Google Android team announced the first developer preview for Android 13, which continues to iterate on privacy and security and adds further developer tools. The objective of developer previews is to provide developers a first look at what’s going into the new build and allow them a chance to guide its development.
The preview is available now with complete setup instructions for running on an Android emulator. For phones, it is possible to flash a system image onto the device today. Android 13 Preview 1 is compatible with Pixel 6 Pro, Pixel 6, Pixel 5a 5G, Pixel 5, Pixel 4a (5G), Pixel 4a, Pixel 4 XL and Pixel 4 devices.
With Android 12, the team said that front and center has been increasing privacy and security for users. Two new features have been added to help make secure application development easier for developers while also enhancing privacy for users.
Android 13 introduces NEARBY_WIFI_DEVICES, a runtime permission that allows apps to ask permission to discover and access devices on nearby WiFi networks without needing permission to access location services. That’s useful for developers because Android can determine its location based on nearby WiFi hotspots.
Photos and videos are now easier to securely share with any app on Android devices without the app needing permission to view all media on the device using a new “photo picker” capability. The company said that it intends to bring this capability to more Android users through Google Play updates to devices running Android 11 and above.
Android 13 is adding developer productivity tools and preparing app comparability for more devices. Developers will get access to the Quick Settings placement API, this will allow building apps with tile configurations to add tiles to Quick Settings where users can be prompted to add custom tiles directly within the app.
For user accessibility, per-app language preferences have been updated in a new platform API that allows individual applications to choose a language that differs from the system language. The user interface will also present with faster hyphenation, which adds the “-” when a word is split up at the edge of a screen to make pages of text easier to read. With this addition, the rendering happens 200% faster.
The team has been pushing further compatibility with more devices by updating through Google Play to provide a more consistent and secure environment across all devices.
Android 13 is also being optimized for more form factors as Android is becoming more prevalent in more devices such as tablets, foldables and Chromebooks. Google said, it’s a good time for developers to prepare their apps for these screen sizes and design them so that they can take advantage of the different screen real estate.
This is the first preview for Android 13 and platform stability is not expected until June. After that, the final release will take about a month. Further details on the timeline are available at the Android 13 developer portal.