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The secret features hidden in the new Android 13 version

Android 13 has been out for a while, of course, but that doesn’t mean the operating system isn’t getting updates anymore. There’s still quite a bit in the pipeline, and you can start using it soon.

Apple regularly updates the operating system for iOS. That will be named iOS 16.1 or 16.2. With Android, it’s different. Android 13 just stays the same. Still, new updates come to the platform regularly.

The latest features for Android 13

The updates to Android 13 are the so-called Quarterly Platform Releases (QPR). In them, Google adds a bunch of new features once every three months. Because the company does not announce them, they are well hidden.

In the latest beta version of the QPR version of Android 13, Google is testing a number of new features. Developer Mishaal Rahman dove in and explains a few tidbits.

Android Desktop Mode

Running your smartphone as a computer is, of course, the future. That way you have your PC at your fingertips everywhere. Google previously worked on a Desktop mode for phones but it now seems to be coming back on Android 13.

This feature does need further optimization before really everyone starts using it.

Desktop Mode in Android 13Turn your phone into a desktop. (Image: Mishaal Rahman)


Google has its own taskbar for large devices. This is likely coming soon to Android 13. A new developer option allows you to replace your usual navigation bar with the taskbar. This allows you to always have access to your favorite or pinned apps. This also makes it easier to go to a split screen.

Floating screen

There will also be a special floating screen for notes that comes over your current image. You can control this from your taskbar. So handy if you need to add notes quickly.

Your tablet turns into a Nest Hub

Still, it’s not entirely strange that Google is taking this step for Android 13, as it will soon release the Google Pixel Tablet, which should also serve as a smart home screen. There will therefore be a few more novelties for tablets as well.

For example, there will also be a special smartspace widget that displays important information. You can do many things with it such as controlling other media

Google Pixel tablet on standGoogle Pixel Tablet (Image: Google)

New clocks on the lock screen

You’ll soon be able to have even more fun on the lock screen of your device running Android 13. That’s because Google is adding some new clocks.

For a while it seemed that Google was no longer interested in this feature, but now that changing the lock screen is also possible on an iPhone, the company thus seems to want to compete again with Android 13.

Partial screen recording in Android

A new feature that Google is now developing are partial screen shots. For an Android 13 phone, it may not be very useful, but that is different for larger devices, such as a tablet. This way you can easily record a portion of your screen if you are running more than one app, for example.

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Android 13 QPR1 Beta 1 is testing a new “App” button in the system screen recorder that lets you quickly select an app to launch and start recording. pic.twitter.com/dHr10K4vmi

– Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) September 8, 2022

More advanced VPN

Google offers with Google One VPN. For example, you get the service for free with your Google Pixel. That system may become more sophisticated with the new QPR of Android 13. However, many details are still unknown.