Immediate release of Android 13 Beta 2 follows a successful I/O 2022 developer conference. Here are a handful of the most notable new features in the second Android public beta.

Although this is the second beta release of Android 13, there haven’t been many changes because Google is still fine-tuning the OS build specifically for Pixel devices. However, there are a few noteworthy changes that we believe you might want to be aware of as we anticipate Android 13 to be released at some point this year along with the recently leaked Pixel 7 and 7 Pro.

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TOGGLES FOR NEW DEVELOPER OPTIONS

Despite not really being user-facing, the Developer Options section has acquired a couple additional toggles while losing one. Three new toggles have been added:

permit mock modem As a result, you can use mock modem services to test instrumentation. Limits on network download speed You can set a limit for all connections—Wi-Fi or mobile data—using this option. This ranges from 128kbps to 15Mbps. This could be helpful in recreating particular network situations, in our opinion. disable the hardware offload for Bluetooth LE It’s possible that this toggle is disabled or grayed out on your device. This setting, which is enabled by default, should lessen Bluetooth device delays in audio synchronization. Switch on Gabledorsche Regrettably, the ability to activate the Gabledorsche option has been eliminated. According to this option, Bluetooth network stability is improved. It’s unclear whether it’ll come back. ICON FOR VIBRATE MODE RETURNS

The vibrate status bar icon suddenly vanished from the Android 12 QPR beta path, however the most recent Beta 3 update added a separate toggle. The Sound and vibration section of Settings now includes this setting. The small buzzing smartphone icon will appear when the toggle is turned on, along with the Wi-Fi, signal, Do Not Disturb, and battery icons.

THE RESULT OF A PIXEL LAUNCHER GLOBAL SEARCH IS AN

The global device search that was originally enabled to the Pixel Launcher back with Android 12 has been partially reinstated in Android 13 Beta 2. Although it hasn’t entirely returned because some of the essential features aren’t functioning as planned, you may now access the search using the persistent Google Search widget on your homescreen.

It presently only supports app search; other options are not available. Even while it isn’t ideal, it is an improvement over the omission in the prior beta build. The Google app will automatically launch and begin a web search when a broad phrase is entered.

DARK MODE CAN BE SET TO ACTIVATE AT MIDNIGHT There is a new option to have the darkened theme immediately applied when your phone enters Bedtime mode when setting up dark mode routines. This obviously depends on you setting up a Bedtime mode plan from within the Digital Wellbeing suite because it doesn’t seem to function every single time.

In our experience, it doesn’t seem to function quite as planned, but we are certain that this can be readily remedied in the upcoming Android 13 Beta build. The wallpaper dimming function that was discovered a few days ago isn’t functioning right now. It’s possible that this will be made available in a later version.

CHANGES TO THE TASKBAR FOR BIGGER DISPLAYS

android 13 beta 2 - taskbar tweaks

A variety of adjustments have been made to Android 13 Beta 2 for larger displays to enhance your daily experience. This now adheres to the system dark mode and theme appropriately should your screen reach the minimum DPI level to get the permanent taskbar.

You may also quickly toggle into split-screen mode by long-pressing an icon in this dock without ever needing to go into the Recents app menu. When using larger tablets and foldable screens, this could significantly improve reachability.

ADDITIONAL MEDIA PLAYER CHANGES

android 13 beta 2 - media player tweaks

The fact that Google won’t leave the Android media player alone now seems to be a running joke. There have been some additional changes made to the notification and lockscreen media player’s button layout.

The rapid skip controls for forward and backward have been moved to the player’s right side from either side of the playback progress bar. While this makes it simpler to locate all of your controls, the icons currently do not appear to be fully styled.

As part of the media resumption restrictions, there is also a new pop-up when starting a long press on any media player windows. With more obvious Hide and Cancel M3 buttons that you can hit, the pop-up will let you know if a player can be made invisible. The Settings button, however, has since been replaced with a tiny cog icon in the upper right corner of this smaller player.

ANIMATION EDITS AND FINISHES With Android 13 Beta 2, a lot of crucial animations have been tweaked or improved. The moment you unlock your device is the most noticeable. The in-display scanner on Pixel 6 series devices now pulses more visibly when you tap or push it, and when you unlock it, a new expansion animation causes your homescreen icons to float into view.

But that’s not all; while navigating between sub-menus and parts of the Settings menu, animation has also been improved. The redesigned section header and toggles will glide into view when you tap an option rather than popping up on the screen like they did in earlier builds.

DIFFERENT BATTERY WIDGETS

android 13 beta 2 - battery widget

Android 13 Beta 2 has changed the useful battery level widget that you can use to monitor the charge levels of your smartphone and accessories. Now, if you don’t have any connected gadgets, such Bluetooth earphones, the widget will show you how much battery power your Pixel has left. Additionally, the widget can now be found under a distinct Battery section rather than the somewhat perplexing Settings Services section when placing or searching for it.

BATTERY SAVER MINIMUM LEVEL INCREASE

android 13 beta 2 - battery saver

The Battery Saver mode’s default minimum level has been increased by Google from 5 to 10%. As a result, lifespan is expected to increase even more than it could have at the lower amount. You may always manually enable the lower option to get around this, but we’re hoping it will come back in a later iteration.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE NEW FEATURE IN ANDROID 13 BETA 2? That is all that has changed in Android 13 Beta 2. There is a lot to unpack when the developer previews are added in. But all of the best user-facing features that we have so far discovered are included in this shortlist.

Undoubtedly, further minor adjustments and toggles could fall between the cracks, and in the upcoming days and weeks, we’ll probably notice the emergence of hidden alternatives. With the final stable release of Android 13, we’ll probably go into more detail about everything that has been introduced, including those features that need a little effort to become fully functional.

Which new feature or functionalities do you prefer? Please share your thoughts in the comments box below.
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