Android 13 beta hands-on: just small tweaks for now | Engadget 2022-04-28 13:04:28


The Android 13 public beta is now availableAnd it’s our first chance to look at what might be coming in Google’s OS update. We’ve already learned quite a bit about what the company will focus on improving the next release, and a lot of it looks like background changes that might not have much of an impact on daily use. Android 13 is It is meant to bring more precise privacy controls and more themed app icons. Though, there are likely to be things in the business that the company hasn’t yet shared – don’t forget Google I/O coming soon in two weeks.

Most of the updates in Android 13 beta 1 are barely noticeable, and many of them are developer-focused. Things like more granular permissions to access media files, better bug reporting and “Proactive Voice Guidance” aren’t things that will immediately affect how you use your phone. These are the tweaks that app makers will have to make before they see a difference, as well as upcoming features like themed app icons. With that said, there are some new jobs that might interest you.

Before I go any further, I must warn you, as always, that installing any shareware carries risks of data loss. You will choose a platform that may not be stable, which means that your applications may crash or no longer work. If you’re really sure you want to give this beta a shot and you know exactly what you’re getting into, you can register a supported Pixel phone on the Google website, and a notification will appear on the device. I subscribed to a Pixel 4a phone and downloaded the 1.79GB update without any problem.

One of the first things I noticed after installing the beta version was the updated media playback box. It’s longer on Android 13, compared to the Pixel 6 Pro (running Android 12), and it uses album art as the wallpaper. Instead of showing only the previous and next buttons as well as the song title and artist, the new panel displays an animated progress bar that sways as the music continues. On the Spotify card, at least, I also have options for mixing songs and liking the track.

Composite of three screenshots of the media playback box in Android 13 beta. The first shows the song


The new design of this box is great. Not only does it display more information in a more engaging way, but it also lets you drag the slider to quickly advance through parts of podcast episodes without having to open your phone or launch an app. However, I miss the larger buttons to skip the track. Plus, it’s a little buggy and said my music was playing on my Pixel 4a instead of my Nest Audio speakers as it was already streaming.

Android Police also spotted a new QR code scanner A shortcut in the Quick Settings panel that launches the custom viewfinder. In my short test, not only was this extremely fast Android Police Indicated, but much easier to use. Instead of having to open the camera, point it at an icon and try pressing the little Chrome bar that pops up, you can just point this new scanner in the direction of the icon and it installs instantly. A box pops up at the bottom with an “Open” button that’s larger and easier to tap, and the viewfinder screen closes, instead of showing a picture of the icon you just captured. This means that you will no longer have to hold your phone to keep the icon visible while using your other hand to tap the small icon, too small Link.

Two screenshots showing the new QR code scanner in Android 13 beta and some new color themes in Settings.


This is definitely a more convenient way to scan QR codes, which are becoming more prevalent during the pandemic, as many companies are using them to deliver contactless menus. But I will say that on the very rare occasions where you aim for one particular code among a few, this version of the scanner is much more difficult to handle. Since it instantly takes a picture of the first QR code it sees, you’ll have to struggle a bit to get the one you actually want.

Some other changes include New topics from you article and improvements to App suggestions in L version.. You can now choose from about 12 other color palettes that are automatically generated from your wallpaper to apply throughout the system.

althoug Android Police Reports That the lock screen shortcut can now be accessed to access the Android page for controls on smart home devices without unlocking your device, that wasn’t true for me. I was still asked to enter my PIN when I tried to turn on the living room lights from my Pixel 4a. But this could be a bug and it may work for other beta users.

Finally, there were more user-facing changes in Android 13 beta 1 than I expected, and I’ll need to take some time to look up things we might have missed. But I would still not recommend anyone other than the most early adopter to install it – unless you scan dozens of QR codes per day. Right now, it’s still too early to tell what Android 13 will look like, but it’s good to see that Google is working on at least some thoughtful new features.

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