Google launched the last version of its mobile operating system on Monday, and it’s already rolling out to the first (pixel) devices. That said, there are still a number of Android 13 features still to come, and here’s when you can expect them.
Security and privacy settings
The Pixel 6 introduced a new Security Hub last year that arrived older Google phones. At I/O 2022 in May, the company detailed how Security would be combined with the existing page for privacy.
This is intended to provide a “simple, color-coded way to understand your security status and will offer clear, actionable guidance to improve it”. It starts with a prominent overview section and a button to perform actions such as “Scan device” (with Play Protect) or “Uninstall” apps.
The page will be anchored by new action cards that will inform you of the critical steps you need to take to address any security risk. In addition to notifications to alert you to issues, we’ll also provide you with timely recommendations on how to improve your privacy.
Next are the drop-down menus for app security, device lock, Google security check, find my device, etc., which can be expanded to show other preferences. We have already seen Samsung’s version of that, but this week’s Android 13 update for Pixel phones still has “Security” and “Privacy” in separate sections. Google told us on Monday that the unified security and privacy settings page is coming “later this year.”
Pixel Launcher Unified Search
On Pixel phones, one of the best features of Android 13 is unified device and web search, where the bar at the bottom of your home screen is identical to the field at the top of the app drawer. . The latter is visually quite old, and Android 13 Beta users have been using this experience for several months now.
However, when updating to the stable version, the Pixel Launcher unified search disappeared. Google told us earlier this week that the disappearance will be resolved in a “next release”.
The next set of Android 13 features that have yet to launch are cross-device integrations. Starting with “streaming messaging app.” The user interface of Google Messages and other similar communication apps (Signal is shown below) will stream to your Chromebook. On ChromeOS, you’ll get a notification and tap “Reply” to open a phone-sized window to type your message and view the history, just like on your mobile. Both devices must be within Bluetooth range of each other.
We previewed a first version of this feature and dove into how it worked in February, and Google tells us to expect availability “later this year”.
The next step is “copy and paste across multiple devices” where you can copy text, URLs and images from your Android phone and paste them on a tablet (or vice versa). The clipboard preview in the lower left corner will feature a new Nearby Share button that lets you select a device. The target device will show a confirmation of receipt, then you can just paste.
Intended to increase productivity, it obviously depends on whether you have another Android 13 device. This feature is officially “coming soon to Android 13 devices”, although only the “sending device” must be on the new operating system. Meanwhile, “the receiving device must be an Android 6 or higher device”.
Finally, there is Spatial audio to change the “sound source depending on how you turn your head”. It’s meant to make media (movies) more immersive, and the only device we know it’s coming to is the Pixel Buds Pro with a future update in the fall.
Android 13 on tablets
As of today, Android 13 is only available on phones. On tablets, it will bring a taskbar that features an app drawer for faster multi-window multitasking, while there’s also a mailbox for unoptimized apps. Various parts of the operating system now have widescreen layouts, while palm and stylus inputs are registered as separate keys.
The first devices to launch with Android 12L, which arrived in march, are the Samsung Fold 4 and Flip 4 later this month. Pace-wise, don’t expect Android 13 on tablets until next year. The timing could make the Pixel tablet is the first device.
FTC: We use revenue-generating automatic affiliate links. After.