Exclusive: This is our first look at Android 13 “Tiramisu” and some of its upcoming features
Android 12 is the current flavor of the season as OEMs go on to update their skins with this new release as their base. If you have a foldable, there’s Android 12L to look forward to, bringing along changes that make it easier to use foldables and other large-screen devices. Now, we bring to you an exclusive look at some of the features and changes you can see in Android 13 “Tiramisu”, the next version of Android that is likely to be unveiled after Android 12L’s stable release.
If you recall, we at XDA had brought to you your first look at Android 12, and then your first look at Android 12.1 (which Google eventually unveiled as Android 12L). Now, a source with access to a very early Android 13 build has shared with us screenshots of the unreleased version, and through it, we can show off several upcoming features and changes. We have a high degree of confidence in the veracity of these screenshots. But since Android 13 is still quite some time away, features that we show here may or may not make it to the first Developer Preview of Android 13 that is expected to be publicly released in 2022.
New features expected in Android 13:
- App Languages
- Runtime Permission for Notifications
- TARE: The Android Resource Economy
- Lock Screen Clock Layout
App Languages in Android 13
Android has offered language selection as a feature since its earliest days. But this selection is applied universally across the device for the most part. Apps can offer their own in-app language settings, but most developers don’t offer this as a dedicated feature. The result of this is that panlingual users have to choose one language they are most comfortable with, and use the phone and all installed apps and services in that one language only. If they do need to switch languages, the switch needs to be made at the system level, accessible from Settings > System > Languages & input > Languages. As long as apps include the strings for the language chosen, they will display that chosen language.
A recent report from Android Police revealed that Google is working on a new feature, codenamed ‘Panlingual’, for Android 13 that will let users define language settings on a per-app basis. This feature will let users specify language settings for each app individually on their device, which will prove to be quite useful for multilingual users who may prefer different locales for different apps. The feature will appear as a new “App languages” option within the “Languages & input” settings, but users will also be able to access it from the “App info” screen.
We have access to screenshots that confirm that the feature is being worked on.
As you can see above, a new “App Languages” setting is now present within Settings > System > Languages & input. Choosing this option allows you to select an installed app, and change the language it is presented in, without affecting the language of the rest of the system. This way, you can have several different apps set up in different languages as per your need and convenience. Note that this still relies on the app including the relevant language strings, though one cannot rule out a possibility of on-device app string translation down the line.
Runtime Permission for Notifications
Every app you install on Android automatically has the ability to push a notification to your device. As the number of apps on our phones increased, so did the number of notifications and the number of apps that send regular notifications. The result is that every app now wants to, and gets to, send notifications on your phone, resulting in notification spam and an unpleasant experience. Newer versions of Android have attempted to tackle it through solutions like Notification Importance (for determining how much the notification can interrupt the user), Notification Channels (to allow certain types of notifications from an app to be treated differently from other types from the same app), and even the ability to turn off notifications entirely on a per-app basis. However, most users do not know these solutions exist, so the notification spam remains practically untackled.
Google could be taking another step in tackling this menace next year. Android 13 adds a new runtime permission “POST_NOTIFICATIONS” for notifications. This means that notifications could become an opt-in feature on Android 13. Users may be able to choose whether they want to allow an app to send a notification to their device in a fashion similar to how they choose to allow other runtime permissions like Location and Camera access.
It is likely that the new notifications runtime permission will be pre-granted to all apps targeting Android 12 or older. But for apps targeting Android 13, they will have to abide by the new rules. Note that the settings interface for the feature does not fully work yet, and there aren’t any apps to test with it yet, so we are not completely sure that the feature is what we have made an educated guess towards.
Will this approach solve the notification spam? One can hope. Users have also become accustomed to liberally granting runtime permissions to any and all apps that request for them. So for these users, the situation is unlikely to change. However, for those that pay more attention when granting permissions, this should help cut down the number of apps that can send them a notification.
TARE: The Android Resource Economy
Here’s something fairly interesting that we had been hearing whispers about for a while, that we can now see in the screenshots.
With Android 13, Google is expected to lay the foundations of a feature called “TARE”, short for “The Android Resource Economy”. TARE primarily focuses on energy-use management on the device, with the feature working through AlarmManager and JobScheduler policies.
Here’s some background we had separately learned about TARE some weeks ago: TARE introduces “Android Resource Credits”, something that is best described as a form of currency that is tied to the battery level of the device. Google will be “awarding” credits to apps based on how depleted the battery is, and apps can then use these credits as “payments” for the opportunity to perform tasks. Essentially, Google will be setting limits to how many tasks an app can schedule through JobScheduler and AlarmManager depending on the battery level and the needs of the app. There’s likely going to be complexities involved in this, so we will have to wait until documentation is released by Google to learn more intricacies.
Lock Screen Clock Layouts
With Android 13, a new setting has been added in lock screen settings to toggle the layout of the clock on the lock screen.
In Android 12 currently, the lock screen clock is displayed in the double line layout that you see in the first screenshot above, but only when there are no notifications. When notifications arrive, the layout switches to a single line layout, and reverts back when notifications are cleared. The new setting allows users to retain the single-line layout persistently, something that users had been requesting for a while.
We’ve also seen evidence that this feature is being added to Android 12L, so you may be able to use this pretty soon.
These are all the new features on Android 13 that we have access to. There’s bound to be more features and changes coming, especially once the update officially releases. Until then, this is your first look at Android 13.