On Thursday, Google will release the second Android 13 developer beta, which features a crucial new feature: apps will have to ask your permission to post notifications. For years, iOS has had a similar function, and it’s a really handy approach to ensure that only particular apps send you notifications. I’m relieved to learn that Google intends to introduce something similar to Android.
According to Google’s blog post, asking for permission will be required for Android 13 apps. “Apps targeting Android 13 will now need to request notification permission from the user before posting notifications,” says Dave Burke, Android’s VP of engineering, in the update.
Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) Audio compatibility is another significant addition in this second release. Bluetooth LE Audio is a new standard that employs the Low Complexity Communications Codec (LC3), a high-quality audio codec capable of transmitting at reduced bitrates. As a result, less energy should be consumed, resulting in longer battery life. An embed we included in this post will give you a sense of how the new codec might sound in practice.
Other improvements in the second Android 13 preview include support for the new MIDI 2.0 standard, which offers two-way communication, more precise timing, and higher resolution with 32-bit messages, which should deliver a more analog-like experience.
The first preview of Android 13 was released in February, and it featured a new theming option as well as a system-wide photo picker. However, we don’t advocate installing these previews just yet because, considering that Android 13 is unlikely to be released publicly until late July, there are likely to be many bugs still to be worked out. Google hopes to release Android 13 betas in April, which may be a better time to join if you’re interested — and it seems like a good bet that there will be some significant Android 13 news out of the recently announced Google I/O show in May, which may also be worth waiting for.