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Android 13 might finally fix Android's terrible photo picker

Android 13 logo on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • A new photo picker was found in Android 12 QPR3 Beta 2 and Android 13 developer preview 2.
  • The new photo picker features a simplified visual redesign compared to the current one.
  • This new system photo picker will replace the existing one by default in Android 13 when it launches, according to Mishaal Rahman.

If you've ever been frustrated by how the current system-level photo picker works in Android, you're not alone. Thankfully, Google has brought about a redesign that might fix some of the issues users have with the existing photo picker, and it's set to officially launch with Android 13 when it hits smartphones later this year, according to senior technical editor at Esper, Mishaal Rahman.

The beta was discovered by Rahman in the Android 12 QPR3 Beta 2 (opens in new tab) release, which will be known as the June feature drop when it is released publicly. If you're running that beta, you can test out the new photo picker by running the command cmd device_config put storage_native_boot picker_intent_enabled true in an ADB shell, per Rahman.

(Image credit: Mishaal Rahman)

This picker, pictured to the right, previously showed up in Android 13 (opens in new tab) developer previews and will be enabled by default in Android 13 when it releases, so folks who wait will be able to experience the new picker without any fuss. This new picker UI separates photos and the rest of your media in simpler tabs up top, organizing everything that isn't a photo in its own album.

That's a lot easier than the current UI, which features a number of app tie-ins and other buttons that often change place and can be overwhelming or confusing.

The best Android phones (opens in new tab) will likely get Android 13 later this Fall, and companies like Samsung will be rolling out its Android 13 One UI 5 beta (opens in new tab) sometime in July. That's two months earlier than the company launched the beta of its Android 12-powered One UI 4 last year.


Nicholas Sutrich
Nicholas Sutrich
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu