Google is releasing the second Android 13 developer preview on Thursday, and it includes a major new feature: apps will have to ask your permission to post notifications. iOS has had a similar feature for years, and it’s a very useful way to make sure only certain apps send you notifications. I’m glad to see that Google plans to bring something like it to Android.
Based on Google’s blog post, it sounds as if asking for permission will be a requirement for Android 13 apps. “Apps targeting Android 13 will now need to request the notification permission from the user before posting notifications,” Dave Burke, a VP of engineering for Android, says in the post.
Another big feature in this second preview is Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) Audio support. Bluetooth LE Audio is a new standard that uses an audio codec called the Low Complexity Communications Codec (LC3), which can transmit at lower bitrates in higher quality. That should result in less energy consumption, leading to better battery life. You can get an idea of how the new codec might sound in practice with an embed we included in this post.
The second Android 13 preview includes some other improvements as well, including support for the new MIDI 2.0 standard that adds two-way communication, more precise timing, and higher resolution with 32-bit messages that should provide a more analog-like feel.
Android 13’s first preview launched in February, showing off a new theming option and a system-wide photo picker. But we don’t recommend you install these previews just yet — given that Android 13 likely won’t launch publicly until sometime after July, there are probably many bugs still to be worked out. Google expects to launch Android 13 betas around April, which might be a better time to jump in if you’re interested — and it seems a safe bet there will be some big Android 13 news out of the just-announced Google I/O show in May that could be worth waiting for, too.