Author Archives: Sameer Samat

Lucky number Android 13: The latest features and updates

Android 13 helps ensure your devices feel unique to you – on your terms. It comes jam-packed with new capabilities for your phone and tablet, like extending app color theming to even more apps, language settings that can be set on an app level, improved privacy controls and even the ability to copy text and media from one Android device and paste it to another with just a click.

There are many reasons to love Android 13, but here are our top 13:

Personalized to you

1. Android 13 comes with an evolved look and style that builds on Material You. You can customize non-Google apps to match your phone’s wallpaper theme and colors, making your home screen more cohesive and unique to your style.

2. For the many Android users who speak more than one language, we’ve added a top feature request. You can assign specific languages to individual apps so you can keep your phone’s system in one language, and each of your apps in a different language.

3. Android 13 features an updated media player that tailors its look and feel based on the music or podcast you’re listening to. For example, when you’re listening to music, the media player spotlights album artwork and has a playback bar that dances as you progress through a song. It even works for media played through Chrome.

4. Your wellbeing has been an important theme for Android – and getting enough sleep is key! Android 13 allows you to further customize Bedtime mode with wallpaper dimming and dark theme. These screen options help your eyes adjust to the dark when you're about to go to bed – and get back to sleep if you wake up and check your phone in the middle of the night.

Keeping you protected and secure

5. Gone are the days when you had to share your entire media library with your apps. In Android 13, you can select only the specific photos and videos they’ll need to access.

6. Prevent any unwanted access to your clipboard. If you copy sensitive data like your email address, phone number or login credentials on your device, Android will automatically clear your clipboard history after a period of time.

7. Android 13 helps keep your notifications under control and makes sure you only get the alerts you ask for. The apps you download will now need your explicit permission to send notifications, rather than being allowed to send notifications by default.

Helping your devices work better together

8. Feel like you’re in the middle of the action with Spatial Audio. On supported headphones that enable head tracking, Spatial Audio shifts the source of the sound to adapt with how you turn your head, giving you a more immersive listening experience on your Android phone or tablet.

9. When you’re on your laptop, you don’t want to break your workflow to respond to a chat from your phone. Soon, you'll be able to stream your messaging apps directly to your Chromebook so you can send and receive messages from your laptop.

10. Android 13 adopts Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) Audio, a new Bluetooth audio standard that results in lower latency than classic audio. This allows you to hear audio that’s in better sync with the sound’s source, reducing delay. With Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) Audio, you can also enjoy enhanced audio quality and broadcast audio to multiple devices at the same time.

11. You’ll soon be able to copy content — like a URL, picture, text or video — from your Android phone and paste it on your tablet. Or you can start on your tablet and paste to your phone.

12. Multitasking on your tablet is even easier with Android 13. With the newly updated taskbar on tablets, you can see all your apps at a glance and easily drag and drop any app in your library into split-screen mode.

13. Android tablets will register your palm and stylus pen as separate touches. So whether you’re writing or drawing on your tablet, you’ll experience fewer accidental stray marks that come from simply resting your hand on the screen.

Android 13 is packed with these and many other features, like HDR video support on third-party camera apps, an updated media output switcher, braille displays for Talkback and more. And it goes beyond the phone to give you a connected set of experiences across your other devices like your tablets and laptops.

Android 13 is rolling out to Pixel devices starting today. Later this year, Android 13 will also roll out to your favorite devices from Samsung Galaxy, Asus, HMD (Nokia phones), iQOO, Motorola, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Sharp, Sony, Tecno, vivo, Xiaomi and more.

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Lucky number Android 13: The latest features and updates

Android 13 helps ensure your devices feel unique to you – on your terms. It comes jam-packed with new capabilities for your phone and tablet, like extending app color theming to even more apps, language settings that can be set on an app level, improved privacy controls and even the ability to copy text and media from one Android device and paste it to another with just a click.

There are many reasons to love Android 13, but here are our top 13:

Personalized to you

1. Android 13 comes with an evolved look and style that builds on Material You. You can customize non-Google apps to match your phone’s wallpaper theme and colors, making your home screen more cohesive and unique to your style.

2. For the many Android users who speak more than one language, we’ve added a top feature request. You can assign specific languages to individual apps so you can keep your phone’s system in one language, and each of your apps in a different language.

3. Android 13 features an updated media player that tailors its look and feel based on the music or podcast you’re listening to. For example, when you’re listening to music, the media player spotlights album artwork and has a playback bar that dances as you progress through a song. It even works for media played through Chrome.

4. Your wellbeing has been an important theme for Android – and getting enough sleep is key! Android 13 allows you to further customize Bedtime mode with wallpaper dimming and dark theme. These screen options help your eyes adjust to the dark when you're about to go to bed – and get back to sleep if you wake up and check your phone in the middle of the night.

Keeping you protected and secure

5. Gone are the days when you had to share your entire media library with your apps. In Android 13, you can select only the specific photos and videos they’ll need to access.

6. Prevent any unwanted access to your clipboard. If you copy sensitive data like your email address, phone number or login credentials on your device, Android will automatically clear your clipboard history after a period of time.

7. Android 13 helps keep your notifications under control and makes sure you only get the alerts you ask for. The apps you download will now need your explicit permission to send notifications, rather than being allowed to send notifications by default.

Helping your devices work better together

8. Feel like you’re in the middle of the action with Spatial Audio. On supported headphones that enable head tracking, Spatial Audio shifts the source of the sound to adapt with how you turn your head, giving you a more immersive listening experience on your Android phone or tablet.

9. When you’re on your laptop, you don’t want to break your workflow to respond to a chat from your phone. Soon, you'll be able to stream your messaging apps directly to your Chromebook so you can send and receive messages from your laptop.

10. Android 13 adopts Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) Audio, a new Bluetooth audio standard that results in lower latency than classic audio. This allows you to hear audio that’s in better sync with the sound’s source, reducing delay. With Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) Audio, you can also enjoy enhanced audio quality and broadcast audio to multiple devices at the same time.

11. You’ll soon be able to copy content — like a URL, picture, text or video — from your Android phone and paste it on your tablet. Or you can start on your tablet and paste to your phone.

12. Multitasking on your tablet is even easier with Android 13. With the newly updated taskbar on tablets, you can see all your apps at a glance and easily drag and drop any app in your library into split-screen mode.

13. Android tablets will register your palm and stylus pen as separate touches. So whether you’re writing or drawing on your tablet, you’ll experience fewer accidental stray marks that come from simply resting your hand on the screen.

Android 13 is packed with these and many other features, like HDR video support on third-party camera apps, an updated media output switcher, braille displays for Talkback and more. And it goes beyond the phone to give you a connected set of experiences across your other devices like your tablets and laptops.

Android 13 is rolling out to Pixel devices starting today. Later this year, Android 13 will also roll out to your favorite devices from Samsung Galaxy, Asus, HMD (Nokia phones), iQOO, Motorola, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Sharp, Sony, Tecno, vivo, Xiaomi and more.

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Living in a multi-device world with Android

Android has grown into the most popular OS in the world, delivering access, connectivity and information to people everywhere on their smartphones. There are over three billion active monthly Android devices around the world, and in the last year alone, more than a billion new Android phones have been activated. While the phone is still the most popular form of computing, people are adding more connected technologies to their lives like TVs, cars, watches and more.

As we build for a multi-device future, we’re introducing new ways to get more done. Whether it's your phone or your other devices, our updates help them all work better together.

Do more with your Android phone

With Android 13, we’re making updates to privacy and security, personalization and large screen devices. You’ve already seen a preview of this in the Developer Previews and first beta. Across the Android ecosystem, we’re also bringing more ways to keep your conversations private and secure, store your digital identity and get you help in the physical world.

We have been working with carriers and phone makers around the world to upgrade SMS text messaging to a new standard called Rich Communication Services (RCS). With RCS, you can share high-quality photos, see type indicators, message over Wi-Fi and get a better group messaging experience.

This is a huge step forward for the mobile ecosystem and we are really excited about the progress! In fact, Google's Messages app already has half a billion monthly active users with RCS and is growing fast. And, Messages already offers end-to-end encryption for your one-to-one conversations. Later this year, we’ll also be bringing encryption to your group conversations to open beta.

Three messages are shown from a group message between friends who are excited for a baking class they will take together.

Your phone can also help provide secure access to your everyday essentials. Recently, we’ve witnessed the rapid digitization of things like car keys and vaccine records. The new Google Wallet on Android will standardize the way you save and access these important items, plus things like payment cards, transit and event tickets, boarding and loyalty passes and student IDs. We’ll be launching Google Wallet on Wear OS, starting with support for payment cards.

Soon, you’ll be able to save and access hotel keys and office badges from your Android phone. And we know you can’t leave home without your ID, so we're collaborating with states across the U.S. and international partners to bring digital driver's licenses and IDs to Google Wallet later this year.

We’re developing smooth integrations with other Google apps and services while providing granular privacy controls. For example, when you add a transit card to Wallet, your card and balance will automatically show up in Google Maps when you search for directions. If your balance is running low, you can quickly tap and add fare before you arrive at the station.

A user looks at their phone for directions from the San Francisco airport on Google Maps. Since they are looking for public transportation routes, they are prompted on their phone to add fare to their Clipper card, a transit card used throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. With a tap, they add their desired amount of money to the card.

Beyond helping keep your communication and digital identities safe, your devices can be even more essential in critical moments like medical emergencies or natural disasters. In these times, chances are you’ll have either your phone or watch on you. We built critical infrastructure into Android like Emergency Location Services (ELS) to help first responders locate you when you call for help. We recently launched ELS in Bulgaria, Paraguay, Spain and Saudi Arabia, and it is now available to more than one billion people worldwide.

Early Earthquake Warnings are already in place in 25 countries, and this year we’ll launch them in many of the remaining high-risk regions around the world. This year, we’ll also start working with partners to bring Emergency SOS to Wear OS, so you can instantly contact a trusted friend or family member or call emergency services from your watch.

A watch screen depicts the Emergency SOS feature. The watch face has an outline of a red circle that counts down the time before an emergency call is made directly from the watch. In this example 911 is called.

Apps and services that extend beyond the phone

Along with your phone, two of the most important and personal devices in our lives are watches and tablets.

With the launch of our unified platform with Samsung last year, there are now over three times as many active Wear OS devices as there were last year. Later this year, you’ll start to see more devices powered with Wear OS from Samsung, Fossil Group, Montblanc, Mobvoi and others. And for the first time ever, Google Assistant is coming to Samsung Galaxy watches, starting soon with the Watch4 series. The Google Assistant experience for Wear OS has been improved with faster, more natural voice interactions, so you can access useful features like voice-controlled navigation or setting reminders.

We’re also bringing more of your favorite apps to Wear OS. Check out experiences built for your wrist by Spotify, adidas Running, LINE and KakaoTalk. And you’ll see many more from apps like SoundCloud and Deezer later this year.

Various app logos including Spotify, adidas Running, LINE, and more are spread out in a circle outside of a watch.

We’re investing in tablets in a big way and have made updates to the interface in 12L and Android 13 that optimize information for the larger screen. We’ve also introduced new features that help you multitask — for example, tap the toolbar to view the app tray and drag and drop apps to view them in a side by side view.

To support these system-level updates, we’ve also been working to improve the app experiences on Android tablets. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be updating more than 20 Google apps to take full advantage of the extra space including YouTube Music, Google Maps, Messages and more.

A collage of colorful tablets are shown, each tablet with a different app running on its screen such as Google Translate, Google Maps, Google TV, Google Photos, Gmail, and more. The Android logo is in the center of the image with the text “20+ optimized Google tablet apps” written in large lettering.

We’re working with other apps to revamp their experiences this year as well, including TikTok, Zoom, Facebook and many others. You’ll soon be able to easily search for all tablet-optimized apps thanks to updates to Google Play.

The Google Play app is open on a tablet. Apps like TikTok, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Zoom are listed under the “Top Free” section of the app charts, each with an Install button beside it.

Simple ways for your devices to work better together

Getting things done can be much easier if your connected devices all communicate and work together. The openness and flexibility of Android powers phones, watches, tablets, TVs and cars — and it works well with devices like headphones, speakers, laptops and more. Across all these devices, we’re building on our efforts and introducing even more simple and helpful features to move throughout your day.

With Chromecast built-in, you can watch videos, listen to music and more on the device that makes sense depending on where you are and what you’re doing. This means after your daily commute, you can easily play the rest of a movie you were watching on your phone on your TV at home. To help you stay entertained, we’re working to extend casting capabilities to new partners and products, such as Chromebook, or even your car.

An interior of a car with YouTube video being cast from a phone to the in-car display.

Your media should just move with you, so you can automatically switch audio from your headphones while watching a movie on your tablet to your phone when answering an incoming call.

And when you need to get more done across devices, you’ll soon be able to copy a URL or picture from your phone, and paste it on your tablet.

This graphic begins with a user copying an image from the web on their phone. They select the Nearby Share icon and the image from the phone is now in the clipboard of their tablet. The user then clicks paste within a slide in Google Slides on their tablet and the image from the phone appears.

Earlier this year, we previewed multi-device experiences, like expanding Phone Hub on your Chromebook to allow you to access all your phone’s messaging apps. By streaming from your phone to the laptop, you’ll be able to send and reply to messages, view your conversation history and launch your messaging apps from your laptop. We’re also making it easier to set up and pair your devices with the expansion of Fast Pair support to more devices, including built-in support for Matter on Android.

Whether Android brings new possibilities to your phone or the many devices in your life, we’re looking forward to helping you in this multi-device world.

Android 12 Beta: Designed for you

From the beginning, Android has always been about personalization and allowing you to select the device, service and experience that’s right for you. By providing an open ecosystem that gives you choice, Android has grown to more than 3 billion active devices around the world.

Android 12 builds on everything you love about Android, and focuses on building a deeply personal phone that adapts to you, developing an operating system that is secure by default and private by design, and making all your devices work better together.

Today, we’re releasing the first beta of Android 12, and giving you a look into some of the features that will be available in future releases.

A more personal experience

Android 12 includes the biggest design change in Android's history. We rethought the entire experience, from the colors to the shapes, light and motion. The result is that Android 12 is more expressive, dynamic and personal than ever before.


Personalization

Gif of one phone fanning into five phones that show different color schemes.

Starting with Android 12 on Pixel devices, you’ll be able to completely personalize your phone with a custom color palette and redesigned widgets. Using what we call color extraction, you choose your wallpaper, and the system automatically determines which colors are dominant, which ones are complementary and which ones just look great. It then applies those colors across the entire OS: the notification shade, the lock screen, the volume controls, new widgets and much more.

Gif of clock zooms in on phone screen where the widget sits on the home screen.

This work is being done in deep collaboration between our software, hardware and Material Design teams. We’re unifying our software and hardware ecosystems under a single design language called Material You.


Fluid motion and animations

Gif showing notifications being dismissed from the lock screen and the swipe up to the home screen.

From the moment you pick up an Android 12 device, you’ll feel how it comes alive with every tap, swipe and scroll. Your phone quickly responds to your touch with smooth motion and animations. For example, when you dismiss your notifications on the lock screen, your clock will appear larger so you know when you’re all caught up.


We've also simplified interactions and recrafted the entire underlying system to make your experience more fluid and efficient. Your Android devices are now faster and more responsive with better power efficiency so you can use your device for longer without a charge. This was achieved by some under-the-hood improvements including reducing the CPU time needed for core system services by up to 22% and reducing the use of big cores by the system server by up to 15%.


Redesigned system spaces

Gif of phone screen swiping down to notification shade to show quick settings for Google Pay and Device Controls.

Some of the most important spaces on your phone — like your notification shade, quick settings and even the power button — have been purposefully reimagined to help you get things done. 


The notification shade is more intuitive and playful, with a crisp, at-a-glance view of your app notifications, whatever you’re currently listening to or watching, and Quick Settings that let you control practically the entire operating system with a swipe and a tap. The Quick Settings space doesn’t just look and feel different. It’s been rebuilt to include Google Pay and Home Controls, while still allowing for customization so you can have everything you need most in one easy-to-access place.

To make sure you always have help from Google at your fingertips, you can now long press the power button to invoke Assistant to make a phone call, open apps, ask questions or read aloud text-heavy articles.

Private and secure by design

Android 12 includes new features that give you more transparency around which apps are accessing your data, and more controls so you can make informed choices about how much private information your apps can access.

Gif of phone screen showing privacy dashboard and opens location usage

The new Privacy Dashboard offers a single view into your permissions settings as well as what data is being accessed, how often and by which apps. It also lets you easily revoke app permissions right from the dashboard.

Gif of phone screen swiping down to quick settings to show new camera and mic toggles

We’ve added a new indicator to the top right of your status bar so you know when your apps are accessing your microphone or camera. And if you want to remove app access to these sensors for the entire system, we’ve added two new toggles in Quick Settings.

Gif of phone screen showing ability to give app access to approximate location

We’re also giving you more control over how much information you share with apps. With new approximate location permissions, apps can be limited to seeing just your approximate location instead of a precise one. For example, weather apps don’t need your precise location to offer an accurate forecast. 


Beyond these new privacy features in Android 12, we’re also building privacy protections directly into the OS. There are more opportunities than ever to use AI to create helpful new features, but these features need to be paired with powerful privacy. That’s why in this release we’re introducing Android Private Compute Core. It allows us to introduce new technologies that are private by design, allowing us to keep your personal information safe, private and local to your phone. 


Private Compute Core enables features like Live Caption, Now Playing and Smart Reply. All the audio and language processing happens on-device, isolated from the network to preserve your privacy. Like the rest of Android, the protections in Private Compute Core are open source and fully inspectable and verifiable by the security community. 


There are more features coming later this year, and we’ll continue to push the boundaries and find ways to maintain the highest standards of privacy, security and safety.

Try these features and more

Android 12 is packed with other useful experiences, like improved accessibility features for people with impaired vision, scrolling screenshots, conversation widgets that bring your favorite people to the home screen and ways for all your devices to work better together. We’re also delivering on our promise to make third-party app stores easier to use on Android 12. You can find many of these features today in Android 12 Beta, available on Pixel and other devices.

Android 12 Beta: Designed for you

From the beginning, Android has always been about personalization and allowing you to select the device, service and experience that’s right for you. By providing an open ecosystem that gives you choice, Android has grown to more than 3 billion active devices around the world.

Android 12 builds on everything you love about Android, and focuses on building a deeply personal phone that adapts to you, developing an operating system that is secure by default and private by design, and making all your devices work better together.

Today, we’re releasing the first beta of Android 12, and giving you a look into some of the features that will be available in future releases.

A more personal experience

Android 12 includes the biggest design change in Android's history. We rethought the entire experience, from the colors to the shapes, light and motion. The result is that Android 12 is more expressive, dynamic and personal than ever before.


Personalization

Gif of one phone fanning into five phones that show different color schemes.

Starting with Android 12 on Pixel devices, you’ll be able to completely personalize your phone with a custom color palette and redesigned widgets. Using what we call color extraction, you choose your wallpaper, and the system automatically determines which colors are dominant, which ones are complementary and which ones just look great. It then applies those colors across the entire OS: the notification shade, the lock screen, the volume controls, new widgets and much more.

Gif of clock zooms in on phone screen where the widget sits on the home screen.

This work is being done in deep collaboration between our software, hardware and Material Design teams. We’re unifying our software and hardware ecosystems under a single design language called Material You.


Fluid motion and animations

Gif showing notifications being dismissed from the lock screen and the swipe up to the home screen.

From the moment you pick up an Android 12 device, you’ll feel how it comes alive with every tap, swipe and scroll. Your phone quickly responds to your touch with smooth motion and animations. For example, when you dismiss your notifications on the lock screen, your clock will appear larger so you know when you’re all caught up.


We've also simplified interactions and recrafted the entire underlying system to make your experience more fluid and efficient. Your Android devices are now faster and more responsive with better power efficiency so you can use your device for longer without a charge. This was achieved by some under-the-hood improvements including reducing the CPU time needed for core system services by up to 22% and reducing the use of big cores by the system server by up to 15%.


Redesigned system spaces

Gif of phone screen swiping down to notification shade to show quick settings for Google Pay and Device Controls.

Some of the most important spaces on your phone — like your notification shade, quick settings and even the power button — have been purposefully reimagined to help you get things done. 


The notification shade is more intuitive and playful, with a crisp, at-a-glance view of your app notifications, whatever you’re currently listening to or watching, and Quick Settings that let you control practically the entire operating system with a swipe and a tap. The Quick Settings space doesn’t just look and feel different. It’s been rebuilt to include Google Pay and Home Controls, while still allowing for customization so you can have everything you need most in one easy-to-access place.

To make sure you always have help from Google at your fingertips, you can now long press the power button to invoke Assistant to make a phone call, open apps, ask questions or read aloud text-heavy articles.

Private and secure by design

Android 12 includes new features that give you more transparency around which apps are accessing your data, and more controls so you can make informed choices about how much private information your apps can access.

Gif of phone screen showing privacy dashboard and opens location usage

The new Privacy Dashboard offers a single view into your permissions settings as well as what data is being accessed, how often and by which apps. It also lets you easily revoke app permissions right from the dashboard.

Gif of phone screen swiping down to quick settings to show new camera and mic toggles

We’ve added a new indicator to the top right of your status bar so you know when your apps are accessing your microphone or camera. And if you want to remove app access to these sensors for the entire system, we’ve added two new toggles in Quick Settings.

Gif of phone screen showing ability to give app access to approximate location

We’re also giving you more control over how much information you share with apps. With new approximate location permissions, apps can be limited to seeing just your approximate location instead of a precise one. For example, weather apps don’t need your precise location to offer an accurate forecast. 


Beyond these new privacy features in Android 12, we’re also building privacy protections directly into the OS. There are more opportunities than ever to use AI to create helpful new features, but these features need to be paired with powerful privacy. That’s why in this release we’re introducing Android Private Compute Core. It allows us to introduce new technologies that are private by design, allowing us to keep your personal information safe, private and local to your phone. 


Private Compute Core enables features like Live Caption, Now Playing and Smart Reply. All the audio and language processing happens on-device, isolated from the network to preserve your privacy. Like the rest of Android, the protections in Private Compute Core are open source and fully inspectable and verifiable by the security community. 


There are more features coming later this year, and we’ll continue to push the boundaries and find ways to maintain the highest standards of privacy, security and safety.

Try these features and more

Android 12 is packed with other useful experiences, like improved accessibility features for people with impaired vision, scrolling screenshots, conversation widgets that bring your favorite people to the home screen and ways for all your devices to work better together. We’re also delivering on our promise to make third-party app stores easier to use on Android 12. You can find many of these features today in Android 12 Beta, available on Pixel and other devices.

Investing in the Wear OS ecosystem

When we introduced Wear OS by Google (then called Android Wear) five years ago, wearable tech was pretty nascent. 

While it was early, we felt there was something really exciting about this next era of computing and we wanted to enable an ecosystem of partners by providing a flexible platform. 

We’re really proud of the progress. We've also admired the amazing things others have done with wearables, and today we announced that Google has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Fitbit. The Fitbit team has built a great health and fitness experience that is loved by people all over the world.

This agreement underscores our belief in how important wearable tech has become, and it’s also an exciting opportunity for Wear OS. We’re looking forward to collaborating with Fitbit to bring the best of our smartwatch platforms and health applications together, and enabling our partners to build the next generation of wearables. 

We’re hard at work on the next evolution of Wear OS—and if you’d like to join us, we’d love to hear from you.