Android 13 Beta 2 is here, bringing with it some extra features versus Beta 1. Android 13 is taking shape with enhancements to privacy and Material You, and upgrades for tablets. You can get your hands on the second beta right now if you own a Pixel 4 and above.
Google talked all about the new stuff in a blogpost. While not much here is new per se — thanks to people diving deep into the previous beta's code — we're still excited to check out these new features for ourselves. The long-awaited photo picker is here, making Android more like iOS when it comes to sharing media files with apps.
We obviously caution against running this beta on your main device, but if you have a spare Pixel lying around, then now's a good time to jump in. Without further ado, here are all of the new features in Android 13 Beta 2.
Android 13: Privacy features and the photo picker
Android 13 is furthering Google's ongoing mission to improve Android's security and privacy. While we still haven't seen an equivalent to Apple's App Tracking initiative, the steps Google has taken in Beta 2 are good.
For starters, there'll be a new Security & Privacy page, which you can see above. Android 13 also introduces new, more granular permissions over how apps request access to your media — we've covered this already. Android 13 will also require apps to ask you if you want to grant them permission to send you notifications. This is a welcome change, especially when coupled with Android's excellent handling of notification controls.
But new in Beta 2 is the photo picker, a page right out of iOS' playbook. You no longer have to grant apps like Instagram and Facebook access to all of your photos in one sweeping motion. You can choose which pictures you'd like to share and that's all the apps can see.
Android 13 can also automatically delete your clipboard history after a short period of time so that apps can't see it. This will be great for your passwords, if your password manager doesn't already delete your clipboard.
Android 13: More Material You customization
Google introduced Material You in Android 12 last year. Android 13 will carry the torch going forward, upgrading some of the new design language's features. In Beta 2, there are three things of note.
The first is that Material You will extend your theme to other app icons beyond just Google apps. Before, it could look awkward when your icons didn't match, but now Android 13 will correct that oversight. It still requires app developers to opt in, so Material You will only be able to theme supported apps.
The next piece is a smaller addition, but it looks nice all the same. The media player will theme itself based on the album artwork (I swear I've seen this before, but perhaps on phone maker skins and not stock Android). The progress bar will also turn into a visualizer for the song. Cool, right?
Finally, Android 13 supports multilingual use cases. You can individually set languages in apps of your choice. For example, if you want your chat app to be in your native language, but have social in media in English, you can do so.
Android 13: Better tablet experience
Starting in Android 12L, Google finally decided to take tablet and foldables seriously. Android 13 Beta 2 continues this by offering the dual-pane notification shade we saw in 12L. The taskbar is also here, opening up a lot of productivity options on Android tablets (if they don't already have this).
Android 13 also allows for dual-app split-screen, just by dragging an app icon from your app drawer or taskbar on top of an already open app. And if you use a stylus, Android 13 can intelligently determine what's your hand and what's the stylus. This means that you can rest your writing hand on the screen, potentially making your handwriting more legible.
It's not quite Android 13-specific, but Google will start updating more than 20 of its apps in the next few weeks to better take advantage of a large screen. Some popular third-party apps will also follow suit, including TikTik and Facebook.
Android 13 Beta 2 device list
Google has announced that the following manufacturers will join in on the fun: Asus, Lenovo, Nokia, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Sharp, Tecno, Vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE. Here is the full list of eligible non-Pixel devices.
- Asus Zenfone 8
- Lenovo P12 Pro
- Nokia X20
- OnePlus 10 Pro
- Oppo Find X5 Pro
- Realme GT 2 Pro
- Sharp Aquos Sense6
- Tecno Camon 19 Pro
- Vivo X80 Pro
- Xiaomi 12
- Xiaomi 12 Pro
- Xiaomi Pad 5
- ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Android 13 Beta 2 outlook
Android 13 is starting to take its final shape, since the next few betas will be more focused on platform stability. We should get the final release later this summer, or potentially in the early autumn, so developers and phone makers have plenty of time to get things ready.
We've broken down how to install the Android 13 beta already, so be sure to check that out. Android 13 Beta 2 also opens up to more than just Pixels.
As always, we caution you against installing the Android 13 beta on your daily driver. There are bound to be bugs and other instabilities, so it's best to not rely on this testing software. Otherwise, Google says to expect the next beta in June, where the focus will be on making Android 13 more stable.