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Android 13 is here — If you have this phone

Apple’s iOS 16 will launch later this year. Updates include the ability to edit and unsend texts and check if anyone has your passwords. Tap or click here for more on what to expect with Apple’s next mobile operating system.

If you have an Android phone, you don’t have to wait. Well, at least some of you don’t. Android 13 has launched for Pixel phones, which are usually the first to get new operating system (OS) updates. This is one of the biggest perks separating Google’s phones from other manufacturers. Everyone else has to wait!

The latest Android OS includes more customization options, improved privacy and security features and better compatibility with other devices. Check out some highlights below.

Google jumped the gun

The latest Android OS arrives a little earlier than usual. In fact, we haven’t seen a major August Android release since Android 9 Pie in 2018.

Let’s review some highlights you’ll receive with the latest Android OS.

More customization

  • Google introduced Material You with Android 12, giving you greater control over your phone’s theme and color schemes. The update includes new Material presets, themes and schemes. Choose one, and you’ll see it across every part of your phone’s ecosystem, giving you a consistent look.
  • You can assign languages to keep your phone’s system in one language and your apps in a different one.
  • The updated media player changes its look depending on what you’re listening to. For example, it will dance while you listen to music.
  • Android 13 gives you more customization options for Bedtime mode, with wallpaper dimming and dark mode.

RELATED: Google made it much easier to change your compromised passwords

Better security

  • With Android 13, you can limit which photos and videos you share with apps.
  • If you copy sensitive data to your clipboard (email, phone number, login credentials), Android will automatically delete the information after some time.
  • Your apps will now need your permission to send notifications, rather than having the ability by default.
  • End-to-end encryption for group chat ensures more privacy and safety for your messages.

Improved compatibility

  • Spatial Audio works with supported headphones that enable head tracking. This changes the sound source as you turn your head, giving you a more immersive listening experience.
  • If you receive a text message on your phone, you’ll be able to stream it directly to your Chromebook so you can send and receive messages from your laptop.
  • When you’re on your laptop, you don’t want to break your workflow to respond to a chat from your phone. Soon, you’ll be able to stream your messaging apps directly to your Chromebook so you can send and receive messages from your laptop.
  • Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) Audio reduces audio delay and enhances sound quality. You can broadcast audio to multiple devices at the same time.
  • You’ll be able to copy content such as a link, picture or text from your Android phone and paste it into your tablet, and vice versa.

More Android 13 features include HDR video support on third-party camera apps, an updated media output switcher and braille displays for Talkback.

Hungry for more? Tap or click here for more on what’s coming to Android 13.

Android 13 has started rolling out to Google Pixel devices. Later this year, Android 13 will also roll out to devices from Samsung, Asus, HMD (Nokia phones), iQOO, Motorola, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Sharp, Sony, Tecno, Vivo, Xiaomi and more.

Will your phone be eligible for the early update release?

According to Google, Android 13 will roll out for all supported Pixel phones running Android 12, and most users can get it now. The rollout will continue over the next few weeks.

Here’s a list of Pixel phones eligible to download Android 13:

  • Pixel 4 (XL)     
  • Pixel 4a            
  • Pixel 4a (5G)  
  • Pixel 5              
  • Pixel 5a (5G)  
  • Pixel 6              
  • Pixel 6 Pro   
  • Pixel 6a       

You will receive a notification once the update becomes available for your device:

  • Open your phone’s Settings app.
  • Near the bottom, tap System and then System update.
  • You’ll see your update status. Follow the onscreen steps.

Still waiting? Here’s how to get the update right now

If your Pixel qualifies for the update and you’re still not getting the notification for Android 13, here’s a neat little trick.

You can enroll in Google’s Android Beta program, which lets owners and developers test new software. While members usually get beta builds, in this case you would get the full version of Android’s latest OS. And don’t worry about being stuck in the program! You can unenroll as soon as you have the update.

Here’s how to enroll in the Android Beta program:

  • Go to google.com/android/beta#devices.
  • Log into the same Google account that your phone uses, if you aren’t already.
  • Tap the button to See eligible devices.
  • Locate your Pixel phone and hit the Opt in button.
  • Read and agree to the terms and conditions and then press Confirm and Enroll.
  • Install the update.
  • Now open your phone’s Settings app.
  • Near the bottom, tap System and then System update.
  • You’ll see your update status. Follow the onscreen steps.

How to unenroll from the Android Beta program:

  • Go back to the Android Beta website at google.com/android/beta#devices.
  • Select the Opt out button on your pictured device.
  • The warning you receive doesn’t apply here, since you have the stable build.

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