Google has released a new version of Android, but the news isn’t as hyped up as when Apple makes waves about iOS versions. What’s new in Android 13, and when will your Android see it?
There’s a new version of Android on the way out, as Google’s mobile operating system turns 13. Kinda sort.
Launched without quite as much fanfare as Apple’s iOS, the next version of Google’s mobile operating system is beginning to rock up now, but may take some time getting to your device.
Appearing first on Pixel phones, neither the Pixel 6a we reviewed recently nor the Pixel 6 Pro we reviewed last year have seen the official release yet, though Pixel owners are the first in line, with other Android models to follow.
The new version will see some changes to the look and feel, with an automatic way of matching the look of icons and the phone’s interface to your photos, as well as support for more than one language for the apps on the device.
Android 13 will go beyond mere looks, however, with improvements to security and notifications, plus the ability to control photos and videos certain apps will need, rather than the whole library.
There’s also support for spatial audio coming, specifically the head-tracking variant, though you’ll need supported headphones, with the Google Pixel Buds Pro the first to see support for spatial audio in the new operating system, though we suspect Samsung’s Galaxy Buds2 Pro will also tap into spatial audio in much the same way.
That follows Apple’s support for spatial audio in iOS in 2020, and it’s not the only page Google is borrowing from Apple in this release.
Products including the iPhone and iPad can already talk to macOS, copy and pasting text and images between devices with ease. In Android 13, that same concept is coming to Android phones and computers, though not quite at launch, and more later on.
There are other features, such as well being changes to give your eyes more time to adjust to the phone at night, plus an update to the music player, but more importantly perhaps is when your device will get it.
When will Android 13 come to your device?
With Google’s Pixel phones in line for the new operating system first, and the same can be said for the upcoming Pixel 7, which is expected in October. Other phones are on the cards for Android 13 later, likely in the months leading up to the end of 2022, or more likely in 2023.
Google notes on its Android 13 blog that it will also roll out to models in the Samsung Galaxy line next, as well as phones from Asus, Motorola, Nokia by HMD, Oppo, Realme, Vivo, and Xiaomi, to name a few, which more or less means you just have to wait.
Owners of recent phones, such as this year’s Samsung Galaxy S22 range, plus the upcoming Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4, can expect Android 13 fairly soon, while older devices will likely be a little later on, as well.
For most Android owners, that’ll mean just waiting a little bit, as the phone makers connect Google’s official release with their own, joining the dots and delivering an update.