Android 13 is the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system (internally codenamed Tiramisu for dessert lovers), and as always, it comes with Here comes a bunch of new features and upgrades for Android phones and tablets. We’ve been using it for a few months now, and we’ve found that it’s more of an evolution than a revolution compared to Android 12. Don’t expect any breaking changes.
It is now available for some Android phones and will continue to roll out to others in the coming months. We’ve rounded up many of the most important new features here, along with instructions on how to download them yourself.
How to download Android 13
If you have a Google Pixel phone (Pixel 4 and Pixel 4A and newer), you can now Download Android 13. Just go to Settings> System> System Updates and tap Check for Updates .
Other Android devices from companies like Samsung, Asus, HMD (Nokia phones), iQOO, Motorola, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Sharp, Sony, Tecno, Vivo and Xiaomi Expect to get an update later this year. If you can’t wait, it’s worth noting that some of these devices are eligible for the Android 13 beta program (Google has a list of manufacturers here, including Samsung). If your device is supported, you can sign up for the beta program at this link.
After registration, you can download and install the latest beta version as an over-the-air (OTA) update, but please be aware that beta versions may be unstable and buggy. Before registering, we strongly recommend that you back up your Android phone, otherwise there is a real risk of losing valuable data.
The update should pop up automatically, but you can always check if you have it by going to Settings> System > System Update and click Check for updates. Want to get out of beta and go back to Android 12? Go to Google’s Android Beta page, scroll down to find your device, and tap to sign out . This will require erasing all locally saved data, so make sure to backup your device. You will be prompted to update so you can go back to the old version.
If you don’t have a Pixel or a device in the beta program, check the manufacturer’s website, forums, or social media to find out when you’ll see Android 13.
Hottest new Android 13 features
We’ve documented our 13 favorite features and improvements in the latest release, But there are many more small upgrades. You can dig deeper on Google’s developer site.
builds on the concept of Google Material You to build deeper personalization, Android 13 Support more color theme options. Currently you can choose from four wallpaper colors and four base colors, but in Android 13 there are 16 of each. Just tap and hold an empty spot on your home screen or go to settings and select wallpapers and styles to find new color theme options. If you open the theme icons , you should now see more of these icons as well. (Google encourages more developers to create them, so it’s not just Google and system app icons.)
Improved copy and paste
When copying content in Android 13, a small floating panel will pop up at the bottom of the screen and you can tap to edit the content. You will sometimes see related options. For example, if you copy a URL, you can choose to open it in your browser. You can also copy from one Android device and choose to paste on another nearby device (if you’re signed in to the same Gmail account), so you don’t need to send emails from your phone to your tablet anymore. Now your clipboard history will be automatically cleared after a period of time (maybe an hour) to protect your privacy.
There are several improvements in Android 13 that limit what your apps can access. First, when an application requests permission to access media files, those files are classified as image, video, or audio files. With the new photo picker, you don’t have to grant access to all your photos. Instead of letting it sneak into your entire photo library (a feature available on iPhone since iOS 14), you can specify which photos and videos an app can access.
Until now, enabling an app to scan for nearby Wi-Fi devices meant granting it location tracking permissions. Thankfully, this is no longer the case, as there is now a separate Nearby Wi-Fi device permission option. Privacy Dashboard (via Settings >Access Privacy > Privacy Dashboard ), which now shows all apps that have accessed camera, microphone, location, and other permissions in the past 24 hours can display the past 7 days of history.
When you install an app with Android, it has the right to send your notifications by default. Android 13 turns that upside down. From now on, apps must get permission before they can start sending you notifications.
Better tablet support
As Google is finally starting to get serious about tablets, there are a few in Android 13 The changes aim to make life a little easier on the big screen. On an Android tablet or foldable phone, you can now see a taskbar at the bottom with frequently used apps (which you can hide), a two-column arrangement for quick settings and notifications, and easier drag-and-drop Option to pin app pairs in Recent apps menu. There’s also support for Wear OS smartwatches to automatically unlock the tablet and audio switching support, which means your wireless earbuds will switch from phone to tablet when you start playing a movie on your tablet. Google has rolled out updates to more than 20 Google apps with redesigned interfaces to work with larger screen sizes, including YouTube Music and Google Maps (which don’t require Android 13).