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How to register for and download the Android 13 beta

We love a new operating system update, and while it feels like we've barely had chance to get to grips with Android 12 (or, are still waiting), Android 13 is on the horizon. Google has just released the first public beta for Android 13, which means you can finally dip a toe in if you're desperate to try Android's latest features. But as ever, it's only available to a number of smartphones, so you can only access it on certain devices.

Difficulty

Moderate

Duration

30 minutes

What You Need

  • A compatible Android smartphone

  • Wi-Fi connection for downloads

But before we start, a word of warning. Software betas are not stable releases, and as such, are prone to crashes and data loss. In particularly bad (but rare) cases, they can result in a device becoming completely bricked. So, make sure you're happy with the risks before you go on. While public betas are more stable than the dreaded developer beta stage, it's still risky, so we don't recommend installing them on a device you use on a day-to-day basis. If this worries you, maybe consider waiting for the full release — it won't be far behind.

Man holding a Google Pixel 6 Pro.
Google Pixel 6 Pro Andy Boxall/ DigitalTrends

Phones compatible with the Android 13 beta

Looking to grab the beta? Make sure you've got the right device. The final Android 13 release will only be available on certain devices, and the public beta will be even more exclusive. At the moment, these are the devices currently compatible with the Android 13 public beta.

  • Google Pixel 6 Pro
  • Google Pixel 6
  • Google Pixel 5a
  • Google Pixel 5
  • Google Pixel 4a 5G
  • Google Pixel 4a
  • Google Pixel 4 XL
  • Google Pixel 4

What new features can you expect in Android 13?

Before we dive in, you might want to know why Android 13 is worth downloading early. We have a full list of features in our Android 13 news post, but in short, it seems likely to be a fairly minor update over Android 12. In short, it's adding to Android 12's base, rather than revolutionizing it.

This is somewhat to be expected, given how much Android 12 changed things — but there are some features to look forward to. Notifications are set to be enhanced again, as is the Material You theme. Tap to Transfer is also possible, which will let you tap a Google Home device to transfer over a playing music track. New privacy features are expected again, and so is more support for more languages. Last, but certainly not least, is the rumored addition of a Windows 11 virtual machine, which is a bonkers — if very technical — addition.

How to install the Android 13 beta

So your phone is ready and compatible, and you're ready to leap in, feet first. First, you'll want to back up your smartphone, in case of any loss of data. We have a full guide on how to back up your Android smartphone, so make sure you follow those steps first before you start here.

Once that's done, here's how you register for and download the Android 13 beta.

Step 1: Head to the Android 13 public beta website.

Step 2: Scroll down to the Your eligible devices section.

Step 3: Select the Opt in button underneath your eligible phone.

Step 4: Tick the appropriate boxes and Confirm and enroll. You should now get a confirmation that your device is part of the beta.

Step 5: On your phone, head to the System Updates section of your Settings app. This is found in Settings > System > System update.

Step 6: There should be an update available. Tap Download and install to start the update process. If an update isn't showing yet, wait a little while and then try again.

Once the update has finished, you should now be running the Android 13 beta. Keep an eye out for bugs, and have fun with all the new features.

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