Android 13 Beta 2.1 Arrives For Pixel Smartphones: Everything You Should Know

Google has started the rollout of a minor update for Android 13 beta testers that brings a host of fixes to resolve known bugs. Dubbed Android 13 Beta 2.1 and available publicly for Pixel smartphones, release notes for the latest build mention four key issues, alongside the usual system stability improvements that are expected from a corrective patch.

Android 13 beta testers had reported random reboots and UI crashing when enabling the hotspot functionality or disconnecting from Android Auto after installing the test builds. Google has fixed that issue with beta version 2.1 of Android 13. Another bug that continuously played the call dialing sound even during an ongoing call has also been addressed. Likewise, an unexpected system behavior that pushed a blank list of suggestions while typing has also been resolved.

We've been testing the Android 13 beta on a Pixel 4a and have frequently come across unresponsive UI elements and jitters during day-to-day usage, many of which remain unresolved. Needless to say, if you carry a Pixel as your daily driver, you should stay away from the beta software. If you're adamant about experiencing Android 13 months ahead of its public release and you're wondering about hardware compatibility, it can now be installed on the Pixel 4 series and all the subsequent models launched after it.

What to expect from Android 13

Android 13 is targeting platform stability in June and its stable rollout is expected to begin towards the end of 2022's fourth quarter. Not much is changing in terms of aesthetics coming from Android 12, but there are a bunch of meaningful functional upgrades in the Android 13 pipeline. The upcoming Android OS upgrade will bring support for Bluetooth LE Audio and LC3 codec, promising low power consumption while streaming music without compromising audio quality.

Another key audio-centric upgrade is support for spatial audio, which brings a surround sound experience with directional sense while listening to music. Talking about camera upgrades, HDR video capture will be enabled for third-party apps. On the security side of things, Google will bring end-to-end encryption to RCS group chats in the Messages app. Users will also get to choose the UI language on a per-app basis.

Notably, Android 13 is set to add a predictive back gesture that will tell users in advance where a back gesture is going to take them. Google is also introducing more granular controls for restricting app activity in Android 13, while the Wallet app is making a return with new tricks such as the ability to store vaccine certificates, ID cards, and driver's licenses among other documents.