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Pixel Tablet & Face Unlock For Pixel 6 Pro Spotted In Android Build

Android 13 QPR1 Beta 1 Pixel Tablet
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It hasn’t been long since Google released the stable Android 13 update for Pixel phones but the company is already pushing Android 13 QPR1 Beta 1. The update is rolling out to the Pixel 4a and newer models enrolled in the beta program. The build number for the Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, Pixel 5, Pixel 5a, Pixel 6, and the Pixel 6 Pro is T1B1.220819.006. That for the Pixel 6a is T1B1.220819.007.

QPR, aka Quarterly Platform Release, are quarterly feature updates for Pixel phones. This is the first such release based on Android 13. Perhaps it’s the first beta build for the first QPR. Google will roll out a few more beta updates before seeding the stable QPR1 about three months from here. It will then move to QPR2 Beta 1 and the cycle will continue until Android 14 beta is here sometime in the first half of next year.

The official release notes for Android 13 QPR1 Beta 1 don’t mention much. We can see Google has fixed a few bugs present in the stable Android 13 build. These include a developer-reported issue where the phone would mistakenly dial the emergency contact when kept locked in the pocket. Google has also fixed issues with fingerprint unlocking, system UI crashes, and the 5G icon not appearing properly.

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Apart from this, Mishaal Rahman of Esper.io spotted that Android 13 QPR1 Beta 1 brings the Google Play System update for October 2022. Note that this isn’t the October security patch. Play systems are underlying systems that make up the Android OS. The new release also enables Android’s new “Safety Center”, which is the unified security and privacy settings. Other notable findings include Spatial Audio, Bluetooth LE Audio, Unified Search, Clear Calling, and a Desktop Mode quick toggle.

Android 13 QPR1 Beta 1 shows the Pixel Tablet and face unlock for the Pixel 6 Pro

In addition to the changes and new features listed above, Android 13 QPR1 Beta 1 also shows off the upcoming Pixel Tablet. Animations spotted in the build further fuel rumors that the tablet will be part of a Nest Hub system. It will work as the screen for the Nest Hub but can be detached from the base to use separately. But it may lack cellular connectivity and GPS support, mostly limiting it to indoor use.

Moreover, 9to5Google found another animation within the Android 13 QPR1 Beta 1 package showing off a face unlocking system. The animation guides users to properly scan their faces using the Pixel phone’s selfie camera. The build also contains text strings detailing the feature. According to the publication, Google encourages users to scan their faces in bright environments, suggesting that it is a camera-based system that doesn’t use additional hardware. Users can wear normal transparent glasses but should avoid wearing sunglasses or masks for face unlocking to work properly.

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Google has been developing a face unlocking system for the Pixel 6 Pro for some time now. The latest sighting suggests it is nearing public release. Android 13 QPR1 will arrive in the stable channel in December. Ahed of that, Google will debut the Pixel 7 series, in early October. Maybe face unlocking will come built-in on the Pixel 7 Pro or both before rolling out to the Pixel 6 Pro. We shall find out soon.