Google He has launched Android First developer preview of 13. The announcement comes even as Android 12 has yet to make its way to many phones, including some flagships. The first preview of the new Android operating system was released today for developers. Here is everything you need to know about it.
Android 13 Developer Preview: What is it?
Before a full stable update, Google releases developer previews for the Android operating system. These are intended for app developers, who can then use the preview builds to design and modify their own apps according to the guidelines of the new update.
Developer previews can be unstable and should not be confused with beta versions, which are much more stable in comparison. What this means is that a developer build usually has a lot more issues or bugs, and will likely come with a number of software issues. These will be fixed along the way. But most regular users, who probably have a phone as their main device, should wait for the stable update.
Android 13: What’s new?
New features in Android 13 include improved theme options and privacy features. At this point, it doesn’t look like the new update will feature many visual changes given that Android 12 was a big visual update in and of itself. However, Material You design is now expanding to all apps and is no longer limited to just Google’s own apps. In the future, users will be able to rely on Android 12’s themed icon feature for all apps, as long as the developer has designed an icon that supports monochrome colors. Google also said it is working with other manufacturers to roll out the feature more widely.
Android 13 also brings some changes to the way the system handles various permissions and security. There is a new photo picker that will allow users to share photos and videos with an individual app without the app needing full access to device storage. This feature will not be exclusive to Android 13 and Google plans to bring it to all phones running Android 11 and later.
There are also many changes in the backend. This includes better support for multiple languages and a new Wi-Fi permission that allows apps to discover and connect to Wi-Fi hotspots without requiring location permissions.
Google is set to release more developer previews of Android 13 throughout February and March and will start rolling out beta versions in April. A stable update is expected around June or July of this year, though it could take much longer for OEMs to bring Android 13 to their phones, many of which are still struggling to release a stable Android 12 update to devices.
Compatible devices and how to install
Android 13 1 Developer Preview is currently available only for select Pixel series phones. These are Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, Pixel 5a 5G, Pixel 5, Pixel 4a (5G), Pixel 4a, Pixel 4 XL, and Pixel 4. Google Pixel 3 devices are no longer compatible with the latest version of Android. Android 12 will be the last update for them.
Google has provided the Android 13 system images for compatible devices that you can install on your phone. You can find these images at ‘developer.android.com/about/versions/13/download’ (without the quotes). The page also has detailed installation instructions for all interested users. Users can manually install the image on their phone or use the Android Flash tool for the same.