Google finished work on Android 13 and launched it on Monday. As usual, Google’s own Pixels are the first in line to be updated, but several other makers are already recruiting beta testers for their takes on the new OS: Xiaomi, OnePlus, vivo and iQOO, Oppo too.
Are you excited about the new version? Okay, back up – is your phone even going to get Android 13? Makers have gradually extended the support window for their phones, but two OS updates is still the standard for many brands. And even with a longer window some phones have just aged out of eligibility.
What’s new with Android 13? The Material You design has evolved and can now customize the look of non-Google apps to match the wallpaper and theme colors. Multilingual users can set a different default language per app. Also, Bedtime mode dims the screen so that your eyes adjust to the dark and you can go to sleep easier.
Improved theme engine • Per-app language selection • The music player has a new look
Several important security features have been added as well. Apps will no longer see your full media library, you can select only specific photos and videos. The clipboard will be cleared out periodically if it contains sensitive data (passwords, phone numbers, etc.). A major change is that notifications are now opt-in rather than on by default – apps will have to ask permission to show you notifications.
Audio is getting a major upgrade with support for Bluetooth LE Audio and Spatial Audio (for headphones with head tracking). Tablets are getting a taskbar for improved multitasking as well as better palm rejection. Collaboration between your phone and tablet or Chromebook is improving – chat apps can be viewed on your Chromebook, also Nearby share lets you copy something from your phone and paste it on your tablet.
The new taskbar • Chatting from a Chromebook • Copy/paste over Nearby share
Of course, makers will be adding their own features and styling to their brand of custom Android. Do you favor a particular skin over stock Android or is it the other way around? Let us know in the comments.
We know that some are averse to updates – they can change how the phone works and break your workflow. Will you be staying on an older version of Android, even if you have the option to update?
And, finally, with the iPhone 14 series coming in early September, how many of you will jump ship?
PS. If the poll widget above isn’t working for some reason, try casting your vote here.