What you need to know
- Google has announced the release of Android 13 Beta 4.
- The latest beta includes a release candidate build of Android 13 for Pixel phones.
- Android 13's stable version will be available on Pixel devices in the next few weeks.
Google released today the fourth and final Android 13 beta, saying that the official release of the stable version is "just a few weeks away."
Android 13 Beta 4 does not include any new features, as did the previous beta. The software hit platform stability with the rollout of the third beta in June, finalizing all app-facing surfaces and behaviors.
The latest beta is the release candidate. For users who have already installed earlier beta builds on their eligible devices, there is no huge difference to notice in the new build. That is because it is primarily focused on allowing developers to complete their compatibility testing and publish updates prior to the final release.
Aside from polishing Android 13, Beta 4 includes the same privacy features that were available in previous beta builds, such as the new notification permission and photo picker. Productivity features such as themed app icons and per-app language support are also onboard.
Furthermore, it includes Android 12L optimizations for tablets and foldable phones. Developers are encouraged to test their apps in Android Studio using an Android emulator to ensure that they "look their best on tablets and other large-screen devices."
If you’re already enrolled in the Android 13 beta program, you should automatically see the latest beta on your phone.
Google did not specify when the stable version would be available for many of the best Android phones, including the Pixel 6 series. The company has only confirmed that the official release will take place in a few weeks, so expect a stable rollout sometime this fall.
After that, other OEMs are likely to follow suit. Samsung, for example, appears to be getting ready to start the One UI 5 beta testing, so it's only a matter of time before others join the fray.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.