Google has released the fourth beta of Android 13. The last test version also contains a release candidate build for Pixel devices. The APIs and operating system behavior have not changed since the previous beta. The final date for the final release is not yet known, but the blog post on the beta speaks of a few weeks.
A look at the graphic of the release plan suggests that Android 13 final will be released in August.
This should probably be expected with Android 13 in September at the latest. Android 12 was released relatively late in October 2021, versions 10 and 11 were both ready at the beginning of September, and the ninth major version, which was still called Android Pie, made an August release. The previews and betas of Android 13 have been released punctually every month so far.
Home stretch for app development
In June, Beta 3 had already marked platform stability. Google introduced this milestone in 2020 in addition to API stability. It goes further than integrating the final APIs for the SDK (Software Development Kit) and the NDK (Native Development Kit): platform stability means that the system behaves as the final release. The current API level is 33.
With the fourth beta, developers can test their apps on the release candidate of the operating system for Pixel smartphones or in the Android emulator. In particular, they should have permissions for showing notifications (
POST_NOTIFICATIONS) to have an eye on. With regard to the new preview of the clipboard, care must be taken to hide sensitive data such as credit card information and passwords. The additional Boolean value is used for this
In addition, apps should rely on the prefetch function of the
JobScheduler be designed and manage corresponding pre-launch preparatory jobs. Android 13 tries to give a prediction in advance when an app will be launched in order to start the prefetch jobs on time.
Further adjustments, including the app-specific language selection and new methods for extending the battery life, can be found in the documentation on the changed behavior of Android 13.
Material You and form factor tablet
Among the innovations of Android 13, which are less interesting for app development than from an end-user perspective, are extensions for the theme Material You introduced in Android 12. Android 13 not only adapts menus to the colors of the wallpaper, but also brings app icons that are color-coordinated with the background with Themed Icons. To do this, the app must bring a black and white icon. In addition, the operating system now has a photo picker as a replacement for the file manager for selecting images.
For tablet use, version 13 builds on the additions of Android 12L, which is specifically designed for tablets, foldables, and Chrome OS devices. It therefore makes sense to check all apps for suitable compatibility for these device classes, including with regard to integration in the taskbar and working in multi-window mode.
More details on the final beta of Android 13 can be found on the Android Developer Blog. Instructions for installing the Android 13 SDK can be found in the documentation. Anyone who has a Google Pixel smartphone from Pixel 4 can install the release candidate after registering for the beta program.