android 13, android 13 beta 2, android tablets, facebook, google i/o 2022, security

(Image Courtesy: Google)

Google has announced a second beta for Android 13 for a number of smartphones, foldable devices and tablets.

As with every beta Google puts out, users will get to try out a host of new features before the official release. If you are interested in trying the beta for yourself, visit this page and make sure your device is on the list. If it is, follow the instructions to install Android 13 Beta 2 and you are good to go.

More granular controls for greater privacy and security

Google, which is facing increased scrutiny over data and privacy abuse, says it is committed to giving users greater control over what personal information they share with apps. It will also allow deeper control over what files can be accessed by a user’s apps.

Android 13 will allow users to choose between “Photos and Videos” and “Music and Audio” when an app asks for permission for file access.

Previously, this setting was limited to “Files and media” which allowed apps to access internal storage and all your content. With more granular control, users will be able to choose what files they give apps access to.

Google will also allow users to select what apps can send notifications. With Android 13, apps will require permission to send notifications.

The beta will also cut down location permissions shared with apps, by letting the user choose when to share them and doing away with some functions that need location sharing. For instance, wi-fi scanning would no longer require location access to search for nearby networks.

Android 13 will show you more alerts whenever an app access something in the background, even something as small as an app accessing your clipboard. Android 13 will even delete your clipboard history after a short while, so apps can’t have access to old copied information.

Coming soon to the second beta, is a unified security and privacy settings page that shows you important privacy information in one place. Google says they will provide a clear, color coded indicators of your privacy settings and will show you tips on how you can improve them.

More personalisation options

Android 13 will give your greater customisation options to control the look and feel of your phone. Pre-made colour variants will allow a system-wide colour scheme that will be accentuated with complementary and contrasting colours.

With the second beta, Google is extending the option to theme app icons beyond just Google apps. Now themed icons will work with supported third-party apps that will be themed to match the colour scheme and wallpaper.

There is also a new media control that can alter its look automatically to match the music you are listening to, along with the album artwork.

You can also set individual language preferences for each app, irrespective of the system language. This means that you can chat in Hindi on WhatsApp but let your phone language be in English.

Greater optimisation for tablets

Android 13 will introduce more multitasking options for tablets. With the new updated taskbar, you can easily switch between apps or drop any app from your library onto the home screen. You can run two apps side-by-side in split-screen view.

Google says it has also updated its palm rejection, allowing you to rest your hand on the screen without misinterpreting it as a stylus.

The company will be updating more than 20 of its apps to take advantage of larger, tablet screens. Many third-party apps like Facebook and TikTok will be revamped for the big screen Android 13 experience.

Google also highlighted the inclusion of modern audio and video standards like HDR video, Spatial Audio and Bluetooth Low Energy Audio support.

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