Google’s Android 13 Beta 1 download is coming to Pixel devices

Google’s Android 13 Beta 1 download was released yesterday for select Pixel devices.

In February, Google dropped the first-ever developer preview of Android 13. Last month, it launched the second DP, and today, it’s launching the first beta. Things are moving pretty quickly for the latest version of Android, and if all goes according to plan, we can expect a stable launch much earlier this year compared to last.

Unlike last year’s complete overhaul, Android 13 seems primarily focused on beefing up privacy and security. Tuesday’s blog post specifically highlights developer productivity and continued support for tablets and foldables among the company’s priorities.

Android 13 Beta 1 is available for testing on the following Pixel smartphones:

  • Pixel 4 and 4 XL
  • Pixel 4a and 4a (5G)
  • Pixel 5 and 5a
  • Pixel 6 and 6 Pro

Much of this release is made up of features announced by Google earlier this year, including notification permissions and per-app language support that debuted with DP2 in March. However, the company has several new features that are worth checking out, especially if you’re a developer.

In line with Google’s emphasis on privacy, Android 13 now uses granular permissions for any app that requires access to media files. Rather than requesting access to all types of media files, any app that accesses your photos, videos, or audio files will need to ask the user for access to these three respective types. It might not be the most exciting addition to Android, but making sure certain random ringtone apps in the Play Store can’t show your photos is a big privacy boost. .

Thankfully, Google has bundled these prompts together for users, which should keep them from feeling overwhelmed when launching a new app for the first time. These changes should go well with this new iOS-like photo picker first announced with Android 13 DP1.

In the latest developer preview, Google also added support for MIDI 2.0, so users can connect devices to Android. This capability should pair well with Android 13’s anticipated new audio routing, explicitly coded to help apps identify which audio formats can be played and rendered directly.

There’s also good news for developers surrounding Keystore and KeyMint, which Android uses to store cryptographic keys. Both security repositories will now provide better retry key generation if your application generates keys.

Anyone can install the beta version. As before, however, you probably won’t want to sideload this build on a primary phone. Although betas are generally more reliable, Google doesn’t expect to focus on platform stability until June and won’t release the finished Android 13 until July. This is more for developers who want apps to be ready by the time the operating system is available to the public.

The full Android 13 picture probably won’t become clear until Google’s I/O conference begins on May 11 – and even then the company could possibly save a few surprises for later in the year, closer to the start. final deployment of Android 13.

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