Last month Google outed the first developer preview of Android 13, the upcoming release that should reach stability sometime around the fall.
Today the company is releasing the second developer preview of Android 13, in keeping with the timeline it announced in February. The next step after this will be the first beta, arriving at some point in April. We’ll then get a second beta in May, a third beta in June, a fourth beta in July (that will act like a Release Candidate of sorts), followed by the final release… at some point after that. As usual Google isn’t even promising a specific month for that, but judging by the past Android 13 should be available for supported Pixels in August, September, or October.
Okay, back to today’s DP2. Android 13 now introduces a new runtime permission for sending notifications from an app. This means that apps targeting Android 13 will need to request the notification permission before they can spam you with push notifications. For apps targeting Android 12 or lower, “the system will handle the upgrade flow” on the developers’ behalf, Google says, without actually detailing what this means.
Apps will also be able to protect user privacy by downgrading previously granted, and now no longer needed, permissions. Of course it’s up to developers to implement this voluntarily.
There are other additions in this release too, like improved Japanese text wrapping, improved line heights for non-latin scripts, text conversion APIs for phonetic lettering input methods, and support for COLR version 1 fonts and emoji. This is a new, highly compact font format that renders quickly and crisply at any size (see comparison below).
Developers can now opt their apps in for using this, and it should just magically work, as the system handles everything. Android 13 now also gains support for Bluetooth LE Audio, the next gen wireless audio built to replace “Bluetooth classic”. It’s designed for HiFi audio without any battery life sacrifice, and will allow users to share and broadcast audio to friends and family, or even subscribe to public broadcasts for information, entertainment, or accessibility.
Android 13 also adds support for the MIDI 2.0 standard, including the ability to connect MIDI 2.0 hardware via USB. This has increased resolution for controllers, better support for non-Western intonation, and more expressive performance using per-note controllers.
Like the first build, this one too is aimed solely at developers, and it’s not recommended to install unless you are one of those. If you just want to take the next version of Android for a spin, wait until next month when the first beta will be out. That will be very easy to get on a supported Pixel by joining the Android (public) Beta program.