At its annual developer conference – the Google I/O 2022 – Google announced the launch of Android 13 Beta 2. Let’s take a deep dive into what all we know so far, from Google’s official release.
It seems that the second beta of Android 13 will reflect Google’s work when it comes to improving the quality and performance of the platform while focussing on other key areas such as privacy, security, personalization, and tablets.
We come to personalization first.
Remember Material You, which Google had unveiled earlier? Now, the company is taking it one step further with plans to roll out pre-made color variants that will apply a color scheme across the entire OS. It will also extend the color-theming of app icons beyond Google apps. Starting with Pixel devices, users can turn on the “Themed icons” toggle in their settings to have all supported apps also match the colors in the phone in a minimal, modern, and consistent look.
If this is not enough, Android 13 also brings a new media control that tailors its look based on the music that users are listening to, featuring the album’s artwork. It also brings features for multilingual people as users will now be able select different languages for each app.
The company announced that over the next few weeks, it will bring updates to over 20 Google apps and other third-party apps such as TikTok, Facebook, and Zoom. Other goodies such as HDR video, Spatial Audio and Bluetooth Low Energy Audio will be coming to Android 13 as well.
Privacy and security seem to be Google’s keywords when it comes to the Android 13, and the company’s focus on the same can be witnessed in some of the latest features added to the upcoming version of the OS.
In an iOS like adoption, users can now have more control over what personal information they choose to share with apps and more detailed control over what files apps can access. For example, instead of permitting access to “Files and Media,” you can now control access to “Photos & Videos” and “Music & Audio.”
With the new photo picker, you can select the exact photos and videos you want to grant access to, instead of sharing all of them (the entire media library) with an app.
Next, Google will help how users engage with apps when it comes to app notifications, giving them more control over which apps they wish to receive (and continue receiving) notifications from. Android 13 will witness apps seeking the permission of users to send notifications, as well as a reduction in the number of apps that require their location, another leaf possibly taken out of the iOS playbook.
Focus on privacy is increased as Android 13 builds upon the automatic alert that users receive when an app accesses their clipboard. To ensure that apps do not access old copied information, Android 13 will automatically delete the clipboard history of users after a short period of time has passed.
Android 13 will also roll out with a new unified Security & Privacy settings page, something that will provide a clear, color-coded indicator of the safety status of users while also offering suggestions that will enhance their security.
Tablets are getting love as well, as Android 13 will bring better multitasking capabilities for them. This will be possible through an updated taskbar that can be used to easily switch users’ single tablet view to a split-screen.
Palm detection will come to tablets as well, which will not identify your hand as a stylus pen if you place your hand on the screen.