All You Need to Know About the Latest Android Version
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All mobile devices run on an Operating System (OS), which is like your device's brain. It manages all the parts and controls how everything works on your phone or tablet. It’s the software responsible for making your device run smoothly so you can play games, chat with friends, browse the internet, and more.
One of the most common OS is Android, made by Google. Since technology is constantly changing, new versions are typically released every year. Sometimes these updated Operating Systems come with a range of new features to upgrade your mobile experience. In this article, Optimum will explain the features of the latest version of Android and give you a preview of what to expect in the upcoming release.
What Is the Latest Version of Android?
Android 13 was released in August 2022 and is the current version of the Android OS. However, Google is expected to release Android 14 sometime in August 2023, so keep a lookout for it.
In order to enjoy the benefits of Android 13 (or, eventually, Android 14), you’ll need a device that runs on Android OS, plus a good phone plan. At Optimum Mobile, we offer the latest phones and have plans for everyone, so you can always stay connected. Explore our plans here and shop our available devices while you’re at it.
What Is Android 13 Called?
Android 13 was known internally at Google by the codename “Tiramisu,” following the whimsical tradition of using alphabetical confectionary-themed names for major OS version releases. Google started the practice in 2009 with the release of Cupcake. The fanciful OS names that followed, from Gingerbread to Jellybean, delighted users.
After the launch of Pie (Android 10) in 2018, Google stopped using these names publicly. However, they continue to be used internally. The upcoming newest Android version, Android 14, and is slated to come out in August 2023 and is codenamed “Upside Down Cake.”
What Is the Difference Between Android 13 and 14?
Android 14 is not out yet for the wider public, but the beta version shows improvements for more personalization, privacy, and accessibility. We’re covering both Android 13 and Android 14 below, so you’re up-to-date on the most recent advancements in Android.
Android 13 Features
Android 13 was released on August 15, 2022, with a host of new features that users had been asking for:
Improved customization options
Android 13 improved on the customization options first introduced with Android 12. Building on the Material You framework, you can personalize non-Google apps to harmonize with your phone’s wallpaper theme and colors. This lets you have the aesthetic phone of your dreams.
If you speak more than one language, Google added a feature you’re sure to like. Now, you can designate specific languages for individual apps. This means your phone can operate in one language while each app uses its own. For example, maybe you want your phone language to be in English but prefer WhatsApp to be in Spanish. With this latest Android update, you can do just that.
Enhanced media experience
The new and improved media player in Android 13 adapts its appearance to match whatever you’re listening to. For example, if you’re playing music, the album art will take center stage, and the playback bar dances and moves to the rhythm as the song plays. Even media played through Chrome gets this special treatment. With the updates to Spatial Audio on supported headphones, you’ll feel like you’re part of the music.
Better sleep options
Google knows your well-being is of paramount importance. That’s why they made sure your phone doesn’t get in the way of you getting quality sleep. With Android 13, you get greater control over Bedtime mode, which now includes wallpaper dimming and a soothing dark theme. These screen options ease your transition into slumber, allowing your eyes to adjust to the darkness. Now your middle-of-the-night quick phone checks won’t blind you and wake you up.
More control of your data
Android 13 introduced a few security features that put your sensitive information back in your hands. If you happen to copy sensitive data, like your email address, phone number, and logins on your device, clipboard clearance automatically deletes the information from your clipboard history after one hour. The new Android update also lets you choose which photos and videos your apps can access, eliminating the need to share your entire media library.
Gone are the days of unwanted pings and pop-ups. Apps now need explicit permission to send notifications, so you can make sure you only get the alerts you want.
Android 14 Features: What’s to Come
Google hasn’t said when Android 14 will be rolled out, but we’re expecting to see it on our devices in August 2023. Here are some key features that will make users happy:
Over the years, Google has made great strides toward integrating more accessible features. This time, Android 14 will feature even bigger font sizes, scaling up to 200% so that every word on your phone’s large screen is readable. For the hard-of-hearing community, you’ll have notification options that use the camera flash, display flash, or both simultaneously.
Improved battery life
A new OS typically means changes to improve your device’s battery life. Android 14 offers a few new features that should subtly slow your battery drain. For example, there will be efficiency improvements for background activities and large file downloads, as well as new permission for app alarms. One of the more noticeable changes is the return of the “screen time since last full charge” statistic, which lets users accurately gauge their phone’s battery life.
Privacy features and changes
One of the biggest changes between Android 13 and Android 14 is the new restriction on installing older Android apps (Android 5.1 APIs and earlier). Google’s rationale is that older APIs and OS lack modern security and privacy protections, making them susceptible to malware targeting. For users, this means that abandoned apps (e.g., older games, niche apps, etc.) can’t be installed on Android 14 devices. However, if you’re updating an existing device to Android 14, the old apps will be retained—only devices launching with Android 14 pre-installed won’t have them available.
Even more customization
Android 14 introduces extensive customization options for the lock screen, so users can make their devices even more personal. You will be able to change the font style, size, and color, as well as add shortcuts.
Furthermore, Google has also announced three new ways to create wallpapers. You can make an artificial parallax effect from your own photos and make Emoji-based wallpapers with vibrant colors. There will even be a feature to generate wallpaper images from text prompts using AI technology, though this may be released later. These additions expand on the current capabilities to customize the home screen with widgets, wallpapers, and icon packs.
The Health Connect app gathers data from popular fitness and health apps (e.g., Fitbit, Peloton, etc.) into one central platform. Starting with Android 14, the app will be pre-installed on Android devices by default, so you don’t need to install or update it manually.
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