Google launched the last version of its mobile operating system on Monday, and it is already on the first (pixel) Devices. That said, there are still a number of Android 13 features to come, and here’s where to expect them.
Security and privacy settings
The Pixel 6 then introduced a new security hub last year arrived on older google phones. The company presented at the I/O 2022 in May detailed how Security would be combined with the existing privacy page.
This aims to provide a “simple, color-coded way to understand your security posture and provide clear and actionable guidance on how to improve it.” It starts with a prominent overview pane and a button to perform actions like “scan device” (with Play Protect) or “uninstall” apps.
The page is anchored by new action cards that inform you of important steps you should take to address security risks. In addition to notifications that warn you of problems, we also give you timely recommendations on how to improve your privacy.
Next are dropdown menus for App Security, Device Lock, Google Security Check, Find My Device, and more, which can be expanded to reveal other settings. We’ve already seen Samsung’s version of that, but this week’s Android 13 update for Pixel phones still has “security” and “privacy” as separate sections. Google told us on Monday that the unified security and privacy settings page will come “later this year.”
Unified Pixel Launcher quest
On Pixel phones, one of the best features of Android 13 is unified device and web search, where the bar at the bottom of your home screen aligns with the box at the top of the app drawer. The latter is visually quite old, and Android 13 Beta users have been enjoying this experience for a few months.
However, after updating to the stable version, the unified Pixel Launcher search disappeared. Google told us earlier this week that the disappearance will be fixed in an “upcoming release”.
The next set of Android 13 features yet to be launched are cross-device integrations. Start with “News app streaming.” The user interface of Google Messages and other similar communication apps (Signal shown below) is streamed to your Chromebook. On ChromeOS, you’ll get a notification, and tapping reply will open a phone-sized window where you can type your message and view the history, just like you would on your phone. Both devices must be within Bluetooth range of each other.
we Preview of an early version of this feature and dived into how it works in February, and Google tells us we expect it to be available “later this year”.
Next is “cross-device copy and paste‘, where you can copy text, URLs and images from your Android phone and paste them onto a tablet (or vice versa). The clipboard preview in the lower-left corner includes a new Nearby Share button that lets you select a device. The target device will display a confirmation of receipt and you can then just paste.
It obviously relies on you having another Android 13 device to increase productivity. This feature is officially “coming soon for Android 13 devices”, although only the “sending device‘ must be on the new operating system. Meanwhile, the “receiving device must be an Android 6 or later device”.
Finally there is Spatial Audio to “shift the source of the sound based on how you turn your head”. It’s meant to make media (movies) more immersive, and the only device we know it’s coming is that Pixel Buds Pro with a future update in the fall.
Android 13 on tablets
As of today, Android 13 is only available on phones. On tablets, there will be a taskbar with an app drawer for faster multi-window multitasking, while there’s also letterboxing for unoptimized apps. Various parts of the operating system now have large screen layouts, while palm and stylus input register as separate touches.
First devices to launch Android 12L what arrived in March, the Samsung Fold 4 and Flip 4 are coming later this month. As of this writing, don’t expect Android 13 on tablets until next year. The timing could make it so that the Pixel tablet is the debut device.
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