We have all been eagerly awaiting the release of the Android 14 Developer Preview, hopefully imminent. Before this, Google released the Android 13 QPR Beta 2 build, which includes some features worth knowing about. Without further ado, let’s discuss.

Before proceeding, we would like to inform you that there are a few new features to discuss, as not much has been added. Instead of mentioning minor changes that will not have a significant impact, we will share the most notable additions that are worth checking out.

Unicode 15 Emojis

The most recent Android 13 QPR 2 Beta build includes 21 updated Unicode 15 emojis. When the stable release of the March 2023 Pixel feature drop is released, these emojis are expected to be available. Some highlights include a shaking face, a pink heart, a light blue heart, and a grey heart. There are also new animal emojis, such as jellyfish, blackbird, monkey, moose, and goose. There are also new plant emojis, such as a hyacinth, pea pod, and ginger root.

A folding hand fan, a hair pick, a flute, maracas, and the cand and wireless logos are among the new emojis. This update also includes emojis for pushing hands for both the right and left hands. Although these added emojis may be limited, adding more is always a positive. However, it’s worth noting that these emojis are currently only available in the latest beta build. Users who are not running the Android 13 QPR 2 Beta may not be able to see these emojis if they are sent to them by their contacts.

Device Control Center

The Device Control Center has been updated with several enhancements and features. Although these updates are minor, they are still worth noting. One of the changes is that when activating the Device Control Center from the lock screen or the quick settings panel, you will now see the Google Home logo alongside the name of your connected home or location. The text may also appear bolder, but this could be a psychological effect. Regardless, it is an excellent addition that allows you additional control over your Google Home hardware from this location.

Changes to the Notification Panel

Another minor hardware change that may go unnoticed is the alteration to the Notification Panel. When expanding the quick-settings panel on the left side, the history button for notifications has been replaced with the “Manage” button. Tapping this button takes you to the prominent notification settings page rather than the notification history panel. This change may aid navigation and provide more control over your notifications. This is because all settings are now in one place rather than just providing a history of notifications.

Improved media control for notifications

An improvement to the media control feature in notifications has been made in this latest beta. The “neat glow” or “lava lamp effect” added to the media player in the previous beta has now been removed. The reason for this removal has yet to be mentioned; however, it may return in future updates. In addition to the user-facing functionality discussed, many under-the-hood changes have been made. While these changes are not always immediately visible, they play a crucial role in the functioning of the operating system.

These features still need to be prepared for general use and are hidden throughout the build. Hopefully, some of these settings will be incorporated into the Android 14 release. It is worth noting that some of the issues present in the previous beta update have been addressed. This includes the unresponsive system UI section and camera fixes, particularly when switching back to standard video capture mode when using the Google Camera application.

Additionally, Google has acknowledged that the recent app menu can become unresponsive when changing screen orientation from landscape to portrait or vice versa. Picture-in-picture mode may also crash or become unresponsive when switching the direction from portrait to landscape. In these cases, it may be necessary to restart your phone to resolve these issues.

We do not recommend installing this beta on your primary device as it may contain bugs and will be refined in the stable update. Despite a few minor issues, it is relatively smooth. With Android 14 right around the corner, it is advisable to wait for its release for a more stable experience.