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Second Android 13 developer preview is here with new handling of notifications
- Google has launched the second developer preview of Android 13.
- It features multiple privacy and usability improvements.
- You can download the newest DP on your Pixel phone today.
See also: The history of Android
Overall, the new release focuses on two categories: security and developer productivity. Obviously, the former category will be of the most interest to our readers, but there are some interesting developments in the latter category as well.
Android 13 DP 2 is available now for Pixel phones from the Google Pixel 4 forward. If you already have the first developer preview installed, just hang tight, as you’ll get an OTA notification to update soon. If you want to give this a shot on a Pixel without the first DP, we have instructions on how to do that. Finally, if you don’t own a Pixel, you can check out Android 13 using the Android Emulator within Android Studio.
Android 13 DP 2: Notifications permissions, downgradable permissions
The most significant addition to Android 13 is a new notification permission that Google will require developers to use. You know how you need to grant permissions for apps to access your location, camera, and microphone? Well, starting with the next version of Android, you’ll also need to approve access to notifications.
The alert will look very familiar:
This might seem like a trivial thing, but it’s actually a huge deal. As of right now, apps default to sending you all the notifications they want. You then need to manually alter which apps can send you which notifications. With this new system, you’ll be able to decide from the beginning if an app “deserves” to send you notifications at all. If you’re the kind of person who installs new apps all the time, this will be incredibly useful.
Another new addition to Android 13 is downgradable permissions. This will allow developers to automatically revoke permissions that are no longer necessary. For example, if an app you installed once required camera access but now it doesn’t, Android could automatically downgrade that permission. Unfortunately, it does not appear Google is mandating developers incorporate this into their apps, although that could change in the future.
- It will now be easier to format Japanese text so it is more readable and polished.
- Non-latin scripts (Tamil, Burmese, Telugu, Tibetan, etc.) will now look better with adaptive line height. This will prevent the bottom sections of these characters from getting cut off.
- People who use phonetic lettering (such as those who speak Japanese and Chinese) will now have an easier time conducting searches and having texts auto-complete. This is because of a new text conversion API incorporated into Android 13.
- Fonts and emoji will have rendering support from COLRv1. This will help them render quickly and to look great at virtually any size.
- Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) is now built right into the operating system.
- MIDI 2.0 is also gaining system-level support.