Testing out Android 13 on Google Pixel 6a: Right here’s what’s new this time round

When Android 12 was introduced again in 2021, its ‘Materials You’ design was the important thing spotlight. With the flexibility to customize Homescreen and Lockscreen, final yr’s replace marked one of many largest design modifications to Android’s person interface. So now that Android 13 is formally right here, the query on my thoughts was: What’s new right here? The announcement does really feel a bit underwhelming and appears to be extra of an incremental replace. Frankly, after I had put in Android 13 on the Pixel 6a, I used to be struggling to find what had modified in comparison with Android 12. However there are modifications — some geared in the direction of higher productiveness, and it appears Google is focusing extra on huge screens and connectivity between units. After having used Android 13 for the previous three days, listed here are my fast ideas on this newest replace.

Android 13: Putting in it on the Google Pixel 6a

Putting in Android 13 on the Google Pixel 6a was something however simple. At first, I believed the replace may take a day or so to seem, given rollouts are sometimes achieved in phases by corporations. However once I didn’t see the replace on the telephone for 2 days, I used to be confused. The entire level of Pixel telephones is that they’re the primary ones to get the newest model of Android.

So I made a decision to put in the gadget into the ‘beta’ program. And that’s how I bought the steady model of Android 13 on my telephone. I’m not the one one who has taken an identical roundabout strategy going by the experiences being shared on Twitter. Nevertheless, it appears to be like just like the common steady replace has additionally arrived on most telephones and it ought to in your Pixel 6a or different Pixel gadget. I did choose out of the beta to test if the model of Android 13 I had would get eliminated, however that has not occurred.


Testing out Android 13 on Google Pixel 6a: Right here’s what’s new this time round Android 13 on the Pixel 6a. The replace needs to be accessible in your gadget from at the moment. (Picture credit score: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Specific)


The replace was round 2GB in measurement once I noticed the file seem on my telephone. Be sure to have sufficient area in your Pixel gadget and that you’re related to WiFi when putting in.

Android 13: Some extra of ‘Materials You’

As I’ve already famous, the design modifications will not be as obvious, particularly while you first set up the replace. However Android 13 does mark a delicate enlargement of the ‘Materials You’ theme to extra apps past the same old Google-owned ones. Whereas Themed Icons was launched in Android 12, it’s now being prolonged to third-party apps as effectively. So if in case you have the customisation function turned on on your Homescreen and Lockscreen, you must now see different apps additionally following the identical color theme on the Homescreen.

Android 13 permits third-party apps to hitch the color theme of the Materials You design. However builders must assist this as effectively. (Picture credit score: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Specific)

You’ll have to activate Themed Icons within the Wallpaper settings and it’s nonetheless in beta. Hopefully, with extra builders adopting this, it would enable for extra uniformity on the Homescreen. However, that is restricted within the sense that the app developer must activate it. As an example, I seen that whereas the WhatsApp icon was in sync with the theme, Fb and Instagram’s icons haven’t adopted go well with. It nonetheless feels a bit incomplete.

Android 13: Goodbye notifications from each single app

That is maybe probably the most understated and most helpful function on Android 13. Now, after you put in every app it would ask whether or not notifications needs to be allowed within the first place. Should you discover that your notifications tray is stuffed with alerts from random apps, this alteration ought to a minimum of guarantee some peace of thoughts.

Android 13 Notifications alert Now you can be certain that solely permitted apps give notifications. (Picture credit score: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Specific)

A person can determine straight as much as block notifications from an app quickly after downloading, as an alternative of going into settings, and so on. I don’t must see each single notification from Fb or Instagram or Zomato or any recreation I’ve simply put in. For somebody like myself, who has entry to a minimum of 5 telephone screens every day, that is notably helpful. It ensures I’ve a minimum of one much less display screen to distract me.

Android 13: The clipboard is neater, privateness tweaks

Android 13 can be updating the clipboard for higher privateness and the interface can be neater. Now while you copy-paste any textual content, it seems as a floating window on the backside with somewhat share notification subsequent to it. I fairly favored this strategy. Not less than I can see what I simply copied. Typically I discover that the touchscreen-based copy-paste leads to some numbers or letters being missed.
Google can be including extra privateness to the clipboard and can defend delicate knowledge on the clipboard reminiscent of financial institution accounts, passwords, and so on. The clipboard knowledge may even get erased routinely after a while. I couldn’t discover a setting that confirms this.

Android 13's clipboard feature is seen in this photo The clipboard on Android 13 has been given a design tweak (Picture credit score: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Specific)

However within the Settings app, it’s also possible to toggle on an choice to see when an app accesses textual content, photographs or different content material you’ve copied. Apple’s iOS already does one thing acquainted, so it appears to be like like Google is taking part in catch up.

Android 13 is bettering privateness additional relating to your picture library. It would allow you to share solely chosen photographs with an app, as an alternative of the whole library. Once more, these restrictions are already current on iOS.

Android 13: Extra languages settings on your apps

Now you can customized set a special language for third-party apps. As an example, when you want utilizing Fb in your mom tongue, say Hindi or Malayalam or Tamil, you must ideally have that possibility. So whereas your whole gadget’s system language may stay English, you may select a special language for every app.

The one drawback proper now could be that apps must assist this as effectively. The app the place I may see an possibility to vary the language setting was Google Information.

Android 13: QR code scanner

This one will attraction to all of us in India given how typically we have to scan fee QR codes. Now you can instantly entry the QR code scanner as a tile within the Fast Settings Menu on the high. I simply swiped down on the Menu and tapped on Edit and I may see the choice so as to add a QR code scanner as a devoted title.

Additional, Google will enable extra third-party apps which assist these tiles to be added to Fast Settings. I’m but to see too many apps which have this selection turned on. However it might be cool if apps like WhatsApp supported this.

Android 13's QR code scanner seen in the Quick Settings Android 13’s QR code scanner seen within the Fast Settings menu. (Picture credit score: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Specific)

Android 13: The opposite huge stuff I can’t entry

Android 13 isn’t nearly including new options to telephones. It is usually about bringing extra options to tablets and making the software program higher optimised for greater screens and different kind elements. There’s higher productiveness, multitasking on tablets, a brand new taskbar, higher split-screen view, to call some options. There’s additionally higher continuity between Android telephones and Chrome– for example the flexibility to ship and obtain messages from the laptop computer on the telephone. Or the flexibility to repeat any content material from the telephone and paste it onto the pill. Sadly I can’t entry or attempt any of this as a result of a) I don’t have a Chromebook and b) I doubt any pill has bought Android 13 but.

Android 13: So how a lot are you lacking out…

In the mean time, in case your telephone continues to be on Android 12, you aren’t lacking out on a lot. And naturally, builders additionally must undertake a number of the options that Android 13 is introducing. Sure, the Android 13 replace doesn’t have the pomp and aptitude that one sometimes expects in new software program.

But it surely comes with some delicate options and modifications, which I believe make it much more productive and helpful. The notifications side is especially welcome since it could possibly minimize down distractions for many people. The improved clipboard and higher privateness for the picture library are additionally good. Google is including Spatial Audio assist and Bluetooth LE as effectively. The previous would require headphones that assist this.

What I’m eager to check out is how Android 13 improves tablets, contemplating these are having a severe revival second within the Indian market with a number of manufacturers launching many reasonably priced and mid-range tablets. Most of those are on Android 12 and we don’t understand how quickly Android 13 will come to those tablets. And that is still Android’s largest drawback.

We don’t know when most telephones will get the replace, together with the marginally mid-premium ones. That’s as a result of testing and fine-tuning together with chipset assist take time for many producers. Some like OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Samsung and Vivo have introduced their Android 13 timeline. However the course of finally ends up taking just a few months on the very least. So sure, if in case you have a non-Pixel gadget, then your watch for experiencing this newest model of Android might be an extended one.