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Google has released the first developer preview of Android 13. Privacy and security options were improved.

First of all, Google is equipping Android 13 with NEARBY_WIFI_DEVICES, a runtime permission allowing connected devices to find and access devices on the same wifi network. The runtime doesn’t depend on access location services, which promotes user privacy.

This functionality should be useful for developers because it allows the determination of device locations based on wifi hotspots in the immediate vicinity. The feature also allows applications to request access to other devices via ‘neverForLocation’ tagging.

Photo picker functionality for more privacy

Secondly, Google is introducing a new ‘photo picker’. This functionality allows safer photo and video sharing on any Android app, without the app requiring to review all photos and videos on a device. Applications using the photo picker allow users to self-select a single photo or video instead of permitting access to the entire gallery, which is currently the norm.

The new functionality will be pushed to Google Play for devices running Android 11 or higher.

Development tooling

Developers also gain access to the Quick Settings placement API for building apps with tile configurations. This should further improve the insertion of custom tiles.

Other updates focus on language preferences in a new platform API. This allows individual apps to choose a language different from Android’s default setting. Furthermore, Android’s user interface is getting faster word hyphenation. This should improve text readability.

Availability

The preview is now available through Android emulation and system image. The first stable version of Android 13 is not expected until June of this year. The final version should be released in July.