Google is expected to release Android 13 later this year with a number of helpful new features and thoughtful additions over its predecessor. Google released the first developer preview of Android 13 in February, followed by developer preview 2 in March. That was followed by the first public beta in April, the second public beta at the Google I/O developer conference in May, and the third beta in June. The final beta launched in July as the last step before the stable release is rolled out alongside the launch of the Pixel 7 in August.
Until a few years ago, Google used to name each Android version after desserts and sweet treats. It started with Android 1.5 Cupcake and went on until Android 9 Pie. Some of the more notable names for different Android versions include Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice-cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, Kit-Kat, Lollipop, Marshmallow, Nougat and Oreo. However, all that changed with Android 10, when the company decided to do away with the fun naming convention and stick to a simpler numbering system to end name-related confusion in non-English-speaking countries.
One of the best new Android 13 features is the addition of a dozen new accent colors to its ‘Material You’ theme for more customization options. While Android 12 brought the Material You wallpaper-based theming system, it didn’t allow users to set their own colors as accents. While that restriction remains with Android 13, Google will now offer a total of 16 color options instead of the four wallpaper colors and four basic colors in Android 12. Android 13 also allows users to edit copied tests right from the clipboard before pasting them somewhere. Another notable new feature in Android 13 is the ability to access the QR Code scanner from the phone’s lock screen. In addition, users also get a Quick Settings tile to access the QR scanner.
One of the most important changes to Android 13 is updated permission requests. As part of the plan, Android devices will now require much more granular permissions for accessing media files, including images, videos and audio. With the new version of Android, apps will have to separately request permission to read specific file types rather than seeking one-time permission to read all media files. Another notable Android 13 feature is the ability to set languages on per-app bases. Codenamed ‘Panlingual,’ the feature would enable users to use different apps in different languages.
Android 13 will also offer users the ability to control smart home devices from the lock screen without having to unlock their phones. The feature is disabled by default, but users can turn it on from the settings. Some of the other notable customer-centric features of Android 13 include themed icons for third-party apps, a new system photo picker, runtime notifications for apps, and DNS over HTTPS support, among others. Overall, Android 13 isn’t an earth-shattering update over Android 12 but brings several thoughtful new additions that should make it an update worth waiting for.