Android 13 update packs hidden improvments to stuff you use regularly

Android developer at work
(Image credit: Christina Morillo/Pexels)

Google has released its third public beta for Android 13 as development for the upcoming OS cruises along.

Android 13 Beta 3 is a momentous occasion as the mobile OS reaches Platform Stability, meaning all of its system behaviors and APIs are being finalized. All that remains is for Google to iron out any remaining bugs and for developers to put the finishing touches to their apps in time for launch.

Final testing

Google has reassured developers they can finish up their apps with the knowledge that Android 13 won’t be changing and recommends that they start their final tests. The Android 13 launch date still hasn’t been revealed yet, but according to Google’s graphic, the new OS is slated to launch some time after July of this year. Obviously, that’s still rather vague.

On the surface, Android 13 Beta 3 updates appear to be aimed at developers. There are new types of permissions that developers may run into while testing that they’ll have to support in their apps. These changes include new permissions for sending notifications from an app and accessing body sensors. 

The last Beta 3 addition, at least according to Google, is testing support for tablets and large screens.

It appears, though, that Google left more than a few things out. Android Sr. Technical Editor for Esperdev Mishaal Rahman dug through Beta 3 and found several new features that Google neglected to reveal.

Hidden features

According to Rahman, the new notification settings appear as soon as your Android phone finishes installing the beta. The OS will give you a list of your recently used apps where you can toggle on or off notifications. Pixel Launcher will now show web results alongside your apps on the home screen. If the results are too intrusive, you’re able to turn them off.

Speaking of search results, new app shortcuts will appear in Google Search. For example, Rahman showed how when he searches for the word “taco,” the results include information pertaining to “taco” but also the ability to search for that word on YouTube, Maps, and the Play Store.

There are also changes pertaining to the user interface. The gesture pill stands out more, colors are brighter in the Vibrant theme, and the game dashboard is gone now, according to Rahman.

Compared to its predecessor, Android 13 seems to be coming along well. You can download Beta 3 from the Android Developer blog. The page will have a list of all eligible devices. If your phone brand isn’t listed, you’ll have to wait for the full public release. 

While you wait, we recommend checking out TechRadar’s Android 13 coverage and see what the mobile OS has to offer.

Cesar Cadenas

Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.