Get Android 13 on your Google Pixel today – here's how

Android 13 is now available for Google Pixel handsets, and you’re going to love it

Google Pixel 6 smartphone being used by adult human male
(Image credit: Google)

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.

But if you have any Google Pixel phone from the Pixel 4 up to the Pixel 6 then you've just got a brand new OS to play with, as well as a load of new features.

Google Android 13 Themes

(Image credit: Google)

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.

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com (opens in new tab)).