In the midst of an otherwise unremarkable new build of Android’s 13 developer beta, 9to5Google uncovered something fun: our annual Android Easter egg. This year’s hidden feature builds on the colorful splash screen from Android 12, this time filling it with emoji. Like, a lot of emoji.
The way it functions in the current beta version (13.3) is much like last year — start the Easter egg by going to Settings > About phone > Android version, then tap the Android version three times rapidly. This reveals an analog clock widget; move the hands to 1 o’clock (that’s 13:00 in military time — get it?), and you’ll see a colorful array of spots pop up representing Material You’s customizable color theming.
Here’s where it differs from last year: long press one of the spots, and they’ll all turn into emoji. You can keep long pressing to cycle through screens with different emoji themes like sea creatures, cats, and moon phases. So many emoji! Google isn’t the only one playing around with emoji wallpaper, either — one of the iOS 16 lock screens unveiled at WWDC 2022 is a grid of user-selectable emoji. Emoji wallpaper: so right now.
There’s a practical aspect of the Android 12 Easter egg that remains intact from last year, too. Once you find the Easter egg, you’ll have a new home screen widget option called “Android S Easter Egg.” Adding it to your homescreen will reveal color swatches for the various system colors the phone is using based on your wallpaper, ala Material You, so they can be saved or shared. Useful? Yes. As fun as a screen full of cat reaction emoji? No way.