Back in February, Google revealed the first sneak peek at Android 13 when they announced the Android 13 developer preview. Now, it’s no longer just a developer preview, as Google has made it available as a public beta—but only for those with a compatible Google Pixel smartphone.
We’ve covered what major changes Android 13 will bring in the original developer preview article, but the new public beta for Android 13 will come with its own set of changes and quality of life updates too. Officially called Android 13 Beta 1, the first new change comes in the form of a more transparent permission system for media file access. Rather than simply giving an app access to all of your media files, an app will need to tell u what exactly it’s asking for, be it images, video or audio.
Once you give an app permission for access, it can only read file types corresponding to the media type it requested. If an app were to require more than one media type, it also won’t bombarde you with multiple permission requests. Instead, the permission request prompt will simply list all of the media types it is requesting access for.
On top of that, the Android 13 Beta 1 will have better error reporting in Keystore and KeyMint, as apps that generate keys will now provide more detailed and accurate error indicators. Then there’s also a new audio route API which will help media apps identify how their audio is going to be routed. This will let app developers in particular deduce the best audio format in particular to use for its audio tracks.
Another key thing with Android 13 Beta 1 is that developers will want to start testing out their app’s compatibility soon. With this new stage in Android 13’s development, it means that there’ll be more users on Android 13 and so more users to try out your app and point out any errors, issues or incompatibilities that they find. It’s especially important for apps to to become compatible with Android 13 soon as Google plans to release it sometime in the second half of the year.
Of course, as mentioned earlier the Android 13 Beta 1 is only open for certain Google Pixel phones, specifically the Pixel 4 and newer. Seeing as Google Pixel smartphones never actually made it to Malaysia in any official capacity, it’s safe to say that most Malaysians won’t be able to try out Android 13 Beta 1. That being said, you can still find out more about the Android 13 beta program here, and if you’re especially curious about Google’s next mobile operating system, they will be sharing more about it by the time the Google I/O comes around in May.