Now that the Android 13 beta is out, I thought it’d be a good idea to download and install the thing – my job is to test tech, after all, and I wanted to see what upgrades it might bring.
So I dutifully booted up a Google Pixel 6 Pro that was ready and waiting in the TechRadar office, enrolled it in the beta program, and settled in to test out the new Google-built software…
…but after doing so, I really don’t think you should, especially if you’re doing it on your daily smartphone.
Avoid Android 13’s beta
My first warning sign about the Android 13 beta was when I set my phone up to download and install it – the process took over two hours.
I had to leave my phone alone for over 120 minutes as it downloaded the 2.14GB file at an excruciating rate, and then installed it even slower – admittedly our office Wi-Fi being awful was no help here.
But I didn’t want to touch my phone until it was complete, for fear of breaking something, so the device was a write-off until then.
Annoying new features
One of the big new Android 13 features is changes to security and permissions in apps, and from my time testing the beta, this is the most apparent one… in the most annoying way.
You see, in Android you always have to give apps permission for certain functions, but now there are even more to allow. I had to accept five different things just to send a story on Instagram.
And you might argue ‘more options give people more controls over their privacy’ – but who’s going to be reading and researching the permissions if you’re asked five different times? Most users will just rapidly tap that ‘accept’ button until the options go away.
Changes to Material You, including easier ways to use it, are one change I do like in Android 13. But there aren’t enough changes right now to convince me that the download was a good idea.
Wait until the full update
I’m not saying Android 13 won’t be worth the data it takes to download – nothing of the sort. The beta I tested today is a very early build – the first public one, in fact – and it doesn’t necessarily represent the finished software.
Because of that, and the lack of meaningful changes, and the stability issues that happen with any software beta that could lead to a loss of data, I wouldn’t recommend downloading the Android 13 beta to most people. Wait for the full version.
Oh, and there isn’t even an Android 13 easter egg at the moment – you can trigger the Android 12 one, but that’s it.
Luckily, I only downloaded Android 13 onto a side-phone, so it won’t affect my day-to-day experience in the slightest – but if you install it onto your main device, I forsee you regretting that decision.