This year’s major Android update, Android 13, is being officially released for Google’s Pixel phones today, the search giant has announced. Following the release of Android 12 last October and the release of Android 11 in September 2020, the annual update is getting an official release a little earlier than usual.
If you’ve been following up with the beta release of Android 13, you’re likely familiar with the list of updates that will come with this year’s version of Android. There’s the ability to customize non-Google app icons to match your homescreen wallpaper that we saw in the first developer preview of Android 13, a new permission to cut down on notification spam, and an app to track which photos and videos you share. There is a new option to limit it. access.
Back in January, we wrote that Google plans to catch up with Apple’s ecosystem integration this year, and there’s more evidence of that in the official release of Android 13. The update includes support for spatial audio with head tracking, which is designed to make sound as if they’re coming from a fixed point in space when you move your head while wearing compatible headphones, a feature similar to Apple offers for its AirPods. Today’s post doesn’t reveal which headphones it will work with, but Google previously announced that it would be updating its Pixel Buds Pro to offer support for spatial audio.
Secondly, similar to iMessage on Mac, is the ability to stream messages directly to Chromebooks from apps, including Google Messages. This is another feature that Google detailed in January. As well as its own messaging app, one of Google’s promotional assets is also working with messaging app Signal, and the company says the feature will work with “many of your other favorite messaging apps.” The update also includes a feature that lets you copy content from an Android phone to paste it on an Android tablet and vice versa.
Other Android 13 features include the ability to set languages on a per-app basis, a redesigned media player that adjusts its appearance based on what you’re listening to, better sound quality at lower bitrates. Bluetooth low energy support and low latency, better multitasking on devices with larger screens with drag and drop support for multitasking, and better palm rejection when using a stylus.
Google’s announcement doesn’t specify which Pixel devices will receive the Android 13 update today, but beta versions of the software are available on everything from the Pixel 4 through the recently released Pixel 6a. Google’s Sameer Samat wrote in today’s announcement post that the Android update will come to devices from other manufacturers including Samsung, Oppo, OnePlus, HMD, Motorola, Realme, Sony, Xiaomi and Asus. For more information about upcoming changes in the update, see Google’s post.