Android 13 is Google’s release for 2022, and it’s not exactly the most exciting version of Android we’ve ever seen. There aren’t many big features that everyone will immediately notice. Is that really a bad thing, though?
It’s only natural to want every update to include shiny new features. Android 12, for example, included a brand new theming system called “Material You.” Android 13 is admittedly a bit boring, but that’s okay.
Android Is All Grown Up
Android debuted all the way back in 2008, and there have been a lot more than just 13 updates in that time. Due to releases such as Android 2.3 Gingerbread and Android 4.4 KitKat, Android 13 is actually the 20th major update.
That doesn’t even include all of the smaller updates and monthly security patches. Suffice it to say, Android has been around for a while and has seen its fair share of changes. The days of updates bringing major things like copy and paste are long gone.
As someone who was using Android when copy and paste and pinch-to-zoom were added, I know how exciting those times were. Every update brought with it a bevy of features to explore. These updates could drastically change how you used your phone.
Nowadays, even big Android updates don’t change much. The last update that had big usability changes was Android 9 Pie, which introduced the gesture navigation system. Since then, it’s mostly been about refinement. Android is a mature operating system now.
Boring Isn’t Bad
Google has more or less figured out what it wants Android to be at this point. All the big features have been taken care of. The things people expect to be able to do are present, and everything basically works in a familiar way.
People talk about this same thing with the iPhone and iOS 16. Sure, there are some neat new things like the lock screen customizations, but in general, it’s not that different. iOS is a mature operating system just like Android.
This allows Google to really focus on things like security, privacy, and stability. Android 13 brings better permissions for notifications, apps have more strict access to your local files, and there are optimizations for larger screens.
Those things may not sound exciting, but they’re very important. Security and privacy are two areas in which Android has lagged behind the iPhone. One of the best versions of Android, Android 8.0 Oreo, was great because it focused on stability. Just like a car, the stuff under the hood is much more critical than the paint job.
Useful Improvements, Not Flashy Features
The truth is Android updates in the future will mostly follow this same outline. Every once in a while, there will be a new feature that gets hyped up a lot. After all, it’s important for Google and other Android phone makers to have features they can use to sell more phones.
However, don’t expect to be wowed by every new Android version that hits your phone. Android isn’t a baby anymore; it doesn’t have as much to learn. That may feel a bit boring sometimes, but it’s a good thing for everyone. You can buy a new Android phone without worrying about missing major features.