Google has finally released the first public beta for Android 13, and if you want to try it out, head over to its official website here to enrol your device. One thing to note, though, is that only eligible Pixel devices can join the party for now.
Once enrolled, you will then receive Android 13 Beta 1 as an over-the-air (OTA) software update within a few minutes, hours at the latest. Subsequent builds of the new OS will also be sent in the same way in the coming few weeks and months.
However, if you are not rocking an eligible Pixel device, read on to find out what Android 13 Beta 1 brings to the table.
The first notable change is that Android Beta 1 comes with new permissions in order for apps to get access to your media files. Apps that might want access to media files stored on your device now need three different permissions rather than one as is the case in previous Android versions.
These three permissions are one for images and photos, another one for videos, and the last one for audio files. This marks a significant change from the single “media access” permission that was previously used.
If, for instance, you grant permission for images and audio while leaving out videos, the app in question won’t have a way of getting access to your video files. All apps targeting Android 13 will be expected to abide by this new permission system.
“When the permissions are granted by the user, apps will have read access to the respective media file types. To simplify the experience for users, if an app requests READ_MEDIA_IMAGE and READ_MEDIA_VIDEO at the same time, the system displays a single dialog for granting both permissions,” says Google in a blog post by David Burke, the company’s VP for Engineering, while making the announcement.
The second notable change is there is now a new clipboard overlay, which provides better control and fine-tuning of the text that you are copying. There are times you might want to copy a specific number from a text, but the copy feature captures the whole text together with the number that you need.
The new clipboard overlay will now provide you with an area from where you can trim down the text to what you just need, as well as add more content should you wish before you save it to the clipboard.
The Android 13 Beta 1 has also introduced a few additions to the taskbar search on large screen devices. But since the biggest Pixel model, the Pixel 6 Pro is not really a big screen device, we will have to wait until true large screen devices get an upgrade to Android 13 before we can truly appreciate the change.
The first Android 13 Beta release offers gradual improvement, but nothing extraordinary has been introduced. However, this might change in the next few weeks especially with Google I/O coming up in a few days’ time.
If you are rocking a different Android device from the Google Pixel, you might have to wait for a little while longer before you can try out Android 13. However, the wait might not be too long compared to last year’s wait for Android 12 as we recently reported that Samsung is working hard to release the new OS earlier than usual.