Android 13, the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system, is now available after a public beta period.
Google began distributing(Opens in a new window) Android 13 today via the Android Open Source Project, allowing smartphone manufacturers to begin porting the software to their products. Beginning today, Pixel device owners will be able to download Android 13.
Many of the major smartphone vendors, including Samsung, Motorola, OnePlus, Sony, and HMD, will begin rolling out their own flavors of Android 13 later this year, according to Google.
One of the most significant changes to the OS is “Material You,” a design language introduced by Google in Android 12. The OS can use Material You to adopt a color scheme that matches your phone’s wallpaper.
With Android 13, the Material You dynamic coloring can be extended to all app icons, allowing users to customize the appearance of their favorite apps. This includes third-party app icons, as long as the developer includes support by providing a monochromatic app icon (Opens in a new window).
Android 13 also includes “pre-app language preferences,” which allow you to launch an app in a language other than the current system’s default. The feature promises to make Android much more user-friendly for multi-language users or those learning a new language and looking to practice it.
A few other features are concerned with privacy and security. For example, Android 13 includes a new “Photo picker” system that allows you to share images or videos without giving the app access to all of your smartphone’s media files. Photo Picker will also be available on devices running Android 11 or higher.
Notifications are another privacy-related change. Google stated that “apps must now request notification permission from the user before posting notifications.”
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Those who install Android 13 can also expect improved performance. Because Google has deployed a new ART runtime, all apps running on Android 13 devices should be faster and more efficient. Furthermore, the OS will support Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) Audio, which is designed to provide high-quality audio while using minimal battery life.