Android 13 beta 4 doesn’t add any new features but fixes a number of bugs. Jack Wallen has the details and his opinion about what makes this release special.

Google Android figure on digital blur background. Google Android is the operating system for smartphones, tablet computers, e-books, game consoles, and other devices. Moscow, Russia - March 18, 2019
Image: prima91/Adobe Stock

Last week, the final beta release of Android 13 was made available to those who’ve subscribed to the beta program. This means the next version will be the full release of Android 13. I’ve been using Android 13 and found it mostly adds a good deal of incremental polish to Android 12.

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Yes, there are some new features to be found, such as:

  • Improved launcher search experience for Pixel devices
  • Opt-in notifications
  • Built-in QR code scanner
  • Panlingual per-app language support
  • Better battery optimizations
  • Ultra-Wideband (UWB) support, such as using your phone as a car key
  • Bluetooth low-energy audio support
  • Home button Assistant toggle
  • A completely rewritten media picker
  • Spatial audio for Pixel 6
  • More Material Design elements in the lock screen
  • A new API to boost CPU performance for games
  • Support for third-party Material You icons
  • Better multi-user support
  • Clipboard editing
  • Predictive back gestures
  • exFAT support

That is not even the complete list of additions. What I’ve found so far, however, is that the most impressive aspect of Android 13 is that the UI is just so smooth. The developers have done a remarkable job of getting rid of any stutters and/or hesitations to make everything move around like silk on glass. And the overall animations are noticeably improved.

The battery optimizations have also seen a marked improvement over the previous iterations. Even a Pixel 4, which has been plagued with poor battery life, can eke out much more life from the battery than it did with Android 12 — although you’ll still be hard-pressed to get through an entire day without a charge on that particular device.

What comes with beta 4

The thing about beta 4 releases of Android is that they rarely if ever bring about new features. This is by design, as the fourth beta is usually the last release before the final version is made available. The third beta is usually when new features are frozen. Because of this, the fourth beta tends to be only fixes for known bugs.

According to the official release notes for Android 13 beta four, the developers have resolved the following issues:

  • Paired Bluetooth devices were rapidly connecting and disconnecting
  • The Google Camera app occasionally crashed on Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro devices
  • System incorrectly reporting the wrong version of Android on a device
  • Now Playing page getting stuck on downloading the song database
  • Bright sunlight was preventing the fingerprint reader from authenticating a user
  • Random crashes when connecting to a Wi-Fi network
  • Problems with apps using OpenSSL version 1.1.1b-1.1.1h
  • The photo picker in the Messages app wasn’t displaying a list of recent photos
  • Issues with Android Auto lock screen
  • Multiple issues with Android TV

For a full list and explanation, make sure to read the complete release notes for Android 13 beta 4.

The updates for Android 13 beta 4 have been rolling out over the air to Pixel devices (4, 4a, 5, 5a, 6, and 6 Pro).

When will Android 13 be officially released?

Typically, Google releases the newest iteration of Android in the fall, so don’t expect the official version until September or October. If you’re anxious to test Android 13, at this point the OS is impressively solid, so jumping on board the beta program is a pretty safe bet. One thing to remember is that once the official release is available, you’ll probably want to do a factory reset and then upgrade to 13 so you’re starting fresh.

Can you wait until the official release, have you already joined the beta or will you be joining the beta now that the fourth beta has been released?

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