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You Can't Use It But Android 13 Beta 1 For TV Is Officially Here

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For users that happen to have access to an Android development emulator or Google’s ADT-3 developer kit, Android 13 Beta 1 for Android TV has officially arrived for testing. That’s based on recent reports detailing the launch of the new tester platform.

The beta firmware arrives just before Google’s I/O 2022 Developer Conference on May 11 through May 12.

You can’t use them right now but Android 13 Beta 1 for Android TV does have new features

Google’s televisions-first platform may not be quite as popular as its mobile platform. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to look forward to. And plenty to test, for those who happen to be developers.

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Not least among the changes spotted in Android 13 Beta 1 for Android TV is the introduction of a new low-power mode. The new system mode is engineered to reduce energy consumption as well as bandwidth use. That’s specifically in standby mode for Android-powered TVs.

With the new setting in place, when an Android TV-powered television is on standby, it should consume less energy and use up less internet bandwidth overall.

As of this writing, it’s unclear just how much of a difference that will make for end-users. But even saving a few pennies and a few megabytes should make for significant savings over time. With the potential for dollars saved every year and fewer instances of latency or buffering on other connected gadgets in the home. Particularly since TVs are left plugged in all the time.

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Additionally, Android 13 for TVs appears to be adding a new UI for picture-in-picture mode. Namely, the two on-screen images will now have variable aspect ratios for their respective windows. Meaning that the aspect ratios will likely appear more cleanly. And with fewer quirks in their resolution and framing.

Will there be more?

Now, Android 13 for mobile devices is arguably going to be the most impactful to date. And comes with plenty of user-facing features as well as changes behind the scenes. So it may be the case that Google is holding back to some extent on Android 13 for Android TV. At the very least, with this beta release. Or there may be other features that haven’t been found just yet.

The company’s upcoming I/O 2022 Developers Conference should make that clearer, either way.

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