Cheat Sheet (2022) — New Features & Functions

    Image: prima91/Adobe Stock

    On August 15, 2022, Google released the 13th major version of the Android platform. This release comes a little earlier than Android 12 in the year, and aims to add some serious polish to the major changes that have already occurred.

    For those who can’t wait to get their hands on this latest version of the Android platform, the time has come or you may have to wait longer. Either way, once Android 13 arrives on your device, you’ll be happy to upgrade.

    In this TechRepublic cheat sheet, we’ll cover what Android 13 is, when you should expect it, and what new features and improvements to expect. This cheat sheet will be updated as necessary and will serve as a guide to Google’s latest mobile operating system (OS).

    What is Android 13?

    Android 13 (codenamed Tiramisu) is the 2022 release of Google’s mobile operating system. The latest version of the platform comes after four beta cycles and a preview release went live in February 2022.

    Android itself is the most widely used mobile operating system on the planet, with 86.2% of the global market share. That global market share has held steady in the 80s since 2014, with a ranking as low as 81.1% in 2014.

    When you break down the market share by country, you will find that Android’s appeal to consumers is significantly reduced. For example, in the US, Android has 48.5% market share, while iOS has 51.2%. As of May 2022, Android 11 is the most widely used version of the platform, with 28.3%. Of course, that will most likely change as more handsets start picking up the 13th release and more devices move to the 12th.

    SEE: iCloud vs OneDrive: Which is Best for Mac, iPad, and iPhone Users? (Free PDF) (TechRepublic)

    One of the problems Android 13 faces is that it stands in the shadow of Android 12, which has brought about one of the biggest changes to the platform since its inception. Material You’ve introduced a brand new look and feel to Android, giving it a much-needed refresh to make it match the current aesthetic.

    What does that mean for Android 13? That could mean, at least for some users, that the latest release of the operating system will be a disappointment. The devil, of course, is in the details. There are tons of new features and changes to get you excited about.

    Android 13 release date

    Android 13 starts rolling out to Pixel devices on August 15, 2022. However, that doesn’t mean all Pixel users will receive the update on that date. Case in point, it’s been three days since the announced release and my Pixel 6 Pro has yet to receive the OTA (over-the-air) update. I can certainly sideload the installation, but over the years I’ve learned that it’s not always the best way to successfully upgrade.

    However, Android 13 has officially been released and will come to supported Pixel devices first. These supported Pixel phones include everything from Pixel 4 and up. So if you’re a Pixel 1, 2 or 3 owner, it’s time to upgrade if you want Android 13.

    What features come with Android 13?

    Here’s what you really want to know. And there’s a lot to see in this category—only, much of it might be a little more subtle than what Android fans expect. However, here is a short list of more exciting features that will come out with the new release.

    Three new Material You color schemes

    Developers, manufacturers, and users will now have access to three new “accent” colors, namely Vibrant (additional accents), Expressive (wider range of colors extending to the background) and Spritz (monochrome theme). This addition will be quite subtle and some users may not even notice it.

    Improved launcher search

    This addition will most likely be limited to Pixel phones only and will serve as a much-needed improvement over the previous search engine. With the revamped functionality, users will be able to come up with searches:

    • On-device action
    • Play Store Apps
    • YouTube
    • Google

    There will also be a gesture component for search, which will react differently, based on whether you swipe up from the bottom or just tap the search bar. Users will also be able to pin search results to the Android home screen.

    Improved notifications

    The announcements also received some additional attention with the new opt-in system. As of Android 13, the system will no longer allow apps to display notifications unless explicitly allowed by the user. Whenever a new application is installed, when it is opened for the first time, a permission popup will appear (Picture A), asking the user to allow or disallow notifications for that app.

    Picture A

    DuckDuckGo opt-in popup on Android 13
    Figure A: DuckDuckGo opt-in popup on Android 13.

    Faster access to QR code scanning

    In previous versions, scanning a QR code meant installing a third-party app or using the Google Assistant. Either way, it’s never been the most effective method. Users will now have access to the QR Code Quick Settings Tile (Figure BUG).

    Figure BUG

    New QR code quick settings tile on Android 13
    Figure B: New QR code quick settings box on Android 13.

    Tap the box and the built-in QR Code Scanner will open.

    Languages ​​per app

    With Android 13, users can now set their desired language on an app-by-app basis. For example, let’s say you have associates you text regularly living in Germany. If that’s the case, you can set the language for the Messages app to German. The only caveat to this feature is that it has to be enabled in the app, so users may not see it right away.

    Better battery info

    Android 12 has done a great job in improving the battery life of Android devices. Case in point, the notorious Pixel 4 devices have suffered greatly due to the stress of low batteries. With Android 11, the Pixel 4 was lucky to make it through a quarter to a half day. After upgrading to Android 12, battery life is greatly improved.

    With Android 13, a very important addition was made. When an app is causing excessive battery drain, which I’ve experienced a few times, the system alerts you with a silent notification. Once alerted to the situation, you can force close the app or restart your device to resolve the issue.

    support UWB

    Ultra-Wideband (UWB) is a new technology that enables mobile devices to act as both a car key and a locator for lost devices, while improving both NFC and Bluetooth.

    A previous issue with UWB support was that the device had to have a built-in UWB antenna, which the Pixel 6 Pro does. With the release of Android 13, there is a new layer of hardware abstraction that adds this functionality, so all Android devices can implement UWB.

    Energy-saving Bluetooth audio

    Standard Bluetooth audio streams are always problematic, especially when it comes to multi-threading support and power consumption. With Android 13, Bluetooth Low-Energy Audio is now fully realized.

    With this, users will experience lower power usage while enjoying the same sound quality, simultaneous streaming to multiple headphones and speakers, and full support for the support protocol. Google’s new Bluetooth headset. This means hearing aids will have a more reliable connection to Android than previous versions.

    More customizable lock screen

    When Material You hit the device, some users complained that the clock on the lock screen was a bit “redundant”. It’s huge, especially when there’s no notification to show. Android 13 gives users a toggle to turn off that giant clock. In Settings > Display > Lock screen, you’ll find an ON/OFF switch for a two-line clock (SIZE).


    Toggle for Dual Line Clock in Android 13
    Figure C: The ability to minimize the lock screen clock has appeared.

    Switch the two line clock to Off and say goodbye to the giant lock screen clock.

    Improved photo picker

    The new release adds a special photo picker to include photos in messages. Instead of the app opening up the full photo picker, a more streamlined version appears that protects your privacy and just ensures that the app only has access to the photos you choose. This new feature has yet to make it to every service, as developers have to integrate it for it to appear.

    Android 13 privacy and security

    In addition to opt-ins, Google has gone to great lengths to make privacy and security easy to understand. The new operating system will impose more restrictions on applications and give users more control over what permissions are granted and what data can be accessed. Also, Android 13 requires apps to request access to a variety of file types, such as audio, images, and video.

    SEE: Mobile device privacy policy (TechRepublic Premium)

    Another security feature included in Android 13 is that the system will automatically delete the contents of the clipboard after a certain period of time. This way apps won’t have access to older items in the clipboard, which has caused security problems in the past. This also means that users are less likely to accidentally share a piece of copied text with the wrong person.

    Along with opt-in app permissions, Android 13 automatically revokes permissions for apps that haven’t been used for a long time.

    Google has completely reworked how it handles security updates. With Google’s new System Update framework, the operating system is broken down into components, so updates can be delivered to the device for specific “modules” instead of having to update the whole thing. operating system. This means faster deployment of updates and patches.

    Finally, Google has committed to rewriting some of the codebases for critical components in more secure languages ​​like Rust, and has developed the Google Play SDK Index to provide more transparency to the developer toolkit. software development (SDK) is the most used.

    Which phones can get Android 13?

    As usual, the new release will be available first for Pixel devices. The rollout for Pixel 4, 5, and 6 devices is expected to end in Q3 2022, and a broader rollout to Samsung, OnePlus, and other manufacturers is expected to begin. in the fourth quarter of 2022 and extended to the first quarter of 2023.

    The Pixel 7 will be the first device to be released with Android 13, which will hit the market as soon as October. Google has never been quite precise with its Android release dates. Even knowing that, I still hope that all Pixel devices will have Android 13 by the end of August and all others by early 2023.

    How to download Android 13

    Your best bet is to update Android with the OTA option. This is the safest and easiest upgrade method. To check your phone for updates, go to Settings > System > System update and tap Check for updates (Visualization).


    System update menu on Android devices.
    Figure D: Checking for updates on a Pixel 6 Pro running Android 12.

    If you don’t want to wait, you can always download Android 13 with the help of Android SDK as well as adb and fastboot commands. You will need to download the appropriate image for your device and then gain access to recovery mode on your device.

    While downloading Android 13 might seem tempting, I don’t recommend it. I’ve had a few cases where this method failed and I ended up with a bricked device. Therefore, your best bet is to wait for the OTA upgrade. Believe me when I say it’s worth the wait.

    And even if you forget to constantly check for available updates, the Android system will eventually warn you that the update has been downloaded in the background, so all you have to do is restart your device. device to apply that update.

    Recent Articles


    Featured Article

    Leave A Reply

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Stay on op - Ge the daily news in your inbox