Android 13’s First Developer Preview Released with Several Innovative Features

BY Chandraveer Mathur

Published 11 Feb 2022

Android 13

Android 12 is still rolling out and Google has commenced the development and testing of Android 13. The first developer preview of the OS released today showcases the improvements and changes that Android 13 would bring on the personalization, security, and convenience fronts.

Android 10 was Google’s first no-nonsense Android release that wasn’t named after a dessert. The streak has finally been broken. Installing Android 13 on supported devices shows that Google codenamed it “Tiramisu.”

Privacy Features in Android 13

Android 13, brings a new system photo picker utility that lets users share only specific images and videos with apps that request access to the gallery. Meaning, instead of giving apps access to your entire gallery, you would be able to give them access just to the photos and videos they require. Thus, making it more convenient to share only the requisite information with apps that seek blanket permissions to access sensitive user data. Additionally, Android 13 also has a new Wi-Fi permission that helps reduce location data usage. A new Quick Settings API has also been baked in. It will display a dialog box when apps want to add a toggle to the notification shade. Currently, apps don’t require users’ authorization to add Quick Setting toggles.


Advanced Dynamic Theming

Android 12 took the first steps in the Material You design language with dynamic theming for user interface (UI) elements using the “Monet” engine. The engine took the dominant color in the wallpaper and applied shade variations to distinguish UI elements such as buttons, toggles, and sliders. With Android 13, Google is extending dynamic theming to all app icons. Developers will implement icons that dynamically adapt to the Material You theme and color scheme. So, app icons will now derive their primary colors from your active wallpaper.

Android 13 Dynamic Theming icons

More of Project Mainline

With Android 13, Google has another ambitious plan to add more Mainline modules for Bluetooth, ultra-wideband, and the aforementioned Photo Picker utility. Google wants Project Mainline is to eventually provide OTA system updates through the Play Store by updating each system module independently, making it easier to roll out bug fixes and system updates.

Android 13 will likely include many more user-facing changes, privacy improvements, and new features. It is early days for Google to make them public. It could detail such changes at its Google I/O conference for developers.

The Road Ahead

Google hopes to release Android 13’s beta builds starting sometime in March or April, followed by builds testing platform stability in June. For now, Android 13’s Developer Preview 1 will be available for developers to test on the Pixel 6 series, Pixel 5, Pixel 4a, and Pixel 4 models. If you own one of the compatible devices, we suggest you steer clear of this initial release as many of the features mentioned above and APIs aren’t implemented yet, and the build is only a preview for developers so they can prepare their apps for the imminent release of Android 13.

That said, what do you think of Android 13’s improved features and utilities? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.