13 (opens in new tab) would eliminate the need for a physical SIM card, but that is up to carriers and phone manufacturers.

Introducing the new QR code scanner: Two new QR code scanner options are shown in screenshots obtained by Android Police (opens in new tab). The first is the ability to access your phone’s scanner from the lock screen, allowing you to scan restaurant menus without having to unlock your device. This would undoubtedly be appreciated.

Media playback handoff: Android may get its own media handoff feature to compete with the iPhone and HomePods. If you’re unfamiliar, you can transfer media to a HomePod mini by tapping your iPhone against it. If Android Police’s source is correct, Android 13 may see “Media TTT,” or Media Tap-to-Transfer. This enables you to tap your phone to a device, such as a Nest speaker, to transfer media playback to it. At the moment, it is unclear how this would work.

Media playback handoff

Media playback handoff

Granular media access permissions: In Android 13 Beta 1, new granular media access permissions were introduced. Apps will now have to separately request access to your images, videos, and audio files. Apps previously had access to all of your media with a single permission.

Redesigned media output picker: Android Police believes Google will make changes to any media output picker in addition to the photo picker. This is where you select which speaker will play your media, whether it’s your phone’s speakers or Bluetooth earbuds. According to the screenshots obtained by, the volume bar will get a rounded, full-size option to match the new main volume bar in Android 12.

Adjustable flashlight: According to Esper, commands in the developer beta indicate that Google will allow you to adjust the brightness of your flashlight rather than simply turning it on or off. This feature has been available on iOS and some Android brands for some time, so having it built in by default will be beneficial.

App archiving: While this isn’t a feature exclusive to Android 13, Google has officially announced a new feature that will allow apps to be saved in a smaller, archived format on users’ phones, reducing their storage footprint until they’re needed. It appears to be especially useful for users with limited onboard storage.

Notification permissions

Notification permissions

Notification permissions: Android 13 Developer Preview 2 adds notification permissions, eerily similar to iOS. This means you can prevent apps from sending you notifications when you first launch them if developers include the functionality.

Bluetooth LE audio: Android 13 will include Bluetooth LE audio support, allowing you to get higher-quality audio while using less energy.

Support for MIDI 2.0 devices: Android 13 will include support for MIDI 2.0 devices.

Predictive audio routing: Android 13 introduces new audio device and audio profile APIs to improve audio production and device selection. This will assist users in selecting the best audio format for their track, which will be beneficial to musicians.

Better error reporting in KeyMint and Keystore: Android 13 introduces new error reporting in the cryptographic key systems KeyMint and Keystore. When these systems fail to generate keys properly, developers who rely on them will be able to see errors. More importantly, the errors will allow developers to isolate the issue and retry key generation.

Auto clipboard history deletion: This should go without saying, but Android 13 will be able to delete your clipboard history automatically.

Android 13: What we want to see

Android 12 didn’t make a perfect transition into the Material You world, just as Android 5.0 Lollipop didn’t make a smooth transition to Material Design. Google employs hundreds of people to work on this, but they are all, in the end, human. Mistakes and errors are unavoidable.

Android 13

Android 13

I’d like to see the following features in Android 13.

Less bugs: It’s no secret that Android 12 had a rocky launch, with numerous bugs. While I haven’t had too many problems, I am aware that many others have had the opposite experience. When Lollipop was released in 2014, the transition to Material You caused several issues. Issues were unavoidable, but I’m hoping that Android 13 will smooth things out.

Restore the Wi-Fi Quick Settings tile: Google combined the Quick Settings mobile data and Wi-Fi controls for Android 12 into one called “Internet.” Toggling Wi-Fi or switching networks becomes difficult as a result. I’d like to see this change reversed back to how it was in Android 11.

Scrolling screenshots for all apps: Android 12 introduced scrolling screenshots for all apps. Developers were required to incorporate a “View-based UI” element into their apps, the absence of which meant no scrolling screenshots. I’d like to see Android 13 include scrolling screenshots for all apps and situations, similar to what we’ve seen on other Android phones for years.

Smart home controls in the power menu: You could access your smart home controls from the power menu in Android 11. They’re hidden behind a Quick Settings tile in Android 12. It’s only one more step to do something as simple as turn off my lights. I’d like Google to restore the power menu controls.

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