After installing the first beta version of Android 13, Jack Wallen was seriously impressed with what Google did with the operating system.
The first beta version of Android 13 is now available to the general public. I installed it on Pixel 5 to get an idea of what’s next for the next edition of the platform. Going into this, I knew that Android 13 would feel like a huge disappointment after how dramatically different the previous iteration turned out to be. It wasn’t as if Google was going to pull out another You material to push the platform even further.
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Instead, I assumed that Android 13 would feel like the smallest step forward for Google’s mobile operating system, and I wasn’t wrong. Much of what comes with the latest Android upgrade is focused mainly on the backend, where users won’t see much difference. The truth is that the difference between Android 12 and 13 is almost impossible to recognize … unless you pay a lot of attention.
Android 13 is a new level of fluency
The first thing I noticed with Android 13 was that everything looked a little smoother. Probably not as noticeable if you haven’t used the platform as long as I have, but with Android 13 the animations are seriously smooth. Everything seems to glide effortlessly across the display like a liquid. There is no flickering, stuttering or skipping when navigating the user interface at any level. For me, this is a big step forward. I use Android 13 on a lower power device (compared to my Pixel 6 Pro with Android 12) and 13 looks much cleaner than 12 (which was already a big step forward from 11).
This should be good for anyone who wants to see an improvement in the Android preview department.
Immerse yourself in testing Android 13
Beyond this initial fascination with the smoothness of the user interface, the next thing I noticed was the addition of a quick board for reading QR codes (Figure A).
You no longer need to go through Assistant or install a third-party application to scan a QR code.
The next thing I noticed would be a very welcome addition for fans of privacy (which should mean everyone). When you install a new app, the first time you open it, you need to decide if the app can send you notifications (Figure B).
Although you can now control which applications have access to the notification system, the ability to configure this the first time you start each application makes this process much easier (and easier to remember). Kudos to the developers for adding this important privacy feature.
There’s a fun little addition that can be found on the media card in the notification log. While a song is playing, you will see a meandering indicator showing how far it has been playing the media (Figure C).
As for the appearance of Android, a handy update is the ability to adjust the screen and text size at the same time. If you go to Settings Display Display and text size, you can conveniently change the font and display size (Figure D).
One thing that was missing was the Search for your phone feature, which is configured in Home Settings on Android 12. This option no longer appears in Android 13 and I’m not sure if this option remains or where to find it. In Android 12, you can enable / disable shortcuts, people, settings, and pixel tips in search results. Android 13? Not so much.
Speaking of initial settings, if you open this section in Android 13, you will notice that the suggestions are back (Figure E).
You can activate Suggestions in the list of all applications and / or on the home screen.
One of the coolest features I’ve found in Android 13 is the new clipboard editor. Let me set up the scene: You are visiting a website and you want to copy / paste the URL. However, when you paste the URL, you notice that it includes a long string of random characters, which probably includes information you don’t want to share. With Android 13, you can actually edit the contents of the clipboard.
After copying the URL, you will see a small indicator at the bottom of the screen that includes an edit button (Figure F).
Touch the edit button and you can then edit the content before actually copying the asset.
Prediction for Android 13: Look for extra exciting features
Okay, so Android 13 won’t be a mass release full of countless new features to amaze and excite users; however, everything that is done under the hood, combined with the few new features that were revealed with the first beta version, makes me really excited about this version. Android 12 was already the best version of the platform so far. The fact that Google is only adding a serious nail polish to what Android has already done for a seriously exciting update.
I think every Android user will be excited about what’s coming. And given that this is only the first beta version, you can be sure that more excitement is ahead.
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