InWe’ve got a new and detailed look at Android 13. The sequel used to be the first and is currently in beta (this is ). Google’s new operating system will go public this fall with more Material You personalization, enhanced tools for privacy and security, and more , an improved Google Wallet and better integration with Chromebooks, watches, TVs, cars, and smart home devices. The new software makes Android and Google’s vast software ecosystem more competitive with Apple’s diverse portfolio of software and services. The proof is the numbers.
For the first time, Google shares the number of Android phone activations, which in 2021 will exceed 1 billion devices. And there are more than 3 billion monthly active Android devices according to Sameer Samat, vice president of product management for Android and Google Play.
Those statistics, combined with things like, putting Google in a unique position. It should support a wide range of old and new phones as well as tablets and foldable devices. Fortunately, Android 13 is proof that Google is ready and eager to keep its crown jewel operating system customizable and up to date while providing Android phone owners with a seamless experience. more on more devices. Some features are marked by Google as improvements to existing features or support features in more countries.
Android 13 is currently in beta. For more information, see Google’s Android Beta website.
End-to-end encryption for RCS group chats in Messages
Google has been working with carriers and phone manufacturers for the past few years to. This provides support for high-quality photos, Wi-Fi messaging, a better group messaging experience, and typing indicators, which let you know when someone is typing. The app already supports end-to-end encryption for automated one-on-one chats, and support for encrypted group chats is coming later this year.
Google notes that the RCS-powered Messages app — the default messaging app on many Android phones — has half a billion monthly active users on Android phones. While the RCS standard may eventually become popular, it is not currently supported on iOS and other phone operating systems.
Google Wallet and Wear OS
Google Wallet, which first launched in 2011, gets a number of updates and new functionality. Google Wallet can store digital versions of your essential documents, including payment cards, transit cards, office badges, vaccine records, car keys, boarding passes and student number. The idea is to provide a faster, more secure alternative to physical cards. Google is working with US states and international governments to support digital ID, a feature Apple Wallet started supporting in some US states in March.
Google Wallet will also let you share digital cards via NFC or QR codes, which could be a quicker way to share the card’s information than handing over your phone to a checker.
Google Wallet also supports integrations with other apps that you can opt into. For example, if you have a transit card in Google Wallet, your card and balance will automatically show up in Google Maps when you search for directions. That way, if your balance is low, you can top up the fare before you reach your station or stop.
In terms of controlling your privacy, Google Wallet stores everything securely on your phone and doesn’t share data with Google services.
Later this summer, more than 40 countries currently using Google Pay will be upgraded to Google Wallet. The exceptions are India, which will still use Google Pay, while the US and Singapore will have both Google Wallet and Google Pay. Any device running Android 5 (Lollipop) or Wear OS will support it.
Emergency SOS coming to Wear OS
When there is an emergency, our phones become even more important. As part of Android 12, Google implemented Emergency SOS that allows you to get help, contact trusted people, and share emergency information without having to unlock your phone. Google is working on bringing Emergency SOS to Wear OS.
Emergency Location Services, already built into Android, helps first responders find you when you call for help. ELS is now available to more than 1 billion people worldwide.
Earthquake early warnings via Android are already in place in 25 countries, and this year Google will roll out these warnings in more high-risk areas of the world. In places where there is no official early warning system, Android can collect earthquake signs from your phone. When devices first detect earthquake waves, Google analyzes data from phones and sends early warning alerts to people in that area.
Android 12L and the future of tablets and foldable tablets
Google says there are 275 million active users on large-screen devices like tablets and foldable phones. March,to help developers design apps for these larger screens. Android 13 continues where 12L has stopped and introduces better multitasking from the toolbar for split-screen apps as well as support and optimizations for more than 20 Google apps including YouTube Music, Google Maps and Google Messages.
More documents than you
One of the most obvious changes in Android 12 is Material You. Basically, Android adapts the look and feel of your home screen and app icons based on the colors present in your wallpaper. For Android 13, Google is introducing pre-made color sets for those who want something a little different. You choose the color scheme and it will be applied across the entire operating system.
Themed icons will no longer be limited to system apps. There’s now a toggle in Settings that lets you enable themed icons for all your home screen apps.
Vehicle controls also get a boost from Material You. When you are listening to music, the player window applies the color of the album art. There’s also a new waveform progress bar that moves with the sound.
Better security and privacy features
App language settings now allow you to set different default languages for different apps. For example, your banking app might be set to English while your messaging app is in Hindi. Likethis is another example of Google being more inclusive and fair with its software and design.
Android’s Photo Picker adds a great privacy feature that’s rooted in iOS: You can limit the photos and videos an app has access to. Instead of giving an app access to your complete photo library, you can select images specific to that particular app.
Android notifies you when an app accesses your clipboard and pastes it. But Android 13 goes even further and automatically clears your phone’s clipboard history after a short period of time.
Later this year, Google will add a unified Privacy and Security settings page that puts all your phone’s privacy and data security at the center. There will be a color-coded indicator that shows your safety status and provides instructions for making your phone more secure.
Android 13 works better with your other devices
Google says the average US household has 20 connected devices. This early yearwith your TV, car, speakers and laptop. Android 13 will support quick pairing to set up new devices with your phone, automatic audio switching between devices for your headset, and copy paste between devices. It will also allow you to stream messages and other applications from your phone to your computer.
Chromecast will support more devices from companies like Bose, TCL, Sony, Vizio, and LG. It will also extend transmission capacity to new products, such as Chromebooks and even your car.
Wear OS features new apps from Spotify and Adidas. It will support turn-by-turn directions for cycling and walking with haptic feedback, just like the Apple Watch.
The Google Play Store gets a visual overhaul. The app looks cleaner. Stores are easier to navigate and apps are easier to find.
One big Android update every year compared to smaller regular updates
Android 13 brings more functionality, security and privacy to your phone. And while major annual Android updates go nowhere, Google has made it clear that features like Google Wallet and RCS messaging will likely be updated as needed across devices. This can be especially beneficial for phones that may not receive Android 13, but will still receive improvements from updates to the Wallet and Messages apps. I’m excited to try out Android 13 and see what the final version looks like later this year.