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After two months of developer testing, Google today announced the public rollout of Android 13 Beta 1. That means that compatible Pixel devices (4 or later), under a developer account or not, can download the unreleased software and get a taste of what's to come later this year.
While the search giant is expected to shed more light on the new privacy and security features, developer productivity, and general visual changes at its Google I/O 2022 developer conference from May 11 to 12, here's what's official in the latest Beta of Android 13.
To start, many of the features that we saw in the developer previews remain in the public beta. That includes Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) audio and MIDI 2.0 over USB support, a permission toggle for apps to send notifications, improved language text conversion, themed app icons, and a photo picker to select what images apps can access.
In addition to the previously announced features, Android 13 Beta 1 now requires apps to request access to your images, videos, and audio files separately, instead of all at once. This way, users have finer control of what data is being shared.
As for app development, Keystore and KeyMint now present error indicators in a more detailed and accurate way. For example, exceptions are categorized in a class hierarchy.
Android 13 Beta 1 also sees improvements to audio routing, with new audio route APIs that allow you to better understand what devices can play your specified audio file, whether the audio stream can be played directly, and what the best audio format is for your track.
If this is your first time testing pre-released software, I highly recommend reading my colleague Jason Cipriani's guide to downloading Android 13, which includes things you'll want to consider before jumping down the beta rabbit hole.