Google’s Android 13 Beta 2 launches today, with increased focus on privacy and user controls
At its annual developer conference – the Google I/O 2022 – Google announced the launch of Android 13 Beta 2. Let’s dive deep into what we know so far from Google’s official release.
It looks like the second beta of Android 13 will reflect Google’s work in improving the quality and performance of the platform while focusing on other key areas such as privacy, security, personalization and tablets.
First we come to personalization.
Remember Material You, which Google unveiled earlier? Now, the company is taking things a step further by planning to roll out preset color variants that will apply a color scheme across the entire operating system. It will also extend the app icon color theme beyond Google apps. From Pixel devices, users can turn on the “Theme Icons” toggle in their settings to have all supported apps also match the colors of the phone in a minimal, modern, and consistent look.
If that’s not enough, Android 13 also brings a new media control that adapts its appearance based on the music users are listening to, complete with album artwork. It also brings features for multilingual people as users will now be able to select different languages for each app.
The company announced that over the next few weeks it will bring updates to more than 20 Google apps and other third-party apps such as TikTok, Facebook and Zoom. Other benefits such as HDR video, spatial audio, and Bluetooth Low Energy audio will also be coming to Android 13.
Privacy and security seem to be Google’s key words when it comes to Android 13, and the company’s emphasis on the same can be seen in some of the latest features added to the upcoming OS version. .
In a similar adoption to iOS, users can now have more control over the personal information they choose to share with apps and more granular control over which files apps can access. For example, instead of allowing access to “Files & Media”, you can now control access to “Photos & Videos” and “Music & Audio”.
With the new Photo Picker, you can select the exact photos and videos you want to grant access to, instead of sharing them all (the entire media library) with one app.
Next, Google will help users interact with apps when it comes to app notifications, giving them more control over which apps they want to receive (and continue to receive) notifications from. Android 13 will see apps asking users for permission to send notifications, as well as a reduction in the number of apps requiring them to be located, another leaf possibly removed from the iOS playbook.
The focus on privacy is heightened as Android 13 relies on the automatic alert users receive when an app accesses their clipboard. To ensure apps don’t access old copied information, Android 13 will automatically delete users’ clipboard history after a short period of time.
Android 13 will also roll out with a new unified security and privacy settings page, something that will provide a clear, color-coded indicator of users’ security status while offering suggestions that will improve their security.
Tablets are also popular, as Android 13 will bring them better multitasking capabilities. This will be possible thanks to an updated taskbar that can be used to easily switch users’ single tablet view to a split screen.
Palm detection will also come to tablets, which won’t identify your hand as a stylus if you place your hand on the screen.