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Android 13 Beta 1 Features: Here’s what’s new for Pixel owners

Google is rolling out Android 13 Beta 1, giving Pixel phone owners the opportunity to sample new features en route to the full launch later this year.

The beta arrives as an over-the-air update for anyone with a Pixel 4, 5, 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, with users now able to opt in to receive the betas between now and the end of the summer.

Beta 13 arrives a little earlier than Android 12 last year and prior to the Google I/O show next month, so Google is speeding things up somewhat this year.

Android 13 Beta 1 is very similar to the Android 13 Developer Preview 2, released earlier this spring, but this represents the first opportunity for the general public to get involved.

That means the new notifications permissions interface, which will require developers to ask you before they bombard you with alerts. It also includes the new photo picker, and Bluetooth LE audio and MIDI 2.0 over USB support. There’s also per-app language support.

In terms of new features, there are only three documented by Google and two of those are for developers, but more may emerge as people delve deeper into the beta. The one public-facing new feature pertains to granular permissions settings for the media on your device. There will now be separate settings for apps looking to accessing videos, images and audio.

“We’re inviting you to give Beta 1 a try as we welcome more early adopters to give us feedback on this release,” says VP of Android Engineering Dave Burke in a blog post. “You can try Android 13 Beta 1 today on supported Pixel devices by enrolling here to get the update over-the-air.”

“We’re continuing to focus on privacy and security, while giving you new APIs to help you build great experiences for your users. Beta 1 includes the latest updates to features we announced earlier, like the new notification permission, photo picker, themed app icons, improved localization and language support, and more.”

You can sign up here to enrol your compatible device within the Android Beta Program and download Beta 1 today. You don’t need to have downloaded the developer previews to join the beta today.

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