Google has officially released Android 13 to the Android Open Source Project, and has kicked off the Android 13 rollout for Pixel phones, bringing over 130 fixes to its hardware.
Some key features coming with Android 13 include the ability to customize third-party apps to match the phone's wallpaper, per-app language settings, an updated media player, and improvements to Bedtime mode through wallpaper dimming and dark theme.
On the security front, users can also select which photos and videos they want apps to access, and there are new protections against malicious apps that copy clipboard data. Applications now need explicit user permission to send notifications.
"The rollout will continue over the next few weeks depending on the carrier. Users will receive a notification once the OTA becomes available for their device."
Google has bundled the August 2022 fixes for Pixel devices with the Android 13 update and lists over 130 non-security improvements and fixes in its release notes, covering device performance, stability, connectivity, battery and charging, biometrics, Bluetooth, the camera, display and graphics, and more. It details Pixel security fixes, some of which are critical remote code execution flaws, in the August 2022 Pixel update bulletin.
The Google app fixes in this update address glitches affecting GBoard, the Messages app, the Phone app, how Personal and Work profiles are displayed, password autofill, and Live Captions.
Battery fixes are always going to be important and users should notice that the battery charge percentage is consistent between Always-on Display and the status bar. Devices should no longer stop charging before the battery level reaches 100%. There are also fixes for Adaptive Charging, an issue preventing screen timeout to turn off the display, and an issue preventing wireless charging with Pixel Stand and other accessories.
There are 14 fixes for Bluetooth in Pixel devices that should address Bluetooth audio stability, current media playback status, audio playback over Bluetooth LE, and lost unique IDs for previously paired Bluetooth accessories. Google has also improved general compatibility for Bluetooth headsets and accessories with Android 13.
Among system fixes, the update addresses issues causing the device to freeze on the Google logo during startup and during unlock, or enter a reboot loop after updating. It's also unblocked an issue causing slow performance while an OTA update installs in the background, an issue preventing Android Auto to connect over USB, and charging issues over USB with certain third-party cables or adapters.
There are a whopping 42 fixes for a range of issues affecting the Android user interface through inconsistent behavior and wrong information, such as wrongly hidden rows on the app draw, insufficient contrast for background color themes, Toast popup notifications appearing without an app icon, and the Clock icon showing the wrong time.
Overall, it appears Google took the opportunity to do a major clean-up of Android for its Pixel devices in line with the release of Android 13.