Google’s Android operating system has just begun to roll out in version 13 and it would have possibly been known as Tiramisu had Google continued naming each version for sweets. But it sticks with the more dry Android 13 now, even though users miss the older codenames.
The first to get Android 13 in its official form are the Pixel phones from Pixel 4 onwards. Of these 4a and 6a have been available in India and are receiving the upgrade. Other smartphones such as Motorola and Nokia devices that run on ‘stock’ or pure Android will soon move to version 13, but the much-hyped Nothing Phone (1) will only upgrade early next year. The stable and usable beta version of Android 13 is available for more devices for tech enthusiasts who want to try out the software.
At first glance, when a phone reboots from having been updated to Android 13, nothing looks particularly different. There is no visible transformation. The changes will be evident on tinkering with settings to enable features. Here are a handful of modifications to explore.
A different language
A new Android 13 feature that works very well is the ability to set different languages for different apps. If a user is bilingual, learning a language, or communicating with others in different languages, this can be very helpful, especially in India where so many languages are used. Long-press on an app icon and tap the app info button. Scroll down to find the language setting and change to your chosen language. Not every app supports this feature, but some, such as News, do and effectively switch to your new choice.
When a user cuts something to the clipboard, a pop-up bubble with a share button comes up on screen. This reduces the chance of inadvertently copying things to the clipboard that could then go astray at some point. For those who copy sensitive details such as phone number, email, etc will find the clipboard will empty these out after a while. One can also tap on the bubble to edit the copied text comfortably.
Cut and paste will also soon be available between Android devices such as from a phone to a tablet. There are other interesting tablet-friendly changes like easier split-screens that will only be seen as tablets receive the upgrade.
Every app that is installed on an Android device immediately bombards users with notifications by default and without permission. This has long been a nuisance and, for users who are not savvy, impossible to tackle. With varying degrees of digital literacy present, constant notifications are barely even safe, considering there are many unsavoury apps pre-loaded on smartphones. Now, with Android 13, apps will have to ask for permission to send notifications from the start.
There are dozens of other changes in Android 13 that are specific to certain apps. The media player, for example, alarm setting, fingerprint registration, and more. Unfortunately, the roll out to devices is still staggered and slow.