Google announced and detailed Android 13 (Go edition) today with several sizable changes to the user experience and underlying technical functionality grouped under “reliability, usability and customization” tentpoles.

It starts with Material You and wallpaper-derived Dynamic Color generating “four corresponding color schemes to choose from” (instead of 16 on the full release). Google showed theming on the lock screen and Quick Settings, which is nearly identical to Pixel phones. Last year’s Go launch skipped out on the design aspects to focus on adding a slew of user-facing features.

On the homescreen, swiping right now takes you to a “Discover” feed. It’s unclear if it will be identical, but this could make for a sizable expansion for the “curated list of articles and other content” that’s a staple on all other devices. Other key features from the full version include Notification Permissions and App Language Preferences.

Under-the-hood, Android 13 (Go edition) adds support for Google Play System Updates (Project Mainline) that helps “ensure devices can regularly receive important software updates, outside of the major Android release” via the Play Store. Google says this will not compromise “storage availability on the device.” Another big change is Google requiring at least 2GB of RAM for Android Go hardware.

The result is a phone that stays up to date over time — and you don’t have to wait for the next release or a software push from your phone’s manufacturer to have the latest and greatest.

Google also shared today that “there are now over 250 million monthly active devices powered by Android Go” and that to expect new Android 13 Go devices in 2023.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: