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Here are the top Android 13 highlights seen at Google I/O 2022

By Liu Hongzuo - on 12 May 2022, 3:02am

Here are the top Android 13 highlights seen at Google I/O 2022

Android 13 at Google I/O 2022.

Google shared a little bit on what to expect for Android 13 at Google I/O 2022’s opening keynote, and here are the highlights we’ve gathered from Android operating system makers themselves.

Per-app language settings.

Android 13 follows an updated Material You theme, this time with new media controls, per-app language settings, and tons of new privacy and security features.

Google Messages app, which uses RCS (instead of SMS and MMS) now get end-to-end encryption extended to group messages. Encryption was previously limited to one-to-one messages.

Google Wallet, which is now a feature inside the Google Pay app, now holds more than just credit and debit cards. Google said it can hold digital student IDs, car keys, vaccination cards, and all these are stored only on-device. The firm is also working with U.S. states on storing digital driver licenses on Google Wallet too. This megafeature will roll out “later this year”. 

Later this year, Google is also bringing Emergency SOS to Wear OS, allowing users to get emergency help through its wearables (previously doable on mobile phones). Early Earthquake Warning will be expanded to more “high-risk regions around the world”. While Google didn’t specify which regions exactly, the earthquake alert feature currently covers 25 countries.

Android is also starting to play nicer with devices with larger screen formats, like foldable phones and tablets. Large screen format Android now has a taskbar that runs across the bottom, and multi-tasking now allows drag-and-drop content between Google-made apps. Google is also optimising 20+ of its apps for tablet form factor – including YouTube Music, Google Maps, and Google Messages.

Cross-device operability sees extensions of Phone Hub, where even more apps on the mobile device can be viewed on the desktop-format Chromebook without installing more software on either end. In addition, fast Pair now works across phones, laptops, and TVs with headphones and other smart devices.

To facilitate better seamless interoperability, Google will support Matter, an open-industry standard for Smart Home products, starting in Fall 2022. This cuts across appliances like smart light bulbs and more.

An update that wasn’t mentioned at Google I/O 2022 includes Photo Picker, which makes Android 13 give an app access to only specific photos and videos instead of the whole Gallery on the device.

Android 13 beta is available via Google now.

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