In a blog post, Google today confirmed that the latest version of Android is starting to roll out to Pixel devices, following the release of the final beta almost exactly a month ago. Users with non-Google handsets will have to wait for an unspecified point “later this year” to get their hands on the mobile operating system.
The highlight of Android 13 is the latest version of the customizable Material You UI introduced with Android 12. This time out, users can match non-Google apps to the themes and colors of their chosen wallpaper. Google is also adding the ability to customize languages for different apps – meaning you can have the system’s settings in one, and apps in another.
The latest OS makes moving content between Android devices easier, with the ability to copy images, text, videos or URLs on one and past it to the other. Multitasking has been improved, as well. Says Google, “Multitasking on your tablet is even easier with Android 13. With the newly updated taskbar on tablets, you can see all your apps at a glance and easily drag and drop any app in your library into split-screen mode.”
Bedtime mode is expanded with customizable wallpaper and dimming and a dark theme, to help wind you down from the phone usage that you’re definitely not doing immediately before sleep. The media player gets an upgrade as well, adjusting based on the music you’re listening to.
Google notes, “For example, when you’re listening to music, the media player spotlights album artwork and has a playback bar that dances as you progress through a song.” The company is also joining the Spatial Audio bandwagon, adding the feature for supported headphones. Once enabled, it has the effect of maintaining the perceived sound source as your head movies. Bluetooth Low Energy Audio is now on-board, as well.
On the photo side, app permissions have been adjusted, making it possible to share select images and videos with a third party, rather than having to do the entire thing in one go. Google has also tweaked notifications, requiring users to opt-in to receiving them on specific apps, rather than having everything (annoyingly) on by default.
The full list of new features can be found over here.