Android 13 is coming out of beta and that means Google Pixel phone owners can now download the new OS onto their phone.
And Android 13 is a very worthwhile upgrade with better privacy controls, Bluetooth LE audio, more customisation and lots of improvements sprinkled throughout the OS.
If you have one of the best Android phones but it isn’t a Pixel, you’ll have to wait a bit longer: Android updates are handled via your phone manufacturer and phones from Samsung, Motorola, Oppo, OnePlus, Sony, Xiaomi and others will get the Android 13 update later this year.
How to download and install Android 13 today
Here's how you get Android 13 installed on your Google Pixel phone today. First, make sure your phone has more than half charge, or that it is connected to a power source, and then open your handset's Settings menu.
From Settings proceed to System Update and then select Check for update. The Android 13 update will then appear. Finally, click Download and install. From that point the new OS will be downloaded (probably about 20 minutes on most average internet connections), and the installed (about 10 minutes).
Your handset will then restart and boot in Android 13. Nice!
Why Android 13 is worth having
Google has posted a useful guide (opens in new tab) to what’s new in Android 13. A lot of the highlights are visual, such as the improved Material You customisation, but there are some more practical changes too including better smart home controls, more granular photo and video sharing, improved control over notifications and much more integration between your different devices.
If you’ve got a pair of the best wireless earbuds you’ll like the arrival of system-wide support for Spatial Audio too, and the Bluetooth LE audio makes it easy to broadcast media to multiple devices while also improving audio quality.
We’re at a point where OS updates tend to be evolutionary rather than dramatically different, but that’s no bad thing: Android 12 is pretty great and Android 13 makes your phone even more personal.