Android 13 Beta 1: 5 undeniably sweet features
1. Enhanced privacy controls
Mirroring the data privacy standards of both Apple and Samsung, Android 13 Beta 1 introduces privacy permissions APIs for on-device audio, images, and videos. In previous versions of Android, apps were only allowed to request access to all external storage, which enabled access to almost every media type and file on a device. According to Google’s Android Developer Blog these APIs give users “more granular permissions” for allowing file access on a per-media-type basis. For example, the READ_MEDIA_IMAGES API prevents music-streaming apps from unnecessarily requesting access to a user’s photos.
2. Clipboard UI
Similar to the screenshot interface that iPhone users may be familiar with, Android 13 Beta 1 adds a pop-up in the bottom left corner of the screen that slides in after a user copies on-screen text. Tapping the pop-up reveals a clipboard editor, allowing users to trim or adjust the text before pasting it elsewhere.
3. Smart home access
A simple tweak in the Display menu of the Settings app allows users to enable access to the smart home control panel without the need to unlock the device. Removing the need to authenticate with a passcode or fingerprint to quickly switch on a lightbulb is definitely a welcome change.
4. Audio and media player rework.
Android 13 Beta 1 additionally introduces new audio routing APIs that help apps better understand where audio streams can be played and which formats to use. Now apps can retrieve a list of compatible devices for specified audio tracks, marking a game changer for musicians and consumers who will enjoy more stable connectivity. Additionally, the media player receives a facelift with an animated squiggle behind the playhead to illustrate how far along an audio track has progressed.
5. Material You palettes
On select Android devices, including the Google Pixel 6, software-theming feature Material You takes another leap forward with expanded options under the “Wallpaper and style” settings. In the latest Android beta, Google has quadrupled the number of preset themes with 16 options to choose from including two-tone and multi-tone themes. Two-tone combinations include shades of green, blue, yellow, rose, lilac, and purple, while multi-tone selections gorgeously blend these shades to create a distinct feel.