Android 13 might include a new Hub Mode for tablets
Google’s renewed push to improve Android for large-screen devices likely goes beyond what we’ve seen in the Android 12L developer preview releases so far. The company is reportedly working on a couple of other improvements that might roll out with Android 13 later this year. According to a new report from Esper, the first Android 13 developer preview release contains hints about other major tablet-related changes. These include a new Hub Mode for tablets, improvements for the docked tablet experience, a significant screen saver revamp, and more.
Currently, Android doesn’t let users share apps across profiles. This makes using an Android tablet as a shared device with multiple profiles a less than ideal experience. The upcoming Hub Mode in Android 13 aims to address this issue by letting users share apps between profiles without borrowing sign-in data or switching between profiles. In addition, the Hub Mode will also let users set up “trusted networks” to prevent others from accessing shared apps/data unless connected to the specified network.
Along with the Hub Mode, Android 13 DP1 includes hints about upcoming improvements for the docked tablet experience, like the ability for kernels to recognize charging docks as a distinct type of power supply. This could further tie into other under-the-hood changes, like a new idle power-saving behavior. Android 13 DP1 also includes new code pointing towards a major screen saver revamp.
In addition, the launcher app in the developer preview release hints at a “kids mode” for the navigation bar. The kids mode might work like Android’s screen pinning feature and lock the current task to the screen to prevent users from exiting it. Other noteworthy changes include a new attribute that specifies whether an input method supports handwriting using a stylus or not, along with a couple of improvements that might enhance the tablet gaming experience.
At the moment, we have no further details about these upcoming changes. But we expect to learn more in subsequent Android 13 developer preview builds that will roll out over the next few months.