Google releases Android 13 Developer Preview 2

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Last month, Google released the first developer preview of Android 13, the next version that’s expected to reach stability around the fall.

Today, the company is releasing the second developer preview of Android 13, on schedule announced in February. The next step after that will be the first beta, which will arrive sometime in April. We will then have a second beta in May, a third beta in June, a fourth beta in July (which will act as a kind of Release Candidate), followed by the final version… at some point after that. As usual, Google doesn’t even promise a specific month for this, but judging from the past, Android 13 should be available for supported Pixels in August, September, or October.

Alright, back to today’s DP2. Android 13 now introduces a new runtime permission for sending notifications from an app. This means apps targeting Android 13 will need to request notification permission before they can spam you with push notifications. For apps targeting Android 12 or earlier, “the system will manage the upgrade flow” on behalf of developers, Google says, without really detailing what that means.

Google releases Android 13 Developer Preview 2

Apps will also be able to protect user privacy by downgrading previously granted permissions that are no longer needed. Of course, it’s up to the developers to implement it voluntarily.

There are also other additions in this release, such as improved Japanese text wrapping, improved line heights for non-Latin scripts, text conversion APIs for letter input methods phonetics and support for COLR version 1 fonts and emoji. This is a very compact new font format that displays quickly and crisply regardless of size (see comparison below).

Google releases Android 13 Developer Preview 2

Developers can now enable their apps to use it, and it should work like magic, as the system handles everything. Android 13 now also supports Bluetooth LE Audio, the next generation wireless audio designed to replace “classic Bluetooth”. It is designed for HiFi audio without sacrificing battery life, and will allow users to share and stream audio to friends and family, or even subscribe to public broadcasts for information, entertainment or accessibility.

Android 13 also adds support for the MIDI 2.0 standard, including the ability to connect MIDI 2.0 hardware via USB. This has increased controller resolution, better support for non-Western intonation, and more expressive performance using per-note controllers.

Google releases Android 13 Developer Preview 2

Like the first version, this one is also intended for developers only, and it is not recommended to install it unless you are one of them. If you just want to try the next version of Android, wait until next month when the first beta is available. It will be very easy to get on a supported Pixel by joining the Android (public) Beta program.

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