Google Announces Android 13 with Privacy Improvements

BY Chandraveer Mathur

Published 10 Feb 2022

Android 13

Android 12 is gradually making its way to devices. Meanwhile, Google has commenced the development and testing of Android 13. The first developer preview of the OS released today showcases the incremental improvements and more significant changes that Android 13 would bring.

Updated Privacy Measures

With Android 13, Google brings a new system photo picker utility that resembles the file selection menus on iPhone. It lets users share only specific images and videos with apps that request access to the gallery. The feature makes it more convenient to share only the requisite information with apps that seek blanket permissions to access sensitive user data. Additionally, Android 13 also brings a new Wi-Fi permission that helps reduce location data usage. A new Quick Settings placement API will display a dialog box when apps want to add a toggle to the notification shade.


More Dynamic Theming Components

Android 12 took the first steps in the Material You design language with dynamic theming for system user interface (UI) elements using the “Monet” engine. It takes the dominant color in the wallpaper and applies shade variations to UI elements such as buttons, toggles, and sliders. With Android 13, Google will extend the dynamic theming to all app icons. Developers will implement icons that dynamically adapt to the Material You theme and color scheme.

Android 13 Dynamic Theming Icons

Project Mainline Inches Ahead

Google also plans to use Android 13 to add more Mainline modules, such as those for Bluetooth, ultra-wideband, and the aforementioned Photo Picker utility. The idea behind Project Mainline is to provide system updates on a per-module basis through the Play Store, 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 The search giant to make them public. The company could detail such changes at its Google I/O conference for developers. Meanwhile, Apple is likely readying iOS 16, iPadOS 16, a new version of macOS, and watchOS 9 for a debut at WWDC 2022 in June. These updates will also include several privacy improvements and new features.

Google hopes to release Android 13’s beta versions starting sometime in March or April, followed by platform stability testing builds in June. For now, Android 13’s Developer Preview 1 will be available on the Pixel 6 series, Pixel 5, Pixel 4a, and Pixel 4 models. If you happen to own one of these 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 get their apps ready for Android 13.

That said, do you think Android 13 would pack significant improvements and lead the way for mobile operating systems, or would it just catch up to the privacy advancements Apple has made with iOS 15? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

[Via Google Blog]