Android 13: The 8 best new features

While the changes introduced by Android 13 aren’t as dramatic as the shift in design introduced by Android 12, it nevertheless offers a wealth of useful features and updates for your phone. Some of these are small changes that many won’t notice, but others can substantially change how you use your Android.

We gathered eight of the best features introduced by Android 13. From long-awaited changes to underrated gems, these are the features that we think are the standout champions of Android 13.

Opt-in notifications

Nobody likes unnecessary notifications, so Android 13 now forces an opt-in approach for app notifications. Previously, this was an opt-out system, where you would have to manually dig through your notification settings to disable an app’s notifications. Now, when you start an app for the first time, a pop-up window appears asking you if you want to allow or deny notifications.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t let you enable or disable individual notification channels. But it’s still a significant improvement over the previous opt-out method.


Per-app language settings

While this feature only affects part of the Android user base, it’s a godsend for those who do. Bilingual users can now change their preferred language for individual apps. Some apps developed in a non-English language have poor English translations, so users proficient in those languages will be able to view them in the native language while the rest of their phone stays in English.

To change an app’s language, head to the App Info page of an app and tap the Language button. Only apps for which developers have provided language files will show this option, so don’t be surprised if your favorite app doesn’t yet show the option.

Third-party Material You icons

While Material You offers a beautiful way to unify your apps under one color palette, app icon theming has been limited to Google’s apps. Android 13 expands dynamic icon themes to every app, so your homescreen won’t be a jarring mess of themes. However, enabling dynamic app theming is the responsibility of the developer, so don’t expect an immediate change.

Left: Third-party icons without Material You theming. Right: Third-party icons with Material You theming.

Expansion of Material You palettes

Alongside the expansion of themed icons comes more Material You color schemes. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes here, but it takes the form of an expanded range of 16 options in your wallpaper color picker. For a thorough breakdown of how these styles came to be, check out our exclusive coverage. Simply head to the Wallpaper & Style menu to browse all the new colors.

Left: Color picker in Android 12. Right: Color picker in Android 13.

Clipboard improvements

Android 13 brings significant improvement to copying text and images. When you copy text or an image in Android 13, a small pop-up window appears in the lower-left corner of your screen. This allows you to make edits to the text or image before sharing them. It also automatically clears after 60 minutes.

As you can see above, you can crop, doodle on, and annotate images before sharing them.

Multi-user support

Android 13 is bringing a range of features to help manage multiple users on Android devices. There isn’t one big change here, but each one adds up to make a greatly improved experience for people who share devices.

Left: New profile switcher screen. Middle: New profile picture picker. Right: Preinstalled app options.

Here are some of the improvements coming to Android 13:

  • A full-screen profile switcher
  • Redesigned profile creation screens
  • A “hub-mode” to share apps between profiles
  • Preloaded applications for guest users

7-day privacy dashboard

Android 12 introduced a privacy dashboard, which lets you see what your apps have been accessing over a 24-hour period. Android 13 has improved this feature by expanding the privacy dashboard to show the past seven days, along with more information about how your personal information has been used. It’s not the most exciting feature, but it’s a big step toward improving privacy.

Continuing the theme of revamping features rather than introducing new ones, Android 13’s media player has received some fantastic updates. It’s completely redesigned the output picker introduced by Android 10. There’s a great new look and additional features. Buttons for shuffle and repeat have been added, along with a squiggly playback bar. It also pulls its colors from the album’s artwork.

Try out some new features

From substantial visual changes like expanded Material You themes to subtler privacy improvements, Android 13 has brought plenty of upgrades to the OS. Many of these big changes are easy to spot once you’ve updated your phone, but you may have to dig into the settings to change others.

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