Android 13 Developer Preview 1 hints at new "Hub Mode" for tablet users

Android 13 Developer Preview 1 hints at new "Hub Mode" for tablet users
It's already March and before you know it, August will be here and with it, Android 13.  Of course, if you don't mind installing unstable software on a compatible Android phone, you can join the beta program when the first beta version of the build appears next month. That is one month earlier than normal which means that Google CEO Sundar Pichai didn't see his shadow and Android 13 will drop in August instead of September or even October (like last year).

Android 13 is expected to feature Hub Mode for families who share a tablet

Android 13 will give users more control over the brightness of their flashlights, and add support for Bluetooth LE Audio. The latter will allow those using an Android 13 powered device to listen to audio through their headphones or a hearing aid without consuming too much battery life. A new photo picker tool is expected to make its way to Android 13 providing "a safe, built-in way for users to select media files" without having to give an app access to their entire stored collection of media.

Even though Android 12L is made especially for larger-screened Android devices (hence the "L" in its name), Esper (via XDA) says that the first Developer Preview of Android 13 also includes or hints at upcoming features designed for large screened phones and tablets.

The Hub Mode will allow users to share apps on Android across profiles, something that is not allowed at present. This will make it easier to allow users of a "shared" Android tablet with multiple profiles to share apps without having to sign in under another user's name and password, or by switching profiles.

During the start of the pandemic, many families shared a tablet for work, school, and entertainment. That explains the focus on a shared tablet experience with Android 13. With Hub Mode, a trusted network can also be created that would force users to be connected to it in order to use Hub Mode (such as a password-protected home Wi-Fi account). Android 13 Developer Preview 1 suggests that charging docks for tablets could be considered a different type of power supply and this could lead to improvements in how Android tablets save power when idle.

A change to the Play Store would show tablet users ratings for apps and games from other tablet users only

The Android 13 DP1 also has code that points to a big makeover for the operating system's screen saver. And to keep a child from exiting the current task on his tablet screen, a "kids mode" for the navigation bar is reportedly being developed. The kids might not appreciate that, but they could enjoy some of the improvements to gaming that are supposedly being developed for Android slates.

Speaking about tablets, Let'sGo Digital published a render of a Pixel Tablet last month that was based on a patent that Google applied for in Japan. The tablet would be powered by Android and could help complete the Pixel ecosystem that Google is building to challenge those offered by Apple and Samsung. The tablet, if it becomes a product, would join the Pixel handsets, the Pixel Buds, and the rumored Pixel Watch.

With some popular Android phone brands like Oppo, Realme, and Xiaomi making tablets, and OnePlus rumored to be doing so, it would behoove Google to get Android into shape, looking and working great on these devices.

And soon Android users will be able to open the Google Play Store and see app ratings that were submitted by users with a similar device. In other words, a tablet user would see ratings for an app specifically left by other Android tablet users. This is ingenious because some apps and games offer a better experience on a tablet than on a phone and vice versa.

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