Android 13 Developer Preview 2 brings the app drawer to the taskbar

Android 13 Developer Preview 2 brings the app drawer to the taskbar

Android 13 Developer Preview 2 was just released on Thursday, with another round of new features and changes leading up to the final release of Android 13 later this year. Google highlighted some of the changes in the new build when it arrived, but it seems there’s another helpful improvement: an app drawer in the taskbar on large screen devices.

The recent Android 12L update (also known as Android 12.1) adds a taskbar to the bottom of some large-screen devices, including some tablets and foldable phones, which is still present in Android 13. However, as Esper’s Mishaal Rahman pointed out in a tweet, there’s now an additional icon in the taskbar that opens the app drawer.

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Android 13 taskbar

Credit: Mishaal Rahman

The taskbar opened from the app drawer might not be as full-featured as the the drawer in your home screen launcher of choice — for example, there doesn’t appear to be a search bar right now. Still, it will give you the option of opening another new application without going back to the home screen or asking Google Assistant, similar to the Edge panel on Galaxy phones and other similar custom features. This also brings taskbar-equipped Android closer in functionality to Windows or Chrome OS, both of which organize all your apps in a button accessible from the taskbar.

Android 13 Developer Preview 2 also adds runtime permissions for app notifications, improved Japanese text wrapping, a new Text Conversion API for languages like Japanese, COLR fonts, MIDI 2.0, Bluetooth LE Audio, and other changes. Check out our main Android 13 Developer Preview 2 coverage for more information and the download links for Pixel devices.

Google is expected to release the first Android 13 Beta sometime in April, with a stable release arriving sometime after July. Android 12 arrived in October of last year, and Android 11 was released in September 2020, so the schedule for Android 13 will likely follow the same pattern.

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Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport

Corbin is a tech journalist and software developer. Check out what he's up to at corbin.io.

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