Google rolls out Android 13 but for select users only: From new theming options to privacy features, all you need to know

Android 13 is set to be released officially later this year, and this preview is meant for developers.

google android 13
The early previews that Google releases are more for the benefit of developers than for the final consumers. (Image: Google via IE)

Google Android 13 preview: Tech giant Google has released the first developer preview of Android 13. The preview has given hints into the areas of focus for Google in the OS update set to be out this year. Among the features that have been previewed are upgrades in privacy and theming options and new language controls, coupled with quite a few back end updates. The early previews that Google releases are more for the benefit of developers than for the final consumers, and therefore, it is not advisable to update the phones to this developer preview of the OS at this stage.

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While Android 12 had focused on Material You customisable themes, the upcoming Android OS would be looking at dynamic app icons for all apps rather than just restricting this feature to Google apps. The feature for themed icons allows icons of apps to change to a colour tint that would match with the wallpaper on the user’s phone. For this to work, however, app developers need to provide a compatible monochromatic app icon. While Pixel devices would get the feature first, according to Google, it is working with other manufacturers to ensure a wider release.

The permissions and security aspects are also being tweaked, according to reports. Borrowing a page from Apple’s book, Android will now have a photo picker option with which apps would only be able access images that the user selects instead of being able to access the entire photo gallery. Cupertino has been providing such a feature for some time now, with which third-party apps including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp can only access images that the user selects. In Android, due to this feature, apps would not need to be given permission to access all images. Eventually, the search engine giant is hoping to equip all phones running on Android 11 and higher with this feature.

Apart from this, many other features of the preview are back-end, not likely to be used by the end user in everyday functions. For instance, it is bringing a new WiFi permission feature using which an app would be able to search for and connect with nearby WiFi connections without needing to access a user’s location. Apart from this, users are also likely to get the option to set language preferences differently for different apps, in case they desire.

Over this month and the next, the tech giant would be releasing developer previews before preparing it for a beta release sometime around April. As per expectations, Android 13 is likely to be stable in June or July, and it would be officially released later this year.

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First published on: 11-02-2022 at 19:57 IST