After four months of beta testing, Android 13 is finally here. The software, codenamed “Tiramisu” is now available for many Android users and contains many of the new features and changes Google has cooked in the past year.
Despite Android 13 having an integer in its name, it’s not a particularly feature-rich update. If your phone supports it at all Don’t expect the thirteenth iteration of Android to revolutionize your mobile experience. But that’s okay! The changes this update brings to Android are both welcome and necessary: from the Material You expansion to powerful security updates, Android 13 is a must-have for all phones that support it.
Which phones are compatible with Android 13?
Currently, only Google’s Pixel phones can update to Android 13. As always with Android, other OEMs will soon be making the update available for their devices: Google says later this year, Android 13 will be available on “Samsung Galaxy, Asus, HMD (Nokia phones), iQOO, Motorola, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Sharp, Sony, Tecno, vivo, Xiaomi and more”. Until then, here is the official limited list of Android 13 phones:
- Pixel 4a
- Pixel 4a 5G
- pixels 5
- Pixel 5a 5G
- Pixel 6 Pro
- Pixel 6a
Material you updated
Android 12’s Material You design language matched the color scheme of your phone’s wallpaper to match first-party Android apps and assets. It’s a great feature that makes your home screen and the whole Android experience feel intentionally designed and not a jumble of different shades and hues.
Android 13 picks up where 12 left off: now you can tweak third-party apps with Material You so their app icons match the colors of your wallpaper. Google has also expanded the available color palettes for material you adaptation—tThese new “styles” give you more tint options to choose from per color. After all, Android is all about customization.
Language settings per app
If you speak more than one language, chances are you’re frustrated when you decide on a system-wide language option on Android: you want one language for some apps, and another for other apps.
In addition to setting a system language, Android 13 now lets you set languages per app, so yYou can leave your phone in English while WhatsApp can be set to French.
A new dynamic media player
The media player in Android 13 is being overhauled. It now adapts to what you play. For example, when you’re listening to a song, the album art will take up the entire player window while the progress bar will squiggly and dance to the music.
Share specific photos and videos to apps rather than your entire library
Android 13 picks up one of iOS’s best privacy features: when an app asks for Google Photos privileges, you no longer have to give it access to your entire library. Instead, you can choose which photos and videos the app can see, making it perfect for times when you just want to share a specific image with an app.
Your clipboard destroys confidential information
Android 13’s clipboard clears its contents after an hour to ensure that rogue apps that read the clipboard cannot steal sensitive information. Gboard had this feature, but with Android 13, any keyboard you use can take advantage of this security feature. You’ll also now get a notification every time an app accesses the clipboard, so keep an eye out for shady activity.
Copy and paste items from one Android device to another
Speaking of the clipboard, Android 13 will soon let you copy and paste between Android devices. You can copy an image from your phone and paste it on your tablet, or copy text from your tablet and paste it on your phone.
Android’s notification system has been the gold standard for years. Still, notifications are notifications, and often they are aggravating. Nothing is worse than downloading a new app only to get spammed To hell and back for something you don’t care about. By default, Android 13 forces apps to give you the option to opt-in for notifications instead of turning them on automatically, which is a great change.
Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) audio support
Android 13 supports Bluetooth LE Audio, which reduces latency between the audio source and your Bluetooth audio device, such as earbuds or a speaker. You should notice that the devices are more consistently synced after the update.
Turn on dark mode at bedtime
In addition to the traditional dark mode scheduling options, now you can Select to switch the system theme to dark mode at bedtime. If you’re not already using dark mode at night, you might be able to use it before you put your phone away for the night.
Spatial audio support
With Spatial Audio support (and compatible headphones), your sound is tracked with your head movements, creating the illusion that the sound is happening around you. It’s a more immersive experience when you’re listening to your favorite songs or watching a show or movie.
Stream conversations from your phone to your Chromebook
It’s not live yet, but soon you’ll be able to text friends and family from your Chromebook, streaming chats from your phone’s messaging apps.
Tablets have a new taskbar
Once your tablet gets Android 13, you’ll notice a new taskbar that shows all your apps and allows drag and drop for easy multitasking, similar to iPadOS. Android 13 can also tell the difference between palm and stylus pen touches, which should reduce the number of accidental presses.
Access smart home devices without unlocking your phone
If your smart home device supports it, you can do it now Control the device without first unlocking your phone. That makes it easy to give your phone to a friend to control your lights, music, or other devices without having to give up the rest of your phone.
about a Hundred bug fixes
There is a ton of bug fixes for Pixel devices with the first official Android 13 update. The issues fixed range from Wi-Fi connectivity issues to face unlock and fingerprint authentication to battery and charging glitches and a sea of UI bugs. For a full list of patched bugs, see Google’s Pixel Phone Help post here.