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People who follow the development of Google’s Android OS are in for a treat. A Beta version of the upcoming Android 13 was released to a handful of Pixel devices earlier this week, showcasing some of the new functionalities and features coming to the OS.

Users who were expecting some significant changes will be a little disappointed. As expected, the changes and tweaks are mainly geared to provide quality-of-life additions to last year’s massive Android 12 overhaul.

A New Media Player Notification

The new media notification now has a unique playback bar. Instead of a primary line, which shows the progress, you see a squiggly line based on the eq levels of the song. The portion in front of the player’s head remains a flat line. This makes it a lot easier to see how much of a track, podcast or any other audio-based media has been consumed, making it easier for users to track.

Screenshot-like clipboard notifications

A new screenshot-like menu with all the options for a clipboard will start popping up in the bottom-left corner of your display when you copy a piece of text, just like when you usually take a screenshot. Also, when you tap the new edit icon, a new menu will pop up that shows you what app or UI sections are available to use the copied text in.

Controlling smart devices from the lock-screen

The display section in the Settings app now allows you to remove the need to unlock your phone to control your smart-devices home. This means that now, you can adjust your Google-home connected lights and other devices.

Pixel Launcher search reverts to the old Google app search.

The Pixel launcher search bar now has reverted to an older version, in which it was just using the Google widget. This version included the Google Lens, a shortcut for the Google App, and the voice search button. When you open up the app drawer, Google’s search bar will let you search for apps, prioritising internet search results instead of apps and settings.

Increased Material Your colour options

The overhauled Material You UI relies heavily on your wallpaper to set up a theme for your phone. You can also opt not to use your wallpaper’s colour for the article and go for a handful of available reports. Google has expanded the colour options that are available for the themes. You can choose from 16 different options within the two sections. These additions are multi-toned.

If you prefer using the default colour schemes, even these have many options, which are based on different hues.

Minor UI Tuning

Several minor tweaks to the UI enhance the user experience by a mile.

Google Calendar, for example, now shows the correct date, just like the clock app, instead of the number “31.”

Priority Mode, which has been a source of contention for many users, has now been renamed back to Do Not Disturb. The term ‘Priority Mode’ was confusing, especially given how it functioned more like a slightly tweaked ‘Do Not Disturb Mode.’

We also see haptic feedback returning in the Silent mode. Users won’t feel vibrations when scrolling through the Recents menu. You’ll get vibration-based feedback in all other areas, such as typing or tapping. You can also access the sound and vibration menu to adjust the strength of haptics and vibrations for alarms and touch feedback.

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