Android 13 – this is new

In Android 13 not only the design has changed.
© Google / Montage: connect

Compared to last year’s major design update, Android 13 is a much smaller leap. Nevertheless, the current version brings a number of welcome improvements. This includes other design changes and useful little things that make everyday life with Android more pleasant. We show the most important innovations from our point of view.

What is Android 13?

Android 13 is the 2022 update for Google’s mobile operating system. Android 13 is currently available for Google Pixel smartphones launched in the last three years. These are specifically the Pixel 4, 5 and 6 and their variants. Other manufacturers of Android smartphones will follow suit in the coming months, with updates for selected older devices as well as completely new models.

Although Google has stopped officially naming versions of Android after sweets and desserts, the habit has secretly persisted. Android 13’s codename is “Tiramisu”. The first developer preview of Android 13 appeared relatively early, in February 2022. Google also launched the final version early, on August 15, 2022. In previous years, new Android versions only came out in September or October out.

Design-Updates in Android 13

Android 13 Design
Android 13 Design-Updates
© Screenshot: Tim Kaufmann / connect

Since last year, Android has generated the color palette for the user interface from the colors of the background image. For example, Google coordinates the colors of buttons, on-screen keyboard keys, quick access tiles, etc. with the background image. The result is an equally diverse and harmonious appearance of Android.

This year, Google is primarily expanding the range of color palettes. Anyone who likes strong colors should opt for one of the new, particularly high-contrast palettes (left image). They also include complementary colors, thereby going beyond the colors contained in the background image. However, Google also allows less trendy designs and has introduced new, almost monochromatic palettes for this purpose (right image).

Google is also tackling a specific problem in the area of ​​app icon colors. Android 13 now also allows third-party apps to access the color palettes. In this way, their apps can be integrated into the system in terms of color and no longer look like foreign bodies. In the past, the different-colored app icons looked like foreign bodies in the “Material You” design of Android 12, as the example of the Nextcloud app (see screenshot) shows.

Notifications only with consent

Android 13 notifications
Android 13: Notifications
© Screenshot: Tim Kaufmann / connect

Android 13 better protects users from annoying apps. In principle, apps may only send notifications if you have expressly consented to this. A corresponding query appears the first time you start each app. Here you only have the choice between “Allow” and “Don’t allow”. If you only want to allow notifications from certain channels, you have to open the Android settings.

New media player

Android 13 Mediaplayer
Android 13: New media player
© Screenshot: Tim Kaufmann / connect

Google has visually renovated the media player. This affects the lock screen as well as the quick access tile. Google has also graphically adjusted the selection of the loudspeaker.

Quick access QR code scanner

Android 13 QR-Code-Scanner
Android 13: QR-Code-Scanner
© Screenshot: Tim Kaufmann / connect

Google has also optimized the QR code scanner a bit. It has its own tile and can therefore be called up more quickly. You can add the tile to quick access using the “Edit” function. Tapping the tile opens the camera, which then looks out for QR codes. On our test device, a Pixel 6a, the detection is so fast that we can hardly align the QR code in the photo.

An editor for the clipboard

Android 13 clipboard
Android 13: Notepad on the clipboard
© Screenshot: Tim Kaufmann / connect

Also new in Android 13 is the editor for content you copy to the clipboard. For example, once you have copied some text, a new button will appear at the bottom of the display. Tap it, then…

Android 13 clipboard
Android 13: Notepad on the clipboard
© Screenshot: Tim Kaufmann / connect

… shows the new editor. This also works when copying images and seems a bit more practical to us here.

Call assistant faster

Call Android 13 Assistant
Android 13: Call Assistant
© Screenshot: Tim Kaufmann / connect

Gesture control is now the default setting on many Android smartphones. This is where Android 13 brings back the swipe gesture to open Google Assistant. It can be activated in the settings. Then open the Assistant by swiping the bottom left or right corner of the screen towards the center of the display. Users of the classic three-button controls (see screenshot) can put the assistant on the middle button.

Language selectable for each app

Android 13 language
Android 13: Select language
© Screenshot: Tim Kaufmann / connect

Have you ever been annoyed by an app with a poorly translated user interface? In Android 13 you can not only set the system language, but also select a language per app. If, for example, the English-language interface of an app is easier to understand than the German-language one, then simply set the corresponding app to “English”. However, developers must optimize their apps for Android 13 for this to work.

Under the hood

As usual, Android 13 also includes a number of improvements that are not immediately obvious:

  • Android 13 supports Ultra Wide Band (UWB) short-range radio. It creates exciting new possibilities, as can be seen on the iPhone, which has mastered this trick for a while. Thanks to UWB, the iPhone can already be used as a car and hotel room key, can detect AirTags and transfer music playback to a nearby HomePod speaker in no time at all. Android could catch up here soon.
  • Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) is another wireless standard coming with Android 13. It should enable qualitatively satisfactory audio transmission with significantly lower energy consumption. Battery life should benefit from this, especially with wireless headsets. BLE also supports synchronous playback on multiple output devices and Google’s hearing aid technology. However, BLE requires both compatible smartphones and correspondingly modern output devices.
  • Android 13 warns of apps that drain the battery excessively. You can use the associated notification to shoot down the corresponding app.
Android 13 Logo

Android 13 Update-Liste

Android 13: These smartphones get the update

Which phones can hope for the Android 13 update? With our constantly updated list you keep the overview.

Source: RSS-Feed: connect – Alle by

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