THE BOTTOM LINE
The smartphone ecosystem is not as significantly disrupted by Android 13 as it was by Android 12, but the update does provide some welcome comforts to Pixel users, and additional releases are scheduled to arrive for other phones later this year.
- New capabilities can be added without requiring users to become accustomed to any new controllers or operating systems
- Excellent Material You improvements
- Accessibility features and helpful linguistic options
- This feels like a rather minor and gradual update
- There are several customization options that are restricted or limited
Following a period of beta testing lasting several months, Google has made Android 13 available to all users of the Pixel phone. The operating system is an iterative update that builds upon the framework built down with Android 12, and it will debut sooner in 2022 than the traditional fall release of Android. This includes a Material You that is far more detailed and can be customized, helpful tools for multitasking, cross-compatibility with Chromebooks and Google tablets, per-app language customizing, photo-picking improvements, and increased privacy and security capabilities. Although Android 13 is not a ground-breaking operating system like Android 12, it is not bad that it adds additional polish to last year’s already superb feature set.
How to Obtain Android Version 13
At the time that this article was written, Android 13 was only accessible on a select few phones, especially the Pixel line of products produced by Google. A post on the Google blog explains that the update will be available for other Android devices, such as Samsung Galaxy, Asus, Nokia phones, iQOO, Motorola, OnePlus, Realme, Sharp, Sony, vivo, Xiaomi, and more, at some point later in 2022. The post also mentions that the update will be available in the future. If you have a Pixel phone, you may check to see if it is compatible with the Android 13 update by going into the Settings app on your phone and selecting System followed by System Update. You are ready to download and install the operating system if you see Android 13 listed as a new version on your device.
In the event that your phone is running the most recent version of the program, the process will be relatively speedy and uncomplicated for you. On a test Pixel 4XL, downloading and installing Android 13 took between 5 and 10 minutes, and after a quick restart, the phone was ready to be used.
Individualization as well as Accessibility
Material You completely reimagined the concept of personalisation for Android consumers a year ago. This function allows you to alter the user interface (UI) to match your wallpaper; it utilizes a color scheme similar to the backdrop. You have more control over the appearance of the home screen and the lock screen thanks to Android 13’s expanded color palette, which is available on both screens. A great touch was added when this capability was expanded to include the color scheme of apps that were not developed by Google. Unfortunately, developers need to opt in to enable this capability, which means that in practice, a significant number of the apps that we typically use on our phones do not make advantage of this functionality. For instance, LinkedIn will take into account the color scheme you choose, however Facebook, Messenger, and Twitter will not. It doesn’t fit in with Google’s planned, unified aesthetic at all.
Android users who speak more than one language can select the language they want to use for specific apps. During the beta, this demonstrated a tremendous deal of promise; however, in the official Android 13 version, it doesn’t quite live up to its potential. This customization option is restricted to apps that offer language selection; our research found that this option is fairly limited. Even if it only has a few uses, this feature is nevertheless useful because Google’s own apps, such as Calendar, Maps, and News, make use of it. Because of this, it is not completely without use. For instance, my father communicates with his phone in English for the majority of his needs, but he requires Spanish for his driving directions. The fact that the fantastic Google Map tool can now be used in Spanish is a game-changer for him.
Support for braille displays is built into Android 13 by default, which is a very welcome addition to the operating system. People who are blind or have low vision and are unable to read or interact with touch screens can benefit from this function. In the past, visually challenged individuals were required to install and make use of the BrailleBack app in order to get the most out of their mobile devices. Once the update for Android 13 is installed, you will be able to use this feature immediately.
Access Control, Personal Privacy, and Computer Safety
This version also brings with it a number of new permission and privacy changes, which make the operating system significantly less obtrusive and a great deal more comfortable to use. On Android 13, apps will first request permission from the user before they are allowed to send notifications. You no longer have to be concerned about being inundated with notifications every time you open your device because you have the ability to disable these notifications right when you install the app (or later in the Privacy menu in Settings).
The addition of a photo picker is an additional noteworthy improvement to the user’s level of privacy. You now have the opportunity to select what specific photographs apps can access while you’re sharing something, as opposed to allowing these apps permission to peek at your entire library, which is functionality that is seen in iOS. This is similar to the functionality that is shown in iOS.
Once they have been upgraded to Android 13, the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and Pixel 6a cannot be downgraded to an earlier version of Android than Android 12 because of a security flaw. This is a particularly crucial point to keep in mind. Google has not provided any details. why this is, while it appears to be a possible security flaw with the Pixel 6 range of products. In any event, since it is a one-way path, you should only download and install Android 13 if you are one hundred percent positive that you want it.
Because a wide variety of smart devices supports the Android architecture, Google uses each new operating system release to enhance the device functionality and cross-communication capabilities. Your Android phone may deftly take on the command center role for all your other smart devices. With the release of Android 13, Google has improved the functionality of multitasking, which is especially important now that so many of us are going back to work or working from home. If you own a Chromebook, you will be able to receive text messages from your phone in a stream that is directly transmitted to your Chromebook. As long as these devices are connected to one another via Bluetooth, you will be able to send and receive messages without having to physically reach for your phone.
Copy-and-paste capabilities that works across several devices is yet another handy feature. We’ve all been in situations where we want to rapidly share content between our devices, such as a text, screenshot, photo, or URL, but we don’t want to have to go through the hassle of juggling numerous apps in order to save it and send it. This may be a text, a screenshot, a photo, or a URL. With Android 13, all you have to do to share something is press and hold the item you want to share, search for other Android devices in the area, and then simply copy and paste the item onto your other smartphone.
Tablet owners can benefit from increased productivity thanks to the device’s ability to start a second program directly from the taskbar and enjoy a split-screen view, which makes it much simpler to multitask. It’s possible that this capability is not quite as powerful as the amazing Stage Manager that comes with iPadOS 16, allowing you to switch between four apps simultaneously. We have come a long way from the days when a single program would take up the entire screen of a tablet.
Listed here, in no particular order, are some cool features.
- Android 13 is the first version of Google’s mobile operating system to officially support exFAT files, allowing Pixel devices to manage files greater than 4GB (a former storage limitation due to the use of the dated FAT32 format in earlier devices). This is a significant advancement, especially considering how widespread 4K video and HD photos have become.
- You now have a speedy option for the QR code scanner at your disposal. It can be reached using the notification drop-down menu (you pull it down from the top of the screen). It is possible to add the new Scan QR code option to the notification shade, making it a more handy navigation method than using Google Lens.
- Swiping your finger up from the screen’s bottom corners will bring up the Assistant for you to use.
Shiny and polished to perfection
Because Android 12 was such a substantial update for mobile devices when it was released the year before, it shouldn’t be surprising that Google is looking to improve Android’s capabilities rather than aiming for another massive revamp in 2022. Although Android 13 appears to be a compilation of improvements, this is not a weakness of the operating system. The new customizing features are quite interesting and engaging to use. The modifications to security and privacy are long overdue but are certainly a step in the right direction. The inclusion of multitasking capabilities has been a huge help to productivity, and we look forward to seeing even more of these kinds of features in the future. Android 13 provides a streamlined operating system that improves your Pixel device without inundating you with a ton of new features and capabilities, but that’s really all it needed to be in order to be successful.
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Kato Tanaka, a writer who is always looking for new ways to connect with readers and tell compelling stories. I believe that writing is not just about expressing oneself, but about creating a connection with others. I strive to create work that is both relatable and engaging, that speaks to the human experience in a way that is both authentic and accessible. I believe that writing has the power to connect us with others, to bring us closer together, and to help us understand ourselves and the world around us.