Android 13 “Tiramisu”: Everything we know so far about Google’s next big update!

Android 13 “Tiramisu”: Everything we know so far about Google’s next big update!

The most exciting thing about a big Android update is being able to follow a predictable pattern of releases to get a taste of all the new features. Google’s Android 12 update marked the biggest visual redesign of the operating system since Android 5 Lollipop thanks to Material You. The new design philosophy along with an exhaustive list of new features makes Android 12 look and feel radically different from previous iterations. While the current version of Android is still in the process of rolling out to all devices, we already have our eyes set on the next big update — Android 13. We’ve already received two developer previews and three beta releases of Android 13, so there’s a ton we’ve learned about the new OS. Here’s everything we know so far about Google’s next big update!


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What’s Android 13 called?

Android 13 tiramisu

Google ditched its dessert naming scheme for Android two years ago with Android 10’s brand redesign. The use of dessert names, however, has continued for the company’s development teams internally. Android 11, for instance, was internally called “Red Velvet” while Android 12 is internally known as “Snow Cone”. Similarly, Android 13 is called Tiramisu. Google is no longer keeping it a secret as it was found in one of the commits on the AOSP Gerrit back in July last year.

For those of you who are curious, these have been the dessert name (internal or public) of all the Android versions so far:

  • Android 1.5: Cupcake
  • Android 1.6: Donut
  • Android 2.0: Eclair
  • Android 2.2: Froyo
  • Android 2.3: Gingerbread
  • Android 3.0: Honeycomb
  • Android 4.0: Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Android 4.1: Jelly Bean
  • Android 4.4: KitKat
  • Android 5.0: Lollipop
  • Android 6.0: Marshmallow
  • Android 7.0: Nougat
  • Android 8.0: Oreo
  • Android 9: Pie
  • Android 10: Quince Tart
  • Android 11: Red Velvet Cake
  • Android 12: Snow Cone
  • Android 13: Tiramisu

For what it’s worth, we already know what Android 14 “U” might be called. Some of the first commits relating to Android 14 that popped up on the Android Gerrit have revealed the codename “Upside Down Cake” for the next version of Android.

Android 13 release date

Google hasn’t announced a release date for Android 13 yet. That being said, we do have a release timeline, according to which we’ll get at least two more beta builds before the release candidate takes its shape for a stable launch sometime in Q3 2022. Here, take a look:

It is, however, worth pointing out that things could drastically change between now and August as the final rollout depends on the stability and compatibility of beta releases preceding it. With the Beta 3 release, Android 13 has hit the  “platform stability” milestone, allowing developers to prepare for the rollout of final SDK/NDK APIs, along with final internal APIs and app-facing system behaviors. In case you’re wondering, Android 12 hit platform stability in August 2021 and the final version was released a couple of months later in October.

Google Developer Preview program for Android 13 started in February 2022 and it’ll run until the final public release to AOSP and OEMs arrives sometime in Q3 2022.

Android 13 Tiramisu Developer Preview Program timeline

We’re currently in the beta release stage of the Android 13 rollout and the company recently released the third beta. We expect the final Android 13 release to happen in the fall, around the Pixel 7 series launch, but we suggest you keep an eye on this space for more information.

Android 13 Developer Preview

We got a taste of Android 13 “Tiramisu” for the first time on February 10, 2022, when Google started rolling out the first Developer Preview release. Unlike last year, we didn’t get a Developer Preview 1.1 patch for Android 13. Instead, we directly received the Android 13 Developer Preview 2 on March 17, 2022.

As the title “Developer Preview” implies, these releases are intended for usage by developers only. It lays the groundwork for the next iteration of the world’s biggest operating system and allows app developers to test out new features and begin platform migration leading up to the final release. For us, these preview builds gives a glimpse of what’s to come in the future with a stable release. We’ve detailed all the new features and functionalities that arrived with the Android 13 Developer Preview 1 update in the following sections, so be sure to check it out.

Android 13 Beta

Google skipped the Developer Preview 3 for Android 13 and exited the “developer preview” stage with the first release of Android 13 Beta 1 on April 26, 2022. The second Android 13 Beta release arrived as a part of Google I/O 2022 on May 11, 2022, whereas the third one came out on June 8, 2022. These beta releases, though they’re more polished than the developer preview rollouts, may still have some critical bugs and they don’t necessarily represent the final form of the release candidate. Google is expected to release Android 13 Beta 4 update in July, and we expect it to be much more stable than the ones we have right now.

That’s all the official Android 13 development we’ve seen so far, but we’ll continue to update this space with more information as new builds are rolled out to the public. As we mentioned earlier, we’re expecting at least one more beta update before we get our hands on the release candidate in or around August 2022.

Will my device get Android 13?

Google’s Pixel smartphones are amongst the first ones in line to receive Android 13 “Tiramisu” when it comes out later this year. There’s no way to tell when the non-Pixel devices will receive the Android 13 update as it largely depends on individual OEMs to decide how much time they want to spend on developing their UX skins. It is safe to assume that smartphones with lighter UX skins like ASUS’ Zen UI will receive the Android 13 update before the relatively heavier skins such as Xiaomi’s MIUI. We’ll have more clarity on the update roadmap from manufacturers closer to or after the stable Android 13 rollout.

For now, though, Google has opened the doors to Android 13 Beta for some non-Pixel devices through Developer Preview programs. You can join the Android 13 party right now to get a taste of what’s to come in the future if you have one of the eligible devices mentioned below:

Here’s every device currently eligible for the Android 13 Beta

  • Google Pixel 6/6 Pro
  • Google Pixel 5/5a
  • Google Pixel 4/4 XL
  • Google Pixel 4a/4a 5G
  • ASUS ZenFone 8
  • Vivo X80 Pro
  • Lenovo P12 Pro
  • OnePlus 10 Pro
  • Xiaomi 12
  • Xiaomi 12 Pro
  • Xiaomi Pad 5
  • Oppo Find X5 Pro
  • Oppo Find N (China only)
  • ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
  • Realme GT2 Pro
  • AQUOS sense6
  • Camon 19 Pro 5G
  • Nokia X20

We’ll continue to add more devices to this list if/when they’re eligible to receive the Android 13 beta update. If you don’t have a Pixel phone or one of the aforementioned OEM devices, then you can try the Android 13 beta by installing the Generic System Image (GSI).

Where do I download Android 13 Beta from?

We’ll update this section with links to download the stable Android 13 packages once they’re made available to the public. In the meantime, you can check our dedicated article to find the latest download links for all the Android 13 builds so far. You can find the correct package for your eligible device from the list, manually install it, and try the new software.

How to install Android 13 Beta?

Once you have downloaded the correct package for your eligible smartphone, you can give Android 13 a shot right now by following a few additional installation steps. We suggest you head over to our Android 13 installation guide to learn more about the process in detail.

Warning: The preview/beta releases are intended for developers only, so we don’t recommend installing them on your daily driver. These early builds may have some system-breaking bugs and other instabilities. It’s also highly recommended that you back up your data before proceeding. Users are advised to exercise caution.

What’s new in Android 13?

The Android 13 update may not be as big as the Android 12, but it still brings a host of new features and changes. We already had a chance to check out many of these new features thanks to the developer preview builds and beta releases, but many unannounced changes are still lurking under the hood. We’ll try our best to highlight every change leading up to the beta 2 update so far, but it’s safe to say that a complete list of all the features will only be available after we get our hands on the final build.

Google has released two developer preview builds and two beta builds of Android 13 so far. We’re about to dive into a long list of features, some of which are more monumental than others. The company also tends to ship out a lot of hidden features with these builds. We’ll include some of the important ones which we think are worth mentioning under each section for now before we add more details leading up to the final release.

Android 13 Developer Preview 1: Announced features

As we mentioned earlier, the Android 13 Developer Preview 1 build was released on February 10, 2022. Here’s a quick look at some of the important features that caught our attention:

Android’s Bluetooth and Ultra-wideband stacks are now mainline modules

Google announced that it will make Bluetooth and Ultra-wideband stacks mainline modules in Android 13. This allows the company to push new Bluetooth and Ultra-wideband features and security patches specific to these components without depending on OEMs to roll out a software update. For the uninitiated, this is a part of Google’s Project Mainline that allows it to take charge of critical framework components and system applications.

Faster Hyphenation

Hyphens can be inserted when the text reaches the end of a line in a TextView or a container. It’s essentially a line break to make the text wrap around the next line. Android can handle hyphenation for you, but it comes at a performance cost. As a result, it’s off by default. With Android 13, however, Google says it has improved this feature with up to a 200% performance boost. This means developers can now enable hyphenation in their TextViews with little to no impact on rendering performance.

Nearby device permission for Wi-Fi

Before Android 13, the apps that needed to connect to nearby Wi-Fi devices had to request location permission. This was a redundant request because the app didn’t really need the device’s location to function. Google is changing that now with Android 13 by splitting that functionality into new runtime permission called NEARBY_WIFI_DEVICES. The developers targeting Android 13 for their apps can now request the NEARBY_WIFI_DEVICES permission with the “neverForLocation” flag instead.

OpenJDK 11 updates

As we mentioned in our Android 13 DP1 coverage, Android 13’s core libraries are brought up to date to the most recent LTS version of OpenJDK 11. We’re looking at both library updates and Java 11 programming language support for app and platform developers. Google also noted that these changes will be backported to Android 12 devices through an update to the ART module.

New quick settings tiles

Another interesting addition to the Android 13 DP1 build is the new set of quick settings tiles. The company added a bunch of these including one or scanning QR codes, toggling color correction, enabling one-handed mode, and more.

Tile placement API

Note: As a part of new API changes to Android 13, Google is also adding a new tile placement API that’ll let apps prompt users to directly add their custom tile to the set of active Quick Settings tiles.

Per-app language preferences

Multi-lingual users can choose their preferred language in Android 12’s Settings app under the System > Languages & input. The language settings, however, are applied system-wide right now, which may not be ideal for those who want to use some apps in one language, and other apps in another language. Android 13 changes this with the help of a new platform API. Users can simply head over to Settings > System > Languages & input > App Languages to set their preferred language for each app.

Themed app icons

Google introduced an “experimental” themed icons feature in their Theme Picker app that shipped with Android 12. It was very limited in nature as a beta feature, but Google has updated the AdaptiveIconDrawable API to support themed app icons in Android 13. With this, the app developers are now actively encouraged to provide compatible icons to allow users to customize their home screens better.

Android 13 material you themed icons

In addition to these, Google also added a new photo picker API that can be invoked without requiring access to all photos on the device, programmable shaders, and more. You can check out our Android 13 DP1 coverage to learn more about some of these changes in detail.

Android 13 Developer Preview 1: Unannounced changes

Google, as we mentioned earlier, also ships out a lot of unannounced changes with each new Android build. Let’s take a quick look at some of those hidden features that were discovered within the Developer Preview 1 build:

Two home screen layouts for the Pixel Launcher

Android 13 DP1 added support for multiple home screen layouts on Pixel phones, allowing the Pixel launcher to support two independent layouts. In addition to the standard layout, some users were able to trigger a large screen layout by setting the DPI on their Pixel phone to 600 or higher.

Clipboard auto-clear feature

Another interesting feature that didn’t make it to the official announcement post is the new clipboard auto-clear. Android 13 brings a new clipboard auto-clear feature to delete the primary clip from the global clipboard after a set amount of time, much like Gboard. What’s more interesting is that this new feature in Android 13 also gives you an option to change the duration after which the clip is cleared.

New user profile switcher

The Android 13 DP1 build ships with a new keyguard profile switcher that appears as a drop-down menu on the lock screen PIN/password/pattern entry page. This will allow users to switch profiles even before unlocking the device. The keyguard profile switcher is said to be disabled by default, but here’s what it looks like when enabled:

Privacy dashboard with longer data retention

Android 13’s DP1 build introduced a new “show 7 days” button within the privacy dashboard that will show permissions access data from the past 7 days. In case you’re wondering what’s new, the original privacy dashboard feature that was introduced with Android 12 only shows data from the past 24 hours. This feature, however, isn’t enabled by default in Android 13 DP1, although that may change with the future builds leading up the final release.

LED flash brightness control API

The Android 13 DP1 build introduces two new APIs to the CameraManager class — getTorchStrengthLevel and turnOnTorchWithStrengthLevel. Simply put, these new APIs will let users adjust the brightness of their phone’s flashlight, like the custom Android skins from some OEMs already do.

Hub mode for tablets

The last one in the series of announced changes in the Android 13 DP1 build includes hints about a new Hub Mode for tablets. This new mode will let users share apps between profiles without borrowing sign-in data or switching between profiles. Notably, the Hub Mode will also let users set up “trusted networks”, thereby preventing others from accessing shared apps/data unless connected to the specified network.

Android 13 Developer Preview 2: Announced features

Android 13 Developer Preview 2 was released on March 17, 2022, and it added a bunch of new features and lots of improvements over the previous developer preview. Let’s take a look at the changes that were officially announced with the rollout:

Notification permission

If you hate getting too many notifications on your phone from unwanted apps, this feature is going to be your savior. Android 13’s DP build comes with new runtime permission for sending notifications from an app. The apps that are targeting Android 13 will need to request permissions from the user to push notifications. Google says it’s actively encouraging developers to target Android 13 as early as possible and request the notification permission for their respective apps.

Android 13 Developer Preview 2 notifications permission

This is going to be a great feature because it directly puts the end-users in charge of picking the apps that they want to see notifications from. You’ll soon be able to stop a random application from sending you notifications, including promotions.

Developer downgrade permissions

Android 13 is introducing a new API that will allow developers to downgrade previously granted runtime permissions that are no longer needed by an updated version of the app.

Improved Japanese text wrapping

Android 13 DP1, as we mentioned earlier, introduced improvements to text wrapping with faster hyphenation. The company is making more improvements with the DP2 build, specifically for Japanese text this time. The TextViews can now wrap text by Bunetsu, the smallest unit of words that’s coherent, instead of by character. This should make way for some polished and readable Japanese apps. Developers can enable android:lineBreakWordStyle=”phrase” with TextViews to take advantage of this.

android 13 japanese textview developer preview 2

Improved line heights for non-Latin scripts

Google has improved support for non-Latin scripts such as Tamil, Burmese, Telugu, and Tibetan in Android 13. The new build now uses line height that’s adapted for each language, thereby preventing clipping and also the positioning of the characters.

android 13 developer preview 2 text height

MIDI 2.0

Android 13 adds support for the new MIDI 2.0 standard, including the ability to connect MIDI 2.0 hardware through USB. For the uninitiated, MIDI 2.0 offers improvements to the resolution for controllers, support for non-Western intonation, and more expressive performance using per-note controllers.

Bluetooth LE Audio support

Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) audio promises lower power consumption and higher audio quality using the low Complexity Communications Codec (LC3). There are a good amount of products on the market with hardware that support BLE Audio, so we’re glad to see Google adding support for LE Audio in Android 13.

Color vector fonts

Android 13 can render COLR version 1 fonts, a new and highly-c0mpact font format with support for color grading. The Android 13 DP2 build also updates the system emoji to the COLRv1 format. You can read more about COLRv1 in the Chrome announcement.

New Foreground Services (FGS) Task Manager

Android 13 DP2 includes a new Foreground Services (FGS) Task Manager which shows a list of apps that are currently running a foreground service. It also lets users stop foreground services regardless of the target SDK version. The new “Active Apps” list can be accessed by swiping down on the notification drawer and tapping on the new icon next to the Settings cog. Tapping on it will open a card with the names of the apps, time spent active in the foreground, and also a Stop button. It is, however, worth pointing out that stopping an app via the FGS Task Manager doesn’t have the same effect as closing an app from the recent screen or using the “Force Stop” option. You can learn more about this particular feature right here.

Android 13 FGS Task Manager

The Android 13 Developer Preview 2 build also brings a ton of other developer productivity improvements too. We suggest you check out our Android 13 DP2 coverage to learn more about those announcements in detail.

Android 13 Developer Preview 2: Unannounced changes

Much like the first developer preview, the Android DP2 build was also full of many hidden features that weren’t a part of Google’s official announcement. Here, take a look:

App drawer in the taskbar

Google added a taskbar to the bottom of some large-screen devices, including some tablets and foldable phones as a part of one of the Android 12L updates. The same taskbar is also seen in the Android 13 DP2 build, but it comes with an additional icon that lets you open the app drawer.