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Android 13 Released: We Have Bad News For Pixel Users

After over eight months of testing Android 13 right from the first Developer Preview, the stable Android 13 has finally been released to the Google Pixel devices. It brings a lot of new features and improvements over Android 12.

In this article, let’s look at some of the major new Android 13 features. In the end, if you have a Pixel device, we’ll show you how to update it to Android 13.

Android 13 Released: Here are the new features

While Android 13 adds a few completely new features, it mostly adds features from Android 12 that were either in beta or not added to the OS.

Themed Icons

While Themed Icons were added in Android 12 as a part of Material You, the feature has been in the beta stages, and the toolkit for submitting Themed Icons was limited to Google apps. However, with Android 13, Google has made it available for all developers. Hence, expect your favorite apps to soon adapt to themed icons.

To activate Themed icons, go to Settings > Wallpaper and Style > Toggle-on Themed icons.

New Media Player

A new media player design was introduced in Android 12, and while we did get a player that looks quite similar to what Google showed us, it was far from accurate and cool-looking. Android 13 introduces a more finished and polished media player with a squiggly seek bar to better match the Material You funkiness.

New Notification Permission

Android 13 adds new notification permission. Each time you install and launch an app, you’ll be asked if you want the app to send notifications. This should give users a lot more control over apps and help with apps that send too many push notifications a day.

However, Google hasn’t imposed this feature on app developers, meaning developers can choose if they want users to choose to enable or disable notifications.

Permission to access Audio and Media

In Android 12 or prior, you would need to allow an app to access the entire internal storage if, for example, an Audio player needed access to just the audio on the device. Android 13 changes that by using READ_MEDIA_IMAGES (for images and photos), READ_MEDIA_VIDEO (for videos), and READ_MEDIA_AUDIO (for audio files), allowing users to share what’s required and what’s not.

Pixel 6 series users: We have a bad news

Google has revealed that after updating to Android 13 on the Pixel 6, users won’t be able to roll back to Android 12 due to a recent bootloader update.

“The Android 13 update for Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and the Pixel 6a contains a bootloader update that increments the anti-rollback version. After flashing an Android 13 build on these devices, you will not be able to flash older Android 12 builds.”

To read more about the other features, read our “everything we know about Android 13” article.

Android 13 is available for the following Pixel devices:

  • Google Pixel 4/4 XL
  • Google Pixel 4a/4a 5G
  • Google Pixel 5/5a 5G
  • Google Pixel 6/6 Pro/6a

What are your thoughts on Android 13? Which features are you looking forward to using the most? Let us know in the comments section below.

Published by
Abubakar Mohammed