Android 13 Beta 2 is here with a new predictive back gesture
Android 13‘s first developer preview arrived in February of this year, and it recently had its first beta release. Now at Google I/O, the company has announced that the second beta is already available for download, and users can give it a try on their Google Pixel smartphones from today.
Unlike “developer preview” builds which are for developers only, beta releases of Android 13 are for general users that want to try out the next version of Android. Google is particularly watching for general feedback here from normal users on how they experience the new Android version. As a result, while you maybe should still be wary about installing it on your daily driver, it’s expected that this build is a little bit more stable than previous builds.
The most notable features of Android 13 Beta 2 include:
- Predictive back gesture
- Resource files for specifying supported app languages
- New permission to use exact alarms
When will Android 13 release?
For Android updates, Google typically reveals a “platform stability” milestone so that developers can know when Google intends on delivering the final SDK/NDK APIs, along with final internal APIs and app-facing system behaviors. Google intends on reaching platform stability in June 2022, with several weeks at minimum planned before the official release. Android 12 hit platform stability in August of 2021 and the final version was released in October of that year. Google has released more details about the release timeline that you can check out.
What’s new in Android 13 Beta 2?
Predictive back gesture
Navigating through apps can be annoying, especially when using the back button. It’s not always clear if swiping to go back will close the app you’re in, or navigate to the previous activity you had open. That’s why Google is introducing a “predictive back gesture”, a gesture that can show a user where their swipe will take them before they actually complete it. App developers can easily integrate it into their apps, too.
You can enable this in Android 13 Beta 2, by doing the following.
- On your device, go to Settings > System > Developer options.
- Select Predictive back animations.
- Launch your updated app, and use the back gesture to see it in action.
Resource files for specifying supported app languages
Developers can now specify what languages their app will support so that users can choose languages on a per-app basis.
New permission to use exact alarms
Google has introduced the
USE_EXACT_ALARM permission, though your app will need to fit into one of the below two criteria to request it and be approved on the Google Play Store.
- Your app is an alarm app or a clock app.
- Your app is a calendar app that shows notifications for upcoming events.
Bug fixes and other resolves issues
- Fixed an issue where some devices were unable to connect to the wireless carrier network after installing Android 13 Beta 1. (Issue #230538853)
- Fixed an issue where QR code scanning would sometimes not work when selected from the Quick Settings tile. (Issue #230513882)
- Fixed an issue where app icons would occasionally fail to appear after the user unlocked the device. (Issue #230851024)
Other resolved issues
- Fixed an issue where Bluetooth headsets would sometimes fail to accept calls or play call audio.
- Fixed an issue where Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro devices would crash and reboot if more than 300 apps were installed.
- Fixed an issue where Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro devices would reboot constantly when Bluetooth was enabled.
- Fixed a regression in Android Keystore that caused some apps to crash on launch.
- Fixed an issue where in some cases the system would incorrectly display an empty notification group from an app.
- Fixed an issue where long-pressing Bluetooth from the settings drawer caused the UI to crash.
- Fixed an issue where devices would sometimes get stuck at the Google logo during startup after receiving an OTA update.
- Fixed an issue where suspending the device while a USB-C headset was plugged in would cause the device to crash and restart.
How to download and install Android 13 Beta 2 on your Google Pixel device
Google is officially releasing this beta update for the Pixel 6 Pro, Pixel 6, Pixel 5a 5G, Pixel 5, Pixel 4a (5G), Pixel 4a, Pixel 4 XL, or Pixel 4. You can use the 64-bit system images with the Android Emulator in Android Studio, and you can also use a GSI too.
What are your thoughts on the latest beta build? Will you be installing it on your device? How has your experience been? Let us know in the comments below!