Stable Android 13 is (slowly) starting to roll out to the Nothing Phone (1)
Basically labeled as overhyped by company CEO and founder Carl Pei around six months ago, the Android 13 update is finally being delivered in stable form to the first (and so far only) Nothing Phone.
In lack of an official announcement on Nothing's social media channels, all the user reports on Reddit appear to suggest a staggered rollout is taking place, with a first wave hitting select Open Beta program participants right now and other waves likely to follow soon for less... adventurous users.
Unless, of course, major bugs or critical issues are discovered after this first phase of the stable Android 13 update, in which case the rollout will probably need to be halted for further "optimization."
It seems unlikely that will prove to be the case, though, as the last beta build was evidently "final" enough to only warrant a tiny 157MB enhancement now. This still contains a lot of neat stuff for your Nothing Phone (1), with the complete changelog detailed below:
- New Nothing weather app;
- Tapping a weather widget on the homescreen now directly opens the corresponding city in the app instead of opening a link.
- All new Glyph soundpack for more ringtone and notification sounds;
- More color schemes available from the wallpaper selector;
- New collection of minimalist wallpapers;
- Icons can match your background color to make your home screen look more consistent.
- Lockscreen shortcut customisations. Create shortcuts for camera, torch, device controls, and wallet.
- Easily switch data usage when using dual SIM with the improved network Quick Settings panel;
- Automatically show the current network and display how much mobile data you have used in Quick Settings;
- Directly scan a QR code in the Camera app. Scanner also appears as a shortcut in Quick Settings;
- Select language preferences for different apps.
- A New look for Media Control. Puts album artwork on full display with a wider set of music controls;
- Improved volume settings panel. Allows granular volume control without unlocking the device;
- Improved Game Mode light notifications. So there is less distraction when you are playing;
- Smoother animations when transitioning the display between on and off;
- More refined Camera app interface.
Privacy and safety
- Get an alert when an app accesses your clipboard. Cleared history after a period of time to prevent unwanted access;
- Added Personal Safety app;
- Better privacy protection including Photo Picker, nearby Wi-Fi devices permission, and select media permission.
- Fingerprint unlock accuracy has improved by up to 12%;
- App startup speed has increased by up to 71%;
- Standby power consumption has improved by up to 50%;
- Implemented a new self-repair feature to periodically delete unused system dumps and cache;
- Increased system stability;
- General bug fixes.
With the official Nothing OS 1.5 release, the Nothing Phone (1) joins a large group of Android 13-running devices composed mainly of Samsung handsets (and tablets) with low, mid, and high-end specs, as well as the occasional Sony, Motorola, OnePlus, Asus, and Nokia smartphone.
Unlike every other member of that club, though, this bad boy remains inaccessible to the masses (at least in the US), which on the bright side, may help with the overall system stability on Android 13 and beyond.
For the time being, there seem to be no early adopter complaints on Reddit, but of course, that could always change, so as usual, it's wise to hope for the best and prepare for the worst when embracing a new mobile OS version. That includes backing up all your precious data and perhaps even waiting for the right time to install Android 13 on your device. By the way, the update also includes January 2023 security patches, which is good albeit not ideal... in mid-February 2023.