The public Android 13 beta is here, and it’s our first chance to look at what might be coming in Google’s OS update.
We’ve already learned a bit about what the company will be focusing on improving for the next version, and a lot of it sounds like backend changes that might not make a huge impact on daily use. Android 13 is supposed to bring finer privacy controls and more themed app icons. Though, there’s probably stuff in the works that the company has yet to share – don’t forget Google I/O coming up in two weeks.
Most of the updates in Android 13 beta 1 are barely noticeable, and many of them are developer-centric. Things like more-granular permissions for media file access, better error reporting and “anticipatory audio routing” aren’t things that will immediately make an impact on how you use your phone. These are tweaks that app makers will have to implement before you’ll see a difference, as are upcoming features like themed app icons. Still, there are a few new functions that might pique your interest.
Before I go any further, I have to warn you, as usual, that installing any beta software comes with the risk of losing data. You’ll be opting into a platform that might not be stable, meaning your apps might crash or no longer work. If you’re very certain you want to give this beta a shot and are fully aware of what you’re getting into, you can enroll a supported Pixel phone on Google’s website, and a notification will appear on the device. I signed up with a Pixel 4a and downloaded the 1.79GB update with no trouble.