first glimpse of the new features of Google’s OS

Android 13 makes its debut, in the form of a Developer Preview. The opportunity to discover the new features of the future version of Android.

Google has just officially launched the Developer Preview 1 of Android 13. While Android 12 is gradually coming to mobile devices after its launch in October, the firm already has its eyes fixed on the new version. However, this pre-version is still far from reaching our smartphones and is intended for developers. They can start testing this new version and discover what’s new to adapt their applications accordingly.

This “first glimpse” is offered while the development of Android 12L is still in progress. This variant is specially designed for folding devices or devices with a large screen. The Mountain View company confirms in passing that certain new features of Android 12L will be integrated into Android 13. With this new version, Google continues to highlight confidentiality and security. This theme is recurring and the firm still wants to go a step further, bringing several new features.

Google still emphasizes security

Android 13 is interested in the photo picker and promises more privacy. Now, the photo selector can limit access to photos and video content to installed apps. Concretely, an application will no longer necessarily be able to access all the files. She will have to make do with restricted access to a certain number of photos and videos. Good news, Google does not intend to reserve this new feature for Android 13. An update via Google Play will allow smartphones running Android 11 or more recent to benefit from it.

In the same spirit, the future OS intends to offer new wifi permissions for nearby devices. Apps that require a wifi connection will no longer need to access device location. According to Google, this approach is more respectful of privacy.

Quick settings, icons… even more customization

Behind these security improvements, Android 13 promises more visible changes. The quick settings, which allow you to quickly modify certain system functions (wifi, Bluetooth, airplane mode, etc.), will evolve to better take into account third-party applications. The latter will be able to display an alert to invite the user to add a tile in the quick settings panel. The addition can be done without leaving the application and without accessing the phone settings.

Android 13 quick settings

The current version, Android 12, marks a turning point with the deployment of Material You and Monet. This system offers the possibility of customizing certain colors according to the wallpaper. With Android 13, Google intends to extend this customization beyond its home applications to apply it to all application icons. The firm says it wants to allow users “choose icons that inherit their wallpaper tint and other thematic preferences”. Developers are encouraged to provide a compatible icon to provide this feature.

Android 13 Custom Icons
Custom app icons on Android 13. © Google

Initially, this novelty will be reserved for Pixel smartphones. Discussions are underway with other manufacturers to extend it to more devices.

Finally, Google promises optimizations for tablets, folding devices or Chromebooks. Another interesting novelty, Android 13 will better take into account the fact that some applications allow you to choose a language different from that of the system. A convenient option for users who speak several languages.

When will this new version be released?

Google is only at the start of development and Android 13 will not be released for several months. This first preview will evolve into a second Developer Preview in March, before going into beta. This more “general public” version will see the light of day in April and the firm evokes a “stabilized” beta around the month of June. The presentation of the final version of Android 13 should take place around the start of the school year in September.

We can expect to discover more new features at the Google I/O conference next May.

Android 13: which smartphones are compatible?

True to these habits, Google is focusing on its Pixel devices first. Here is the list of smartphones compatible with the DP 1 of Android 13:

  • Google Pixel 6 Pro;
  • Google Pixel 6;
  • Google Pixel 5a;
  • Google Pixel 5;
  • Google Pixel 4a 5G;
  • Google Pixel 4a;
  • Google Pixel 4 XL;
  • Google Pixel 4.

Currently, it is not possible to install this version from a third-party manufacturer.

How to install it?

The installation of this version is risky and targets an informed public. Developer Previews are not designed for daily use and many bugs can appear. In addition, key features may be missing and degrade the user experience.

To access Android 13, you will need to prepare your computer and flash a system image from recovery mode. It is possible to download the Developer Preview 1 on the Google site.

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