Android 13 Beta 3 is now rolling out to developers and beta testers, as Google’s next version of Android enters its final phase of development. With the arrival of Beta 3, developer Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are now finalised, allowing developers to focus on compatibility testing and quality for their apps, ahead of the official release of Android 13 later this year. Android 13 Beta 3 can be installed on supported Pixel smartphones, along with select devices from other manufacturers.
The release of Android 13 Beta 3 was announced by Google in a blog post on Thursday. According to VP of Engineering, Dave Burke, Beta 3 brings Android 13 to Platform Stability, an important development milestone where the APIs for developers and app-facing behaviours are made final. Google releases developer previews and beta versions of upcoming Android versions months ahead of their release, to give developers and publishers time to update and modify their applications to support new features and improvements.
The upcoming Android 13 release will add new features that focus on privacy and security, along with better support for larger screens on tablets and foldable devices. Users will also have access to an improved photo picker when sharing images, a new ‘notification’ permission for apps, and the ability to set a different language for a specific app. Android 13 will bring HDR video, Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) Audio, and MIDI 2.0 over USB.
Google is also urging developers to test their app’s compatibility with the new version of Android, including new behaviours, such as the new runtime permission for sending notifications. Apps targeting Android 13 will have to ask a user for permission before sending them notifications. Developers can also work to make sure their app hides sensitive data when using Android 13’s clipboard preview feature — useful when a user copies passwords or credit card information.
Android 13 also improves on tablet optimisations that Google introduced with the Android 12L release, such as default multi-window support for all apps. Developers have also been asked to check if their apps are optimised for tablets or foldable devices, including supporting different screen orientation and optimising the camera preview for larger screens in multi-window or split-screen mode.
Developers and beta testers who want to try out Android 13 Beta 3 will need to enrol their Pixel 4 and newer smartphone in the beta program, after which they will receive an over-the-air (OTA) update. Meanwhile, a handful of smartphone manufacturers have also partnered with Google to bring Android 13 betas to select handsets, which users can download from their respective websites. As is the case with all pre-release software, users should refrain from installing the Android 13 beta on their primary smartphones due to possible stability issues.