It was anticipated and confirmed when on the stage of the Google I/O of 2022, the part in which Android would be mentioned was given up. The second beta version of Android 13 is already with us and those who have compatible mobile phones and are enrolled in the program will have already received their corresponding OTA. We received it, we installed it on a Google Pixel 5 and we tested it. Like good people.
On stage, Liza Ma sketched out a series of outlines on which the new version of the tested operating system was based. A journey to follow and which began in Beta 2 to end with the release of the system at the end of the summer. Let’s see how the experience with the new version has been.
Improvements for everyone, but more useful for developers
For practical purposes, the second Android 13 beta introduces a lot more developer concepts and features than end-user benefits. That’s not to say there are changes, of course, but many of them remain under the surface. For example the arrival of new languages or extras that are added to ‘Developer Options’.
In addition to these ‘Developer options’, there is now a new mode for simulating modems. We can too limit upload and download speed on phone, so that developers can simulate the use of their applications under adverse connectivity conditions. Although at the level of design and functionality for users, we also have small things.
Changes to the dark mode of the system are coming, but not for design purposes but for operation. Now dark mode can be programmed to automatically turn on “at bedtime”. If we configure this bedtime in the ‘Digital Wellbeing’ part, our phone will automatically change themes, indicating that it is time to turn off the television. At the moment this feature is in testing and has given us some activation failures, but it seems to be on the right track and we will surely see it improve for the third beta.
Another functional change lands in power saving mode. If before we had a limit of 5% energy in the phone for its activation, with Android 13 Beta 2 the limit increases to 10%. This means that yes it will be activated before, but also that we will have more autonomy by restricting the functions of the phone with more milliamps remaining. The battery widget is also slightly modified, showing us the remaining battery of the phone and all the Bluetooth devices connected to it. Our watch, for example, or our headphones.
The fading of black on the activated screen (fade?) when we unlock the phone with the fingerprint reader is now more noticeable when it runs a little slower. There are also new and changed animations in the “Settings” part of the system. In fgeneral, Android 13 Beta 2 is more visual than the first Beta and this clearly tells us that the graphics section will be important when the RC version is finally released for all compatible phones.
Throughout the system there are also other graphical and animation changes. The system’s ‘Media Player’ is undergoing changes such as a change of position in the “Back” and “Forward” buttons of reading, which makes navigation more comfortable. We also found the vibration icon that had already disappeared in the Android 12 beta.
In fgeneral, the changes introduced in this new Android 13 beta are not too noticeable. The update fixes bugs from the first beta, adds developer options, and adds UI improvements, but the change isn’t too noticeable. Everything seems to be in its place and the feeling that if there is wow! in the Android tour, we will see it in later updates.
Footnote out of curiosity: It is good that on the “System” page of the “Settings” we can see that we have Android 13 but if we access it it tells us that we have “Android 12”. Google stuff.