Google is making good on its promise to deliver the first Android 13 beta in April. The company has released Android 13 beta 1 for Pixel devices ranging from the 4 to the 6 and 6 Pro. The inaugural beta only includes three new features (two of them for developers), but there are now more granular permission controls for shared media files.
Beta 1 also includes all the upgrades from Android 13 Developer Preview 2, including a requirement that apps ask for permission to send notifications. You’ll also find a new photo picker, Bluetooth LE audio and support for MIDI 2.0 instruments over USB.
Anyone can install the beta. As before, though, you probably won’t want to load this release on a primary phone. While betas are generally more reliable, Google doesn’t expect to focus on platform stability until June and won’t release the finished Android 13 until sometime after July. This is meant more for developers who want apps ready by the time the operating system is available to the public.
As it is, these early Android betas don’t typically include every user-facing feature. Google didn’t show Android 12’s Material You redesign until I/O 2021, months after the first previews arrived. While the beta is still useful, it may be worth waiting for I/O 2022 in May if you’re mainly interested in top-level changes.
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