Learn what's new in Android 1 beta 13

Google unveiled the first beta version of Android 13, the next version of its mobile operating system has been out for several days and in what will be its next version «Android 13» presents a new runtime permission to send notifications from an application, a system photo selector to share photos and videos securely with apps, themed app icons and more, better localization, and more.

beta version add more specific permissions to access media files. Previously, when trying to play locally stored media files, Android would ask for the READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission. It gave access to everything. The new permissions are more precise: READ_MEDIA_IMAGES, READ_MEDIA_VIDEO and READ_MEDIA_AUDIO.

Dave Burke, vice president of engineering for the Android team, explained that:

“It's already April and we've made steady progress on refining features and stability. Android 13, built around our core themes of privacy and security, developer productivity, and support for tablets and large screens. Today we are entering the next phase of our cycle and releasing the first beta of Android 13.”

"For developers, there's a lot to explore in Android 13, from privacy features like the new notification permission and photo picker, to APIs that help them create great experiences, like themed app icons, tile placement of quick settings and language per application. support, plus features like Bluetooth LE and MIDI 2.0 audio over USB. In Beta 1, we added new permissions for more granular access to media files, improved audio routing APIs, and more.”

Main news of Android 13 beta 1

In this beta version, as already mentioned above, added various changes to media permissions, since previously, when an application wanted to read shared media files on local storage, it had to request the READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission, which granted access to all types of media files. To provide more transparency and control to users, Google has introduced a new set of permissions with a more granular scope to access shared media files.

With the new permissions, the applications now request access to a specific file type in shared storage, READ_MEDIA_IMAGES (for images and photos), READ_MEDIA_VIDEO (for videos), and READ_MEDIA_AUDIO (for audio files).

When the user grants the permissions, apps will have read access to the respective media file types. To simplify the user experience, if an application requests READ_MEDIA_IMAGE and READ_MEDIA_VIDEO at the same time, the system displays a single dialog to grant both permissions.

Android 13 introduces the NEARBY_WIFI_DEVICES runtime permission (part of the NEARBY_DEVICES permission group) for apps that manage a device's connections to nearby access points over Wi-Fi. the new permission will be needed for applications that call many Wi-Fi APIs commonly used and allows apps to discover and connect to nearby devices over Wi-Fi without requiring location permission.

Another novelty that is presented is for applications that generate keys, Keystore and KeyMint now provide more detailed and accurate error indicators. Google added an exception class hierarchy in java.security.ProviderException, with Android-specific exceptions including Keystore/KeyMinte error codes. You can also modify the key generation, signing, and encryption methods to generate new exceptions. Improved error reporting should now give you what you need to retry key generation.

Android 13 has a new built-in photo picker, which replaces the file manager that appeared to select photos. The point here is not to make the photo picker look or work any different than the file manager; instead, it allows you to send a single photo to an app without granting that app access to storage permission.

In addition to this, it also highlights the advanced audio routing To help media applications identify how their audio will be routed, Google has added new Audio Routing APIs in the AudioManager class. The new getAudioDevicesForAttributes() API allows you to retrieve a list of devices that can be used to play the specified audio.

Google says that:

“With the beta release, we are approaching platform stability in June 2022. From there, system behaviors related to the app, SDK/NDK APIs, and non-SDK lists will be finalized. At that point, you should complete your final compatibility test and release a fully compatible version of your app, SDK, or library."

What phones are supported?

This first beta intended for the general public is only available on a limited number of devices. As with the Developer Preview, you need a compatible Pixel and here are the different compatible models: Pixel 4, Pixel 4 Xl, Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a (5G), Pixel 5, Pixel 5a, Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.


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