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Android 13: Everything You Need To Know

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Android 13 is on its way. Google debuted the first preview of Android 13 back in February 2022. Which is around the same time as usual for Google with new versions of Android. In recent years, Google debuts a couple developer previews ahead of Google I/O in May where the first beta comes out.

This year, we’re not expecting Android 13 to be a huge change, as Android 12 was already a pretty big update for the platform. We’re expecting some minor changes to Material You, and a few new features. But here is everything you need to know about Android 13. And we’ll be updating this post throughout the summer, until we get to the final stable version of it in the fall.

When will Android 13 be available?

The final version of Android 13 should be available after August. Typically, Google would say “in Q3” which means between July 1 and September 30. However, last year, the stable version of Android 12 did not launch until October. So now we are seeing the final beta hitting in July, with final release after that. Here’s when the final release of each major version of Android has launched in recent years.

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Android ReleaseRelease Date
Android 8 OreoAugust 21, 2017
Android 9 PieAugust 6, 2018
Android 10September 3, 2019
Android 11September 8, 2020
Android 12October 4, 2021
Android 13August-September 2022

How many developer previews and betas will there be?

There will be two developer previews, and four betas before the final release later this year. Now this is subject to change. Google could find more issues with Android 13 and end up pushing out another beta or two. This happened in both 2020 and 2021.

Google pushes out new betas about once a month. Typically the second Wednesday of the month, while the security patch updates roll out the first Monday of the month. In recent years, we have also seen Google pushing out updates to betas within the month, for some big bugs that needed to be fixed.

  • Developer Preview 1 released on February 10, 2022
  • Developer Preview 2 released on March 17, 2022
  • Beta 1 released on April 26, 2022
  • Beta 2 released on May 11, 2022
  • Beta 2.1 released on May 26, 2022

What devices will be compatible with the Android 13 developer previews?

The developer previews are available for the following Google Pixel devices:

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  • Google Pixel 4
  • Google Pixel 4 XL
  • Google Pixel 4a
  • Google Pixel 4a 5G
  • Google Pixel 5
  • Google Pixel 5a
  • Google Pixel 6
  • Google Pixel 6 Pro

Unfortunately, that means that the Pixel 3 series likely won’t be getting the Android 13 update. At least not officially from Google. We will likely see some developers make a custom ROM for the Pixel 3 to make it run on Android 13.

Android 13 to logo from dev site DG AH 2022

What phones will run the Android 13 beta?

Ahead of the first beta, we know which Pixel phones will get it, but are unsure which third-party phones will get access to the update. Last year, smartphones from ASUS, OnePlus, OPPO, TCL, Vivo, Xiaomi, ZTE, Sharp, Tecno and Realme were compatible with the Android 12 betas.

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Here’s the list (so far) of devices that will be compatible with the Android 13 beta.

  • Google Pixel 4
  • Google Pixel 4 XL
  • Google Pixel 4a
  • Google Pixel 4a 5G
  • Google Pixel 5
  • Google Pixel 5a
  • Google Pixel 6
  • Google Pixel 6 Pro

What dessert name does Android 13 have?

Even though Google no longer announces dessert names for new versions of Android, they are still used internally. Android 13 would use the letter T for its dessert, and according to some code that’s been found in the developer previews, it looks like Android 13 will be called Tiramisu internally.

What is Tiramisu? It’s an Italian dessert consisting of layers of sponge cake soaked in coffee and brandy or liqueur with powdered chocolate and mascarpone cheese.

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But this will never be confirmed as Google stopped doing dessert names publicly. And that was likely due to the fact that Android 10 was Q and there’s really no desserts that start with that letter.

What features and changes are there in Android 13?

So far, we’ve only had two developer previews, which haven’t shown a whole lot of features just yet. That’s pretty common for Google. It like to keep the majority of new features for Google I/O where it will announce the first beta for Android 13. But we do know some of the features that are coming to Android 13.

Enhanced Material You

With Android 12 last year, Google announced Material You. This is the new theming engine for Android, which will change up the theme of your phone based on your wallpaper. With Android 12, the colors were pretty limited. But with Android 13, we’re going to be getting even more tones for Material You.

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According to leaks from Android 13 already, we’re seeing that Google is working on a few more dynamic theme styles. These include:

  • Tonal Spot: This will be the default Material You dynamic theme.
  • Vibrant: A more vibrant and more colorful theme.
  • Expressive: This is going to add even more colors that are not present in the background alongside the extracted colors.
  • Spiritz: A bit more muted with greyish hues
Android 13 Tonal Spot Style 2
Android 13 Vibrant style 2
Android 13 Expressive style 2
Android 13 Spritz style 2
Android 13 Tonal Spot Style 2
Android 13 Vibrant style 2
Android 13 Expressive style 2
Android 13 Spritz style 2

New notifications permission

Privacy and permissions has been a big part of every Android release in the past few years, and it’s getting some more changes with Android 13. This year, Google is debuting a new Notifications permission. And it is exactly what it sounds like.

Android 13 Notifications Permissions
Android 13 Notifications Permissions

There’s a new “POST_NOTIFICATIONS”  feature in Android 13. And it does exactly what you’d think. Now, apps have to ask your permission to send you notifications. This might sound a little tedious, but it means that you can easily choose which apps you get notifications from. Like you probably don’t need notifications from Google Maps about posting your pictures and reviewing places. This also means you can choose how notifications are sent to you for each app, on the first install. Like should they be priority? Or silent?

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Now for the bad news, this is an API requirement, so what does that mean? Well, that means Google won’t enforce it right away. Google won’t enforce it until mid-to-late 2023 at the soonest.

Phantom Process Killer

This is a feature that was actually introduced last year with Android 12. But it will likely become a toggle in Quick Settings with Android 13.

So what is the Phantom Process Killer? Well, it’s what it sounds like. It’s basically an undercover cop that is able to keep tabs on all apps running int he background, and allows only up to 32 forked child processes in total to run in the background. So it limits the number of things an app can do when its not in the foreground. This will prevent background apps from going rogue and killing your battery a lot sooner than it should.

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New and improved Volume Picker

There’s a new volume picker, apparently coming in Android 13. It’s revamping this menu for the first time since it was introduced in Android 10 in 2019.

The new menu features large volume sliders with oval edges that can control the volume of the device. A disconnected device will appear as greyed out. There’s also a checkmark that will appear on the device that you are adjusting the volume on. Below, are screenshots of how it’ll look.

Android 13MediaPickerRedesign2 AP WM
Screenshot20220110 192848
Android 13MediaPickerRedesign2 AP WM
Screenshot20220110 192848

And more features to come

As mentioned, these features mostly come from leaks and the first couple of developer previews, which normally don’t show a lot of changes. The big changes are saved for the first beta, typically announced at Google I/O. Which is set to take place on May 11-12 this year. So we expect to see a lot more changes announced then, along with the launch of the first beta. But let’s temper expectations here, we don’t expect this to be a huge update. Android 12 was a huge update visually, so this year it’ll mostly be tuning those changes and perfecting them.

How can I download Android 13?

You can download the factory image or sideload the OTA image to your Pixel device. The factory images are about 2.4GB in size, while the OTA images are around 2GB in size. Both of them are pretty large, and the OTA image will be simpler to install, but it might be a better idea to flash the entire factory image, that way older apps and files on your phone don’t mess up the install.

We do have a tutorial on how to update to Android 13 here.

If you don’t want to flash the factory image or sideload the OTA, you can wait for the Beta. You’ll be able to enroll your Pixel in the beta and get an OTA update to go to Android 13. Much easier, but that won’t happen til Google I/O on May 11.