Behavior changes: Apps targeting Android 13 or higher

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Like earlier releases, Android 13 includes behavior changes that may affect your app. The following behavior changes apply exclusively to apps that are targeting Android 13 or higher. If your app is targeting Android 13 or higher, you should modify your app to support these behaviors properly, where applicable.

Be sure to also review the list of behavior changes that affect all apps running on Android 13.

Privacy

Notification permission affects foreground service appearance

If the user denies the notification permission, they don't see notices related to foreground services in the notification drawer. However, users still see notices related to foreground services in the Foreground Services (FGS) Task Manager, regardless of whether the notification permission is granted.

New runtime permission for nearby Wi-Fi devices

On previous versions of Android, the user needs to grant your app the ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION permission to complete several common Wi-Fi use cases.

Because it's difficult for users to associate location permissions with Wi-Fi functionality, Android 13 (API level 33) introduces a runtime permission in the NEARBY_DEVICES permission group for apps that manage a device's connections to nearby access points over Wi-Fi. This permission, NEARBY_WIFI_DEVICES, fulfills Wi-Fi use cases such as the following:

  • Find or connect to nearby devices, such as printers or media casting devices. This workflow allows your app to accomplish these sorts of tasks:
    • Receive AP information out of band, such as through BLE.
    • Discover and connect to devices over Wi-Fi Aware and connect using a local-only hotspot.
    • Discover and connect to devices over Wi-Fi Direct.
  • Initiate a connection to a known SSID, such as a car or smart home device.
  • Start a local-only hotspot.
  • Range to nearby Wi-Fi Aware devices.

As long as your app doesn't derive physical location information from the Wi-Fi APIs, request NEARBY_WIFI_DEVICES instead of ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION when you target Android 13 or higher and use Wi-Fi APIs. When you declare the NEARBY_WIFI_DEVICES permission, strongly assert that your app never derives physical location information from Wi-Fi APIs. To do so, set the android:usesPermissionFlags attribute to neverForLocation. This process is similar to the one you do in Android 12 (API level 31) and higher when you assert that Bluetooth device information is never used for location.

Learn more about how to request permission to access nearby Wi-Fi devices.

Granular media permissions

The 2 buttons for the dialog, from top to bottom, are Allow and Don't
  allow
Figure 1. System permissions dialog that the user sees when you request the READ_MEDIA_AUDIO permission.

If your app targets Android 13 or higher and needs to access media files that other apps have created, you must request one or more of the following granular media permissions instead of the READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission:

Type of media Permission to request
Images and photos READ_MEDIA_IMAGES
Videos READ_MEDIA_VIDEO
Audio files READ_MEDIA_AUDIO

Before you access another app's media files, verify that the user has granted the appropriate granular media permissions to your app.

Figure 1 shows an app that requests the READ_MEDIA_AUDIO permission.

If you request both the READ_MEDIA_IMAGES permission and the READ_MEDIA_VIDEO permission at the same time, only one system permission dialog appears.

Use of body sensors in the background requires new permission

Android 13 introduces the concept of "while in use" access for body sensors, such as heart rate, temperature, and blood oxygen percentage. This access model is very similar to the one that the system introduced for location in Android 10 (API level 29).

If your app targets Android 13 and requires access to body sensor information while running in the background, you must declare the new BODY_SENSORS_BACKGROUND permission in addition to the existing BODY_SENSORS permission.

Performance and battery

Battery Resource Utilization

If the user places your app in the "restricted" state for background battery usage while your app targets Android 13, the system doesn't deliver the BOOT_COMPLETED broadcast or the LOCKED_BOOT_COMPLETED broadcast until the app is started for other reasons.

User experience

Media controls derived from PlaybackState

For apps targeting Android 13 (API level 33) and higher, the system derives media controls from PlaybackState actions. This allows the system to show a richer set of controls that are technically consistent between phones and tablet devices, and also align with how media controls are rendered on other Android platforms such as Android Auto and Android TV.

Figure 2 shows an example of how this looks on a phone and tablet device, respectively.

Media controls in terms of how they appear on phone and tablets devices,
            using an example of a sample track showing how the buttons may appear
Figure 2: Media controls on phone and tablet devices

Prior to Android 13, the system displayed up to five actions from the MediaStyle notification in the order in which they were added. In compact mode—for example, in the collapsed quick settings—up to three actions specified with setShowActionsInCompactView() were shown.

Starting with Android 13, the system displays up to five action buttons based on the PlaybackState as described in the following table. In compact mode, only the first three action slots will be displayed. For apps that don't target Android 13 or those that don't include a PlaybackState, the system will display controls based on the Action list added to the MediaStyle notification as described in the previous paragraph.

Slot Action Criteria
1 Play Current state of the PlaybackState is one of the following:
  • STATE_NONE
  • STATE_STOPPED
  • STATE_PAUSED
  • STATE_ERROR
Loading spinner Current state of the PlaybackState is one of the following:
  • STATE_CONNECTING
  • STATE_BUFFERING
Pause Current state of the PlaybackState is none of the above.
2 Previous PlaybackState actions include ACTION_SKIP_TO_PREVIOUS.
Custom PlaybackState actions do not include ACTION_SKIP_TO_PREVIOUS and PlaybackState custom actions include a custom action that hasn't been placed yet.
Empty PlaybackState extras include a true boolean value for key SESSION_EXTRAS_KEY_SLOT_RESERVATION_SKIP_TO_PREV.
3 Next PlaybackState actions include ACTION_SKIP_TO_NEXT.
Custom PlaybackState actions do not include ACTION_SKIP_TO_NEXT and PlaybackState custom actions include a custom action that hasn't been placed yet.
Empty PlaybackState extras include a true boolean value for key SESSION_EXTRAS_KEY_SLOT_RESERVATION_SKIP_TO_NEXT.
4 Custom PlaybackState custom actions include a custom action that hasn't been placed yet.
5 Custom PlaybackState custom actions include a custom action that hasn't been placed yet.

Custom actions are placed in the order in which they were added to the PlaybackState.

App color theme applied automatically to WebView content

For apps targeting Android 13 (API level 33) or higher, the setForceDark() method is deprecated, resulting in a no-op if the method is called.

Instead, WebView now always sets the media query prefers-color-scheme according to the app's theme attribute, isLightTheme. In other words, if isLightTheme is true or not specified, prefers-color-scheme is light; otherwise, it is dark. This behavior means that the web content's light or dark style is applied automatically to match the app's theme if the content supports it.

For most apps, the new behavior should apply the appropriate app styles automatically, however you should test your app to check for any cases where you might've been manually controlling dark mode settings.

If you still need to customize your app's color theme behavior, use the setAlgorithmicDarkeningAllowed() method instead. For backward compatibility with previous Android versions, we recommend using the equivalent setAlgorithmicDarkeningAllowed() method in AndroidX.

See the documentation for that method to learn more about what behavior you can expect in your app depending on your app's targetSdkVersion and theme settings.

Google Play services

Permission required for advertising ID

Apps that use Google Play services advertising ID and target Android 13 (API level 33) and higher must declare the AD_ID normal permission in their app's manifest file, as follows:

<manifest ...>
    <!-- Required only if your app targets Android 13 or higher. -->
    <uses-permission android:name="com.google.android.gms.permission.AD_ID"/>

    <application ...>
        ...
    </application>
</manifest>

If your app does not declare this permission when targeting Android 13 or higher, the advertising ID is automatically removed and replaced with a string of zeroes.

If your app uses SDKs that declare the AD_ID permission in the library's manifest, then the permission is merged with your app's manifest file by default. In this case, you don't need to declare the permission in your app's manfiest file.

To learn more, see Advertising ID in the Play Console Help.

Updated non-SDK restrictions

Android 13 includes updated lists of restricted non-SDK interfaces based on collaboration with Android developers and the latest internal testing. Whenever possible, we make sure that public alternatives are available before we restrict non-SDK interfaces.

If your app does not target Android 13, some of these changes might not immediately affect you. However, while you can currently use some non-SDK interfaces (depending on your app's target API level), using any non-SDK method or field always carries a high risk of breaking your app.

If you are unsure if your app uses non-SDK interfaces, you can test your app to find out. If your app relies on non-SDK interfaces, you should begin planning a migration to SDK alternatives. Nevertheless, we understand that some apps have valid use cases for using non-SDK interfaces. If you cannot find an alternative to using a non-SDK interface for a feature in your app, you should request a new public API.

To learn more about the changes in this release of Android, see Updates to non-SDK interface restrictions in Android 13. To learn more about non-SDK interfaces generally, see Restrictions on non-SDK interfaces.