Notebookcheck Logo

Google brings many new features to the Pixel 4, Pixel 5 and Pixel 6 series with Android 13 public release

Android 13 builds on its predecessor with design upgrades and new features. (Image source: Google)
Android 13 builds on its predecessor with design upgrades and new features. (Image source: Google)
Google is now allowing people to download a stable version of Android 13 on recent Pixel smartphones. Starting with the Pixel 4 series, Android 13 introduces numerous improvements and new features from last year's OS update. Google is preventing people from downgrading their Pixel 6a, Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro from Android 13 to Android 12, though.

Google has finally introduced a public version of Android 13, having released numerous beta builds over the last few months. As expected, Android 13 is available on Pixel smartphones from the Pixel 4 series onwards. For reference, this also applies to all Pixel a series models, such as the lesser-spotted Pixel 5a and the new Pixel 6a. However, there is a catch for the Pixel 6 series when upgrading from Android 12 to Android 13.

According to Mishaal Rahman, Google has enabled anti-rollback with the Android 13 update. Supposedly, the outgoing Android 12 bootloader contained a vulnerability that could be exploited if Google allowed downgrading. For some reason, this only affects the Pixel 6a, Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, though. Purportedly, it is possible to flash Android 12 with the Android 13 bootloader, although this is more a workaround than a recommended way of returning to Android 12 on your Pixel 6 series handset.

Arguably, Android 13 is not as big of an update for Pixel smartphones as Android 12 was. In saying that, Google has bundled some exciting innovations, such as the option of applying 'Material You' themes to third-party icons. Additionally, Google has expanded the volume of colours included within Android 13's theming options. Separately, Google has revised the music lock screen widget, which applies to multiple music apps. Moreover, Android 13 allows people to set language on a per app basis, rather than only system-wide.

Furthermore, Google has provided the ability to restrict photo library access, as well as preventing an app from sending notifications without express user permission. Google adds that Android 13 supports Low Complexity Communications Codec (LC3), a higher resolution Bluetooth codec that should also yield longer battery life for wireless earbuds and headphones. Similarly, Android 13 introduces a system-wide virtual surround sound feature with head tracking, mirroring Dolby's suite of audio technologies. More details about Android 13 can be found on Google's website.

(Image source: Google)
(Image source: Google)
static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment on this article
Please share our article, every link counts!
.170
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2022 08 > Google brings many new features to the Pixel 4, Pixel 5 and Pixel 6 series with Android 13 public release
Alex Alderson, 2022-08-17 (Update: 2022-08-17)