It was Mick Jagger who sang: “I’m not wait for a lady, I’m just wait on Android 13.” Or something. When Google dropped Android 13 beta 4 last month, a release candidate (RC) build last month, it looked like we could see a much earlier release of Android 13 than expected. Last year, Android 12 was only available to Pixel owners on October 19.
Google hints at a September release for Android 13
Today, when Google dropped the August monthly security update for the Pixels, it included an Android 13 security release stating, “Android 13, as released on AOSP, has a default security patch level of 2022-09-01.” That suggests Android 13 will be available to Pixel 4 series users and later sometime next month. The big question is whether you should install the Android 13 beta on your compatible Pixel model now or wait for the official release.
Signing up to join the Android 13 beta program is a breeze
On the one hand, those who installed the beta claim that it runs smoothly and improves the performance of the notoriously laggy under-screen fingerprint sensors on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. But while Android 13 beta 4 was a release candidate, Google still had to make some tweaks to it to eradicate bugs. Recently, the unplanned Android 13 beta 4.1 was released as a “minor update” with the following change list:
- Fixed an issue where an app could not enable or disable Bluetooth if it did not have BLUETOOTH_CONNECT permission, even though the app was targeting an API level where the permission is not required. (Issue #232107689)
- Fixed issues that sometimes caused a device to crash and reboot when connecting to certain Wi-Fi networks. (Issue #237308339, Issue #237886229, Issue #237878437)
- Fixed an issue where the Meet connection could drop while driving.
- Fixed an issue where the system could misinterpret GPS data.
While the update is considered a minor update, installing the beta and seeing your device crash and reboot when connected to your Wi-Fi network is no small feat. Also, your device is not misinterpreting GPS data.
Leaving the beta program may cost you your data
You’ll be taken to a page with a small image of your eligible Pixel model with a button you can press to sign up for the beta program. You will receive an OTA update within 24 hours. Go to Settings > System > System update and follow the prompts to install the beta. But heed this warning from Google: “You can’t unsubscribe and go back to a stable public version of Android without first erasing all locally stored data on your device. You may also experience problems restoring from a backup. the latest Pixel release notes for Android 13 before enrolling in Android Beta.
If you participate in the beta program, once the stable public version is released, you will have a limited time to exit the beta program without having to wipe your phone’s data. Take advantage of this.
If you’re considering enrolling in the beta program, make sure you’ve backed up all your data first. Or maybe it’s best to wait for Google to release the final version of Android 13 before installing it.