Android 13 could be coming sooner than you think in the form of a developer preview. The mobile operating system typically sees a final release in the fall, but Google likes to add preview and beta builds throughout the year. Last year’s developer preview arrived on February 18, so we could see something pretty soon.
Information on Android 13 is pretty scant right now, but we do have a few nuggets of what we could see this year. Things like a new QR code scanner and the like make the next version of Android sound more iterative, but that’s what we thought about Android 12 before Google dropped the Material You bomb.
Here’s what we know about Android 13 so far.
Android 13 news (updated January 12)
- Three Android Police leaks show off a new QR code scanner, media playback transfer, and a redesigned media output picker.
Android 13 release date speculation
We expect the first developer preview of Android 13 to arrive in February, like Android 12 did last year. As for the final launch, we think it will happen in the fall, around the launch of the Pixel 7. But Google will likely detail the launch schedule at its annual Google I/O conference in May.
Possible features of Android 13
We still don’t know much about Android 13’s feature set, but if Android Police is right, there are a few things to consider.
New QR code scanner: Screenshots obtained by android police display two new QR code scanner options. The former allows you to access your phone’s scanner from the lock screen, which means you can scan restaurant menus without unlocking your device. This would certainly be welcome.
Media playback transfer: Android could be getting its own media transfer feature to compete with the iPhone and HomePods. If you don’t know, you can transfer media to a HomePod mini by touching it with your iPhone. Yes android policeThe source of is correct, Android 13 might see “Media TTT” or Media Tap-to-Transfer. This would allow you to bring your phone closer to some device, like a Nest speaker, to transfer media playback to it. How this would work is unclear at this time.
Redesigned media output selector: A much smaller change could be the media output selector. This is where you choose which speaker plays your media, whether it’s your phone’s speakers, your Bluetooth headphones, etc. The screenshots obtained by android police shows that the volume bar appears to have a full size rounded option to match the new main volume bar in Android 12.
Android 13: what we want to see
Android 12 was not a seamless transition to the world of Material You, just like Android 5.0 Lollipop was not an easy path to Material Design. Google employs hundreds of people who work on these things, but ultimately they are all human. Mistakes and mistakes are bound to happen.
For Android 13 I would like to see the following things and I am sure I will think of more.
Fewer errors: It’s no secret that Android 12 has had a rocky launch with a lot of bugs. While I personally haven’t had too many problems, I know many others have had the opposite experience. The move to Material You introduced several issues, like when Lollipop came out in 2014. There are bound to be issues, but I want to see Android 13 stabilize things.
Bring back the Wi-Fi Quick Settings tile: For Android 12, Google merged the Quick Settings mobile data and Wi-Fi controls into one called “Internet”. This makes toggling Wi-Fi or changing networks a hassle. I want to see this change reverted to the way it was in Android 11.
Screenshots of universal scrolling: Android 12 introduced scrolling screenshots, but only for some apps. Developers had to implement a “view-based UI” element in their apps, the lack of which means no scrolling screenshots. I want to see Android 13 add scrolling screenshots for all apps and situations, like we’ve seen on other Android phones for years.
Smart home controls in the power menu: In Android 11, you can access your smart home controls from the power menu. In Android 12, they’re buried behind a Quick Settings tile. It’s just one more step to do something basic like turn off the lights. I wish Google would bring the controls back to the power menu.