This year’s major Android update, Android 13, is officially rolling out today for Google Pixel phones, the search giant has announced. From the report: The annual update gets its official release a little earlier than usual, following the release of Android 12 last October and the release of Android 11 in September 2020. The list of updates coming with this year’s version of Android will probably look familiar if you’ve been hanging around with the Android 13 betas. There’s the ability to customize third-party app icons to match your home screen wallpaper, which we saw in the first Android 13 developer preview , a new permission to reduce notification spam, and a new option to limit which of your photos and videos can be accessed by the app.
Back in January, we wrote that Google plans to spend this year catching up with Apple’s ecosystem integrations, and there’s more evidence of that in the official release of Android 13. The update includes support for spatial audio with head tracking, which is designed to make sounds appear as if they come from a fixed point in space when you move your head in compatible headphones, similar to the feature Apple offers for its AirPods. Today’s announcement doesn’t say exactly which headphones it will work with, but Google previously announced that it would be updating its Pixel Buds Pro headphones to offer spatial audio support. Second, there’s(TM) the ability to stream messages from apps, including Google Messages, directly to the Chromebook, similar to iMessage on the Mac.