Android 13 is officially here. Only if you have the right kind of phone, that is

Google just announced Android 13 is finished and rolling out to Pixel phones starting today.
Written by Jason Cipriani, Contributing Writer
Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Google on Monday announced the next major update to the company's mobile operating system; Android 13 is starting to roll out to Pixel phones. The announcement comes as Android 13 is being released to the Android Open Source Project after being available to developers and public beta testers since February and April, respectively. 

Google notes that Android 13 will make its way to phones made by its hardware partners. Partners include Samsung, Asus, HMD, iQOO, Motorola, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Sharp, Sony, Tecno, Vivo and Xiaomi. 

Android 13 offers several key improvements and changes to Android. The most noticeable change you'll find after installing the update is that Material You and the custom theming that it allows for has been expanded, allowing third-party apps to take advantage of the feature. 

There are also several security improvements, including the ability to pick and choose which photos and videos an app has access to instead of being an all-or-nothing decision. The clipboard is now automatically cleared after a set amount of time to prevent apps from snooping on important information you recently copied. And apps will be required to ask for permission before they can send notifications to your phone. 

Spatial Audio is now officially supported, paving the way for supported hardware and streaming apps to stream 360-degree audio. You can now assign a language to specific apps if you speak more than one language. 

For those who have a Pixel 3 or newer, you should start to see the update arriving later today or throughout the week (based on past rollouts). Everyone else, whether you have a Samsung or Motorola device, your guess is as good as mine as to when you'll get Android 13. It all depends on your phone's manufacturer and how fast they implement the changes. 

For some, it'll be quick. While others, such as Samsung, will take longer, and it's not unrealistic for the update to arrive on your phone in early 2023 -- depending on the model.

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