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Android 13 Beta 2: The best new features and improvements – TechRepublic

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Android 13 Beta 2: The best new features and improvements
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Jack Wallen takes a look at the second beta of Android 13 and reveals the best features.
The second beta of Android 13 is out, and it’s ready for testing. This new release was announced at Google I/O, where the new features and improvements were also introduced. Android 13 looks so far to be more of a polishing to Android 12 than a major release. That’s great, because Android 12 has proven to be one of the best iterations of the platform – if not the best – to date.
From Android 13 Beta 1, I found animations smoother, Material You more refined, QR codes easier to scan, notifications better managed, the suggested apps feature back and display/text size can be configured in the same location.
But what about Android 13 Beta 2? What fresh features and improvements have come along for the ride? Let’s find out.
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If you’re a Pixel phone user, you’ll be happy to know the global search option has somewhat returned. This feature, which allows you to search your device from the persistent Google search bar on the home screen, was originally added to the launcher in Pixel 12, but removed from the first beta of Android 13.
As of Android 13 Beta 2, the global search has added back in the ability to search for installed apps on your device, but nothing more. Hopefully, in the coming months, we’ll see this complete feature added back – with maybe even more features.
For example, on my Pixel 6 Pro running Android 12, if I tap the persistent Google search bar and type Slack, I see search results as well as the Slack launcher (Figure A).
Figure A
If I had any other Slack-related files on my phone, they might well appear in the results.
On Android 13 Beta 2, however, we see the same results as Android 12, minus any related content.
This feature is sure to please those who wake up in the middle of the night to use their phone, only to have to squint at the blinding light. With Android 13 Beta 2, you can schedule a pseudo-dark made to automatically turn on at bedtime. To do this, open the Digital Wellbeing app and then tap Bedtime Mode (Figure B).
Figure B
In the resulting screen (Figure C), make sure Grayscale is enabled and tap Next.
Figure C
In the next window (Figure D), configure the time for Bedtime mode to start and end and click Done.
Figure D
Once complete, the grayscale mode will kick on and off at your desired times.
There are a few more changes and improvements to be found, but none of these include much of a “wow” factor.
Remember, this is only the second beta version of Android 13, so there will be more tweaks, features and optimizations to come. If you’re interested in testing out the beta version of Android 13 (I don’t recommend doing this on your daily driver), head over to the Android Beta Program and enroll one of your devices.
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Android 13 Beta 2: The best new features and improvements
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