When Android 13 officially arrives this summer, we’re sure to see a bunch of confused heads.
And it won’t be due to heat-induced brain fog and/or a dry scalp—not entirely, anyway. Instead, this new source of confusion will stem from the fact that after months of accumulation and anticipation, the latest and greatest version of Android from Google won’t seem like much to the majority of Android-owned bodies.
I know this sounds weird, but it’s true: For anyone with a phone that was already running Android 12 last year, Android 13 is shaping up to be an incredibly subtle, almost invisible change, at least on the surface. level.
This does not mean that Android 13 is not important. Far from it, in fact: This year’s Android update is perhaps one of Google’s most significant releases of platform change and rare access that really changes the course of the platform from a broader perspective.
But somewhat paradoxically, it increasingly appears that the weight of this effect will be almost entirely invisible to most of us mere mortals over the phone. Thus, when Android 13 actually shows up in your sweaty palms, your first reaction will likely be something along the lines of: “Wait, that’s this is?! “
It’s a story of two operating systems in one and a kind of dual identity that we haven’t really experienced on Android. But if you take a few minutes to figure out what’s happening now, you’ll be better prepared for what’s going to happen — and you’ll be less likely to find yourself scratching your suspicious head in confusion.
Android 13 identity #1: The important aspect
First, some important background information: This year’s Android release cycle was unusual even before Android 13 hit the scene.
In October last year, a few weeks after the arrival of Android 12, Google announced the development of a new “feature removal” update called Android 12L.
The update, which completed and started rolling out to a handful of devices this past March, was basically a 0.1 pattern update – so Android 12.1 or maybe Android 13.-01, if you want to be more specific (and maybe just a little rude).
Like Android 13, Android 12L was different than anyone with a regular Android phone. The update contains a few small tweaks and tweaks to the experience on Google Pixel devices – the main products it’s received – but we’re talking about the kind of subtle stuff that no normal person would ordinarily notice. An ounce of attention to digest.
Again, though, Android 12L was very important. This was basically a pre-planning step that laid the foundation for what Android 13 is about to achieve. And it’s a whole new way of how Android looks and works in a big screen environment.
For tablets and foldable phones, Android 13 and its frame in 12L will be straightforward adapter. The program will offer a truly optimized interface for widescreen use, with different widgets on different halves of the screen and a host of new desktop-like multitasking tools, including a stylish Chrome OS-inspired taskbar that lets you access your favorite apps from anywhere and even Slide it to create a split-screen setting on the go.
Beyond that – and most importantly – Android 13 will effectively create a whole new app category Devices with flavors from Google. The software has a series of features that will allow tablets to be treated as shared devices when rooted, with the ability to access a select set of “popular apps” in that context, and then allow multiple users to take the tablets and log into their own profiles.
There are signs that Google’s upcoming Pixel tablet might exploit those possibilities and act as a new kind of hybrid — a cross between a bloated smart screen and a traditional tablet that doesn’t look like anything else today.
And all this because of Android 13 and the concepts that it introduces to the operating system.
But then there else The Android 13 aspect – the aspect anyone with a non-foldable phone will almost certainly see.
Android 13 identity #2: the hidden side
I’ve been using the latest Android 13 beta on my spare Pixel 4a for several weeks now, and let me tell you: Overall, the software looks, feels, and behaves just like Android 12.
So true, in fact, I’d be shocked if a regular phone owner who isn’t tech-obsessed and digs into the details noticed a real difference when receiving the update.
Now, Google could still add additional frontends to Android 13 by the final release. I Originally I suppose it’s inevitable, given the subtlety of software changes to the phone’s interface.
But usually the beta that Google shows at its I/O conference looks a lot like what ships later that year. More than that, it seems that the biggest impact of Android 13 is whatever it will bring to the big screen side of the Android ecosystem.
To be clear: on the front of the phone, there will definitely be improvements. For example, Android 13 lets you swipe down on a notification in the main area of your screen to open the associated app in a split-screen state — a neat new touch that gives Android’s multi-window system a more authentic feel. It is a prominent part of the operating system.
But let’s be honest: most people will never notice it or even be aware of its existence. The same goes for all the improvements in Android 13 – the undeniably important privacy and security improvements that will make Android better at protecting your data and keeping your device safe.
These things are present in almost every Android update, and they are a big part of why Android updates are so important even if you are are not Excited about what’s on the surface.
However, there is no denying that surface elements are what most ordinary mammals see and associate with new programs. And with Android 13 we have two very different images: the one that will fundamentally change, day and night, on the front of the tablet and open the door to a whole new kind of Android device experience and the one that will land with a low-pitched sound from the side of the phone that will sound like much ado about nothing to most Android users. .
I’m not sure we’ve seen a single software update taking such wildly different identities at the same time like this. It’s a bold move on Google’s part and could lead to more divergent paths within Android in the future.
For now, one thing is certain: the arrival of Android 13 this summer will mark the beginning of a new era for our ever-evolving platform, though it does. Feel Completely unimportant to most of us now.
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