Android 13’s beta is no longer just for developers

The first public beta of Android 13 is now available to anyone with a compatible Pixel device to download and try, the search giant announced today. Its release comes ahead of Google’s annual developer conference next month, where the company is expected to fully detail its plans for the update – to be released later this year.

For end users, the most interesting features are those that have already appeared in Android 13’s first two developer previews. There is support for Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) Audio, a new photo selector that lets you restrict which of your photos an app can access, new app icon theme settings, and a new permission that can cut down on message spam.

Apps must ask for permission to access certain file types.
Image: Google

In contrast, the new features for this public beta are much more developer-focused, such as changes to the app permission to access shared media files in local storage. In a blog post, Google VP of engineering Dave Burke says the permission will now be specific to the type of media an app needs to access – images, video or audio – instead of just asking permission to access all files .

Keystore and KeyMint, the parts of Android that can handle cryptographic keys, have been updated to provide more informative error codes. There are also new audio playback APIs.

For more information on how to sign up and download the beta, check out Google’s Android 13 developer site. Anyone already running the developer preview should automatically receive the new beta.