You read the title correctly and, no, today is not April 1st. So the news is real: Google has announced, with a post by Vice President of Engineers Dave Burke, the availability of the first Android 13 Developer Preview. As the name implies, this is a first look at what will be the next version of the robot green, which in all likelihood will be available in a definitive version towards the end of the summer. No more chatter though, and let’s immediately get to know Android 13, which will take up many of the concepts of Android 12L (the third beta of which was released yesterday) introducing further improvements.
Privacy and security on everything
Our smartphones contain the most important information of our lives, from work emails to bank documents, from personal memories to messages with our friends and family, and no one would want that information to become public domain either. worse still, they were used for illicit purposes or to steal something from us. Google is aware of this and has once again put privacy and security at the heart of Android 13, increasingly a quality platform capable of offering a safe environment for their data, with maximum user control. . The first innovations are represented by new APIs for sharing photos and videos and new permissions for WiFi.
Image selector and API
In order to make photos and videos safer and more protected, Android 12 introduces a system-wide image selector, which allows you to securely share both the contents on your device and those in the cloud. The current system allows apps to share any content without requiring special permission to access multimedia files. With Android 13 applications will have to go through the Photo Picker API, which will allow access to multimedia content but in a controlled and safe way. The novelty will also be introduced on previous versions, starting from Android 11, with an update of the MediaProvider module through Google Play.
New permissions for WiFi
The new Android version introduces the new NEARBY-WIFI-DEVICES permit, dedicated to apps that manage the connection to nearby WiFi access points. The new permission will be required for apps that make use of the WiFi API and will allow you to search and connect to WiFi devices in the immediate vicinity, without the need to use location permissions. Apps developed for Android 13 will be able to use the new permission with the flag neverForLocationin order to ensure greater privacy for users and to simplify the work of developers.
Being a version dedicated to developers, the innovations reserved for this category could not be missing, designed to facilitate the creation of even more beautiful and functional applications. The new tools are expected to reduce development costs, simplifying many of the more complex operations.
Quick Settings Placement API
The quick settings that we are used to finding in the notification curtain are a very convenient way to perform some operations without having to leave the application. Google makes it easier for users to discover new tiles and add them to the notification pull-down, all thanks to a new API dedicated to this very purpose. Thanks to the new library, the application will be able to show the custom tile and allow you to add it immediately, using a system dialog, all without having to exit the application.
With Android 13, the evolution of Material You continues, which now allows you to apply dynamic colors to the icons of all the apps and not just those of Google. In this way all the icons of the home can have the same shades of color. However, there is a requirement that developers will have to respect: a monochrome icon of their app and a small change to the XML file of the adaptive icon.
Initially the feature will be supported exclusively on Pixel series smartphones, but in the near future they will also be available for devices from other manufacturers, with which Google is already collaborating.
Per-app language preferences
Apps that allow you to set a language other than the system language will benefit from a new API, which allows you to set the language to be used to reduce the amount of code to be written and improve compatibility on various devices. A similar API will soon be added in a new Jetpack library to further increase compatibility.
Hyphenation is a very convenient function to make the app user interface more adaptive, allowing you to automatically wrap in any situation. With Android 13, performance has increased by 200%, so you can enable the function in TextViews without affecting rendering performance.
Developers will be able to use the new features fullFast, normalFast within calls setHyphenationFrequency.
Android 13 adds support for programmable RunTimeShaders, whose behavior can be defined using AGSL (Android Graphics Shading Language), which through the Android rendering engine allows you to customize the colors in the canvas and in the View contents.
These shaders are used by Android to implement various effects, such as blur, or for overscroll, and with Android 13 these effects can be used for all apps. Below you can see an example of an animated shader made with AGSL.
With Android 13, work begins to update the Core Libraries of the system, so as to align them with OpenJDK 11 LTS, with updates to the libraries and support for Java 11, both for apps and developers. The changes will be released through Google Play system updates, in the form of an ART module update on devices using Android 12 and later.
Google is committed to making it easier for apps to adapt to new versions and with Android 13 comes a welcome change. The changes that have a greater impact on apps can only be activated on request, in order to guarantee developers more time to learn about the new tools and make the most of every single novelty.
More updates with Google Play
Project Mainline, which aims to make system updates easier via Google Play, will continue to play a fundamental role in Android 13 as well, so as to be sure that apps have a safer but above all consistent environment, regardless of updates released by manufacturers. .
New functions, such as the new image selector and OpenJDK 11, can also arrive immediately on the “old” versions of Android simply by updating the respective modules. And thanks to the new modules, such as Bluetooth and Ultra wideband, it will become even easier to have systems that are always updated.
The growth of the leaflet market, coupled with that of the Chromebook market and the backfire for tablets, forces developers to optimize their apps for even those once neglected form factors, using an adaptive design language to minimize. changes.
Easier test phase
The many innovations introduced will force developers to numerous tests and to make work easier, Google has made many of them manually activated. In many cases it will be enough to move a toggle to activate or deactivate the functions, directly from the developer options. It always remains the possibility to control them more accurately through the interface adb.
How to get Android 13 DP1
As the name implies, the version of Android 13 released today is designed for developers and does not lend itself to being installed on everyday devices. This is why it is not available through the Android Beta program, in which it will arrive anyway over the next few months (according to the timeline it should be released in April).
So for now you can use the Android emulator, which can be configured by following the instructions prepared by Google or using one of the supported devices: Google Pixel 6 Pro, Pixel 6, Pixel 5a 5G, Pixel 5, Pixel 4a (5G), Pixel 4a, Pixel 4 XL And Pixel 4.
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