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Android 13 beta brings wallpaper effects, new media controls, foreground manager

Google seeded the Android 13 developer preview 2 last week and we now see the new features of the beta being unearthed one by one.

Starting with the redesigned media controls. They’re in their accustomed place between the quick settings and notifications, but their widget is larger now. The track’s title and description can fit inside.

The media output picker has been redesigned as well, in keeping with Android 13’s design language. There’s also the option to pair a new device right from this menu.

New playback controls and output picker

New playback controls and output picker

Android 13 will give users new wallpaper effects. Called Cinematic Wallpaper in the developer preview, it will allow users to apply effects to their wallpaper. It is now clear what effects there will be, but the images below show you’ll be able to dim your wallpaper. Some variants of Android already allow this, like Samsung’s OneUI and Xiaomi’s MIUI.

Wallpaper dimming
Wallpaper dimming

Wallpaper dimming

Finally, the Foreground Services task manager will sit at the bottom of the quick settings and notification panel and display currently-running apps in the foreground. You’ll be able to monitor which apps are currently actively running, as well as stop them.

FGS will notify you if an app has been running for more than 20 hours.

Android 13 beta brings wallpaper effects, new media controls

Closing an app through the FGS task manager will be more like force closing it, instead of just swiping it away from the recent apps menu. Here’s a detailed comparison of which action does what.

Android 13 beta brings wallpaper effects, new media controls

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