Android 13 unveiled at Google IO; Check all new features- Google Wallet, RCS chat and more | Tech News

Android 13 unveiled at Google IO; Check all new features- Google Wallet, RCS chat and more

Android 13 was announced at Google IO bringing forth a wide range of features including Google Wallet, RCS chat, optimization for apps and personalisation tools. Check everything you need to know about the next generation Android OS.

| Updated on: Aug 22 2022, 12:11 IST
Android 13
Android 13 announcement made at Google IO. Know all the new features of Android 13 including Google Wallet, RCS chat and more. (Google YouTube)

On Wednesday, amid all the big announcements of Google Pixel 7 and Google Pixel Watch, there was also an unveiling of the next generation Google OS – Android 13. The event showcased a detailed look into the operating system and highlighted the major changes and new additions to it. While Android 13 was first announced in February, much of what we knew about it was speculation and rumors. But with this official launch, now we know what to expect from it. Google stated that the new OS will focus primarily on privacy, security and personalization but it also announced a couple of major additions in a revamped Google Wallet and more secure RCS chat. So, if you want to know all about Android 13 new features, then just read on. Also read: Google Pixel 7 launched at Google I/O.

Android 13 launched at Google IO event

Google started the unveiling by speaking about the Google ecosystem and how the new operating system is going to build a more connected space for all Android devices from a smartwatch to a laptop. For the first time, Google revealed the number of activations of Android phones in the past year which exceeded 1 billion. It was also revealed that there are more than 3 billion monthly active Android devices. These two facts, coupled with information such as brands offering 4 years of major Android OS updates meant that Google will have to support a wide range of devices from old to new as well as from a smartwatch to tablets and foldable.

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Sameer Samat, VP, Product Management, Android and Google Play took this opportunity to highlight that Google is tackling the issue by focusing on privacy, security as well as customizability of the products. So, with that knowledge, let us check all the Android 13 new features. Also read: Top 100 things revealed in the Google I/O.

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Android 13 brings a revamped Google Wallet

Users will now be able to store digital versions of documents including bank cards, vaccine records, car keys, transit passes, government documents and more. Google Wallet was first introduced in 2011 but the company believes with a wide array of new support and features, it will be more viable in 2022. For this, Google intends to integrate Google Wallet along with other apps for a faster and seamless experience. For instance, if you have added a transit pass, like a bus or Uber pass to the Google Wallet and you add a location on Google Map, Google will be able to tell you if you have low balance so you can make a top up recharge before you reach the destination.

In the coming months, more than 40 countries that use Google Pay, will be upgraded to Google Wallet. This will not affect India as Google Pay will continue to run as usual here.

RCS Chat

Google stated that it has worked with phone manufacturers and network providers over the last few years to bring out Rich Communication Service chat or the RCS chat. This brings a wide range of features to SMS including support for photos, messaging over WiFi, group messaging and typing indicators (to let you know when someone is typing). Google is also working on end-to-end encryption for group messages and expects to roll it out by the end of the year. It already provides encryption for one-on-one conversations.

Android 13 Personalization features

Google also announced multiple personalization tools to help users of Android 13 build a better connection with their device. One of the biggest features announced will be multi-language support, so now users can use a few apps in one language and other apps in a different language. Another feature is an opt-in notification system in which apps will have to take permission before showing any notifications to a user.

Apart from that there are quality of life features such as apps incorporating the color theme of the wallpaper and a media kit tool that changes its look depending on the music you're listening to.

Android 13 Privacy and Security features

Highlighting its focus on safety, Google announced Emergency Location Services (ELS) to help emergency workers to easily locate the user after they send an SOS alert. The emergency SOS feature which was included in smartphones in Android 12 will now be extended to WearOS with Android 13.

After testing and launching early earthquake warnings feature in 25 countries, Google will now launch this feature in other high-risk regions around the world. The feature uses the smartphone's accelerometer to gauge if an earthquake is happening and then share the information in nearby regions before the shaking can reach them.

Google has revealed that Android 13 rollout will begin later this year.

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First Published Date: 12 May, 11:52 IST