You would likely have a hard time telling the difference between Android 12 and Android 13. Last year’s release was revolutionary in many ways, headlined by the introduction of Material You. This is an attempt to make theming on your phone easier, and more cohesive, without needing to worry about what’s going on with third-party launchers or finding a good icon pack.
We have a few new phones to experiment with, and more are on the way over the next several months, so it’s definitely an intriguing time of the year. But in the midst of it all, Google launched Android 13 earlier this month, shocking everyone. Initially, we anticipated that the official release of the Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro, and Pixel Watch would coincide with the release of Android 13 in its final form. Thankfully, Google made the decision that Pixel owners wouldn’t have to wait any longer and released a new version of Android “earlier” than usual.
And as someone who really gave up on third-party launchers following my switch to foldable phones, it’s definitely been a push in the right direction. Instead of implementing an entirely new revamp of the interface, Google did the right thing with Android 13 and simply expanded what it already had to offer. There are more colors to choose from, with a total of 36 color combinations, depending on your wallpaper choice, of course. But you already knew all of that, so why am I rambling on more about the theming?
Following the actual release of the phones, it didn’t really get much better, and there’s definitely an argument to be made that it got much worse. Phone calls were being automatically rejected, an update in March worsened the haptic feedback, and there have been a plethora of connectivity issues plaguing users. The list goes on and on, and of course, includes the unresponsive fingerprint scanner and the head-scratching bug that made it impossible for certain users to even make an emergency 911 call.
Well, to be quite honest, there’s really not all that much to write home about when it comes to the look and feel. Android 13 is the same as Android 12, but let’s dive a bit deeper into why that’s not a bad thing. Google unveiled its Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, complete with Android 12, back on October 19, 2021, during the company’s Pixel Fall Launch event. And even before the phones were actually released, Pixel fans ran into frustrating problems, as preordering either of the devices was practically impossible.
For the most part, Google has done well in its response to most of the bugs that Pixel 6 and 6 Pro owners have had to deal with. Subsequent security patches or “Feature Drops” aim to solve the issues, while others are solved with a Play Services or app update. And this brings us to a sentiment that seems to be shared by more than a few others that live in the “tech space.”