Android 13 release date, features, supported devices list, codename, and more started doing the rounds off the internet ever since Google announced the developer preview of the OS back in February. The Android 13 is believed to be the successor of Android 12, which introduced one of the biggest design overhauls the OS has seen since the Android 5.0 release with the Material You design language. While the Smartphone OEMs including Samsung, OnePlus, Xiaomi and others continue to push Android 12 on their devices, Google has already started testing the next iteration of its widely popular OS. Let’s take a look at the new things Android 13 will bring to the table.
Android 13 release date
Android 13 launch is likely to happen at Google’s annual developer conference, Google I/O, which is scheduled to take place on May 11th and 12th. However, the OS isn’t expected to be released for all until later this year.
Google will initially test Android 13 with a handful of users. The company has released developer previews of the OS for app developers. This will be followed by Android 13 beta updates for early testers and the final AOSP build of the new Android version sometime in September or October. Google’s own Pixel devices will be among the first in line to receive the Android 13 update.
Android 13 features
Just like the previous version of Android, Google is adding many new features to the Android 13 platform. There are Material You changes, privacy and security features, new Project Mainline module additions, new behaviour for background apps, and more.
New Photo picker
To improve the privacy and security of Android users Google is introducing a new Photo picker. Android 13 will add a new system photo and video picker that allows users to share the required photos and video without giving target apps permission to access all device files. The private photo picker will come as an extension to the document picker UI which allowed sharing of files without granting the apps the permission to view all files. Google plans to bring this functionality to older devices as well through an update to the MediaProvider module via Google Play system updates on devices running Android 11 and above.
A more private Nearby Device permission for Wi-Fi
Previously if the apps wanted to search for nearby devices, apps had to turn on the Wi-Fi along with the location permission. This is changing with Android 13. Google is introducing a new way for apps to find nearby devices without needing to access the location with the new NEARBY_WIFI_DEVICES runtime permission.
App icon theming
Google is iterating on the Material You theming to include app icons as well. Apps can now change their icons based on the wallpaper and other theming settings currently active on the user’s device. Previously apps could only adapt the Material You theming just in the app’s UI, but as you can see in the above image, we are getting some interesting changes to app icons behaviour in Android 13. But there’s a caveat here, Google is asking developers to add a monochromatic app icon and a change to the adaptive icon XML. So, convincing all the developers to comply with this new theming system might be going to take a bit of time just like what happened with the Adaptive icons situation on Android 8.
Improving per-app language settings
To help multilingual users, Google will be adding a new feature where users can select the desired language on a per-app basis. What this means is users will be able easily to select the app language which is different from the current system language. Developers can use the new platform API to easily get the default system language or set the user desired language in their app, for an improved experience.
New Project Mainline modules
Google will be adding a new Project Mainline Bluetooth and Ultra-wideband module. Project Mainline was launched with Android 10 with hopes to modularize Android components so Google can update them automatically via Google Play system updates, without any interruptions required from the OEMs. Previously, Android 12 added Android Runtime (ART) module as a major updatable part, and it is good to see Google continuing the tradition with Android 13.
Bluetooth LE Audio
Android 13 will see the addition of Bluetooth LE Audio to enable high fidelity audio streaming without consuming too much battery that high-resolution audio streaming usually demands. This will be an interesting addition as most wireless earbuds don’t have a battery life that can be called impressive. Google notes that it is adding this functionality on top of Bluetooth LE, so if the device had Bluetooth LE capabilities previously, users can expect to get this functionality when they update their devices to Android 13.
Another functionality users can expect to see on Android 13 is the support for the MIDI 2.0 standard. MIDI 2.0 standard will enable “features such as increased resolution for controllers, better support for non-Western intonation, and more expressive performance using per-note controllers.” says Google.
More control over app notifications
To bring the unwanted app notification under control, Google is adding new runtime permission notifications. Developers will now be required to ask for user permission before they can send notifications to users. Google is requesting the developers target Android 13 as soon as possible, to make the transition as smooth as possible. And, for apps targeting Android 12L or lower, the system will handle the notification permission on behalf of the developer.
Developer downgrade permissions
To preserve user privacy, Google introduced the ability to automatically revoke app permissions if the user stops interacting with the app after a few months in Android 12. With Android 13, Google is adding a similar feature where the developers can choose to automatically revoke the specific app permissions after the said task is achieved.
Improved Japanese text wrapping
Google is introducing improved text wrapping for Japanese text in Android 13 so developers can make improved apps. This is what Google says about the new feature “TextViews can now wrap text by Bunsetsu (the smallest unit of words that sounds natural) or phrases — instead of by character — for more polished and readable Japanese applications.”
Android 13 supported devices
The Developer Previews of Android 13 can be already be installed on several Pixel devices. So we can expect that the following Pixel devices will get the Android 13 update.
- Pixel 6 Pro
- Pixel 6
- Pixel 5a 5G
- Pixel 5
- Pixel 4a (5G)
- Pixel 4a
- Pixel 4 XL
- Pixel 4
LG’s Korean website and German website have revealed the Android 13 rollout plan. Here is the list of LG devices getting Android 13. Do note that as this information is from Korean and German websites, the list might also include the devices not launched in India.
- LG Wing
- LG Velvet
- LG Velvet LTE
These are the phones that are confirmed to get Android 13. Beyond this list, not many manufacturers have announced their rollout plan for Android 13. However, several 2022 flagship devices from Samsung, OnePlus, Realme, Oppo, and others are expected to get the Android 13 update.
Android 13 codename, beta, developer preview update
While Google has publicly shelved the practice of naming Android versions after desserts, according to several reports, it seems the Android 13 is internally named “Tiramisu”. So, it is good to know that our beloved Android is still getting named after desserts, at least internally. Google has already released two Developer Previews of Android 13, and Google is further expected to release at least three more Beta releases before reaching the Platform Stability milestone sometime in Q3 of 2022.
You can already install the Developer Preview on Pixel devices, and if you don’t have a Pixel device lying around, Google recommends you install the available 64-bit images on Android Emulator in Android Studio. Google has also provided GSI images so you can install Android 13 Developer Preview on compatible devices which allow GSI images. It is worth noting that, though you can install the developer preview on a range of devices, they are not meant for daily use, Google primarily provides these Previews for testing purposes. You can find the complete Android 13 installation guide for Pixel devices and Android Emulator here. For more information on Android releases, including Preview and Beta updates, you can follow the Android Developers blog.