Android 13 Beta 1 launches with improved security and privacy

Android 13 Beta 3 builds in further large-screen support and app compatibility

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Google LLC’s Android team released the Android 13 Beta 3 today, which brings the beta into its final phase of platform stability, a milestone that means that developers can expect all app-facing behaviors will remain final until release.

As part of the Beta 3 release, Google also updated its list of behavioral changes that will affect apps in Android 13 that developers should pay attention to when porting from Android 12 to 13. Additionally, 13 builds on tablet optimizations introduced in 12L, which will make Android apps look great on large screens, this will give developers a chance to prepare for bigger devices.

App compatibility preparation

Testing app compatibility in Android 13 Beta 3 can be done by installing the production app from Google Play, or another source, and running it on a device with the beta installed. Then by running through all of the app’s workflows to examine the functions and user interface issues.

Potential changes that developers should watch for include new runtime permission notifications that can be sent from apps, which affects how users can control what notifications they want to see and the clipboard preview permission feature that enhances privacy by having apps hide sensitive data from Android 13’s clipboard preview, such as passwords or credit card information.

Once the app is fully compatible, it can be updated to the newest software development kit for Android 13 and developers can focus on reviewing the compatibility framework for Android 13 to shake out any last potential issues. This also gives them a chance to update their app with all new behaviors that can only target behaviors that exist in 13.

New behaviors in Android 13 include the NEARBY_WIFI_DEVICES permission that allows apps to manage and scan for WiFi connections without needing access to device location. It can also use READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission to use granular media access permissions for data storage that allows access to a single, or multiple, files without opening up access to the entire storage.

Bringing support to bigger screens

Now that big screens and tablets are becoming more of the norm for Android to run on, Google introduced 12L, so developers can make this a part of their testing with Android 13 beta. As a result, this is the best chance to make sure that apps can shine before 13 is released.

The changes for large screens in Android are myriad. Developers will want to check on taskbar interaction with apps as its UI could get cut off or blocked by the taskbar. Large screens also allow multi-window mode, something that smaller screens don’t have the real estate to enable, so making sure the app can handle split-screen appropriately is a must.

Developers will also want to check out their apps respond while playing back, streaming or casting media if it uses media projection – especially for foldable devices. Large screen devices will also change their behavior for camera preview, especially when constrained to a smaller portion of the screen in split- or multi-screen mode, so this will warrant testing.

Beta 3 is now available for download and installation on supported Pixel devices through enrollment on the beta site. Developers already running a developer preview of Android 13 will automatically receive an update to Beta 3, and future releases, over the air. It also can be downloaded for Pixel and run via an Android Emulator.

Image: Google

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