Google has released Android 13 beta 3, and while there are no major changes in this version, that’s probably the intention as the version has achieved platform stability.
This means there will be no significant changes to Android 13’s APIs and developers will be able to tailor their apps to the version when it rolls out to consumers.
“We’re asking all app and game developers to start testing the latest compatibility now and prepare to publish your compatibility updates as soon as possible before the final release,” the company said in a blog post.
Google released the first developer beta in February and made notable announcements with the release of the second public beta in May at the developer conference.
The company has focused on improving privacy and security with this release, but it has also seen some visual changes under the Material You design, which first launched with Android 12. Here’s a summary of some of the unique features in Android 13:
- Google will roll out preset color variants so you can apply custom styles to apps.
- Android 13 will provide dynamic color functionality so that app icons match the scheme of your home screen background image.
- Apps will now need to ask for your permission before sending you to push notifications. This means that you can select whether an app is allowed to send you notifications the first time you open it, to avoid spam notifications.
- Developers can fine-tune their apps to ask for nearby Wi-Fi networks without having to ask for location permission. This ensures that you don’t inadvertently give your location to an app to access your Wi-Fi network.
- Android 13 also introduces a photo and video picker, which lets you share selected media files with an app without giving them access to your entire library.
- The upcoming Android version will also extend detailed checks to the file system. You can give access to your photos and videos and music and audio separately.
- Apps will have to ask for specific permissions if they use or monitor body sensors in the background, such as heart rate or temperature.
- Google brings a language picker for apps, so you can choose a different language for each app, regardless of the system language.
- Android 13 will also have better support for larger screens such as tablets and foldables. An updated taskbar makes it easier to switch between apps or use two apps in split screen mode.
Apart from these, there are some useful features like search shortcuts for YouTube, Maps, Play Store and Settings and a new privacy check menu for microphone, camera, location and clipboard permissions.
At Google IO in May, the company announced that its budget phone, the Pixel 6a, will be available from July 28. In addition, the large Pixel 7 series will be launched in the fall.
A comparison page on the company’s site suggests that the 6a will launch with Android 12. So we may not see the final release of Android 13 until the Pixel 7 launches.
Notably, this year, Google was two months early to achieve platform stability compared to last year. Hopefully this means more apps will take over Android 13’s features at launch.
Google’s announcement comes days after Apple released its iOS 16 developer beta. While Android 13 will be available for select phones at launch, Google would like to compete with Apple to brag about the release date.