Best New Features on Android 13

Robert Cerff / 18-07-2022 / News & Tips

Android 13 will make its big debut in late August or September this year. Code-named Tiramisu to appeal to dessert lovers everywhere, Android 13’s new features build on the already well-rounded Android 12.

Here’s the low down on all things Android 13.

4x More Colour

Android 13 builds on Google’s Material You by unlocking more personalisation features. The design concept supports more colours for themes, including 16 wallpaper colours and 16 basic colours. That's four times more than Android 12! You can access this colour kaleidoscope directly from your home screen or through your settings.

Better Organisation Equals Enhanced Security

Android 13 introduces a safer, more private app experience. The update categorises your images, videos, and audio when an app requests access to your media files. You can then use the new file picker to grant access to certain files only. This limited access means apps won't be allowed to dive into your whole library.

Permission To Notify

Apps will no longer be able to send you notifications by default. Previously, installing an app on Android meant it had permission to send you notifications automatically, and the only way to stop this was by manually changing the setting. With Android 13, all apps must ask for permission before a single notification comes through.

Tablet Users Count Too

If you own a tablet, we have good news for you. Android 13 is all about making your life easier by introducing a taskbar at the bottom of the screen with frequently used apps, more streamlined drag and drop multitasking, and a compact two-column arrangement for notifications and quick settings. There are also rumours that the Wear OS smartwatch will be able to unlock tablets automatically and support audio switching!

Quick Access to QR Code Scanner

QR codes blew up during the pandemic and now it's an essential feature on smartphones. With Android 13, you will be able to access the QR code scanner quicker by dragging it onto your notifications panel.

Good-Looking Media Player

The media player that appears when you pull down the notification shade has been revamped with the new update. There are more details available, including a line that shows the progress of a song or podcast playing, and the entire background features the album art when available. You can also switch to headphones or linked speakers much easier than before thanks to an audio output picker redesign.

Lock Screen Gets Smart

Smart home controls can now be accessed on your lock screen for your ultimate convenience. Previously, you could only access smart-home gadgets by unlocking your phone, but now you can go to your settings and switch on “control from a locked device”. Once activated, your smart home controls can be found via the Home icon.

If you’re in the mood to enjoy Android 13 benefits, it might be time for a smartphone upgrade! Check out Mondo’s best Android deals here.


How to Protect Your Privacy When Lending Out Your Smartphone

Whether you’re showing off your vacation pictures, letting a friend make a call, or allowing your parents to watch a video, we’ve all handed our phone over to someone at some point. But have you ever thought about how risky sharing your phone could be?Your phone contains tons of personal information. Things like your banking apps, password vaults and even those embarrassing pictures that you would like to keep private.Thankfully, whether you’re Team Apple or Team Android, there are ways that you can protect your privacy and ensure that your information is kept secure.For iPhone UsersApple has a cool feature called Guided Access that locks a user within a specific app. You can activate it by opening “Settings” and going to “Accessibility” and then selecting “Guided Access”. Be sure to use “Passcode Settings” to set a code to protect your device.Once you’ve enabled Guided Access, turning the feature on is as simple as opening your app and triple-tapping the home button or the side button.To exit, just triple-tap again and input your Guided Access password.Without the code, the person using your phone cannot get out of the selected app.Be careful though, because  when it comes to your gallery, the person using your phone will still be able to access all your pictures, even with Guided Access activated.There is an easy workaround though. Just open the video or image  you want to keep private,  tap the share button on the bottom left and choose “Hide”. This will move the file into a hidden folder that isn’t immediately accessible.  For Android UsersSimilar to Guided Access, Android has the App Pinning feature.  App Pinning prevents the person using your smartphone from exiting the app without a code.To enable App Pinning on your Android device, go to your “Settings” and choose “Security”, then select  “Advanced Settings” and activate “App Pinning”.Toggle the “Use App Pinning”  button and make sure that the “Ask for Pin Before Unpinning” feature is enabled.To pin an app, swipe up and hold until you see the thumbnails of your recently used apps. Select the app you want to lock and choose “Pin”.To exit App Pinning, just swipe up and hold. The device will automatically lock, and you will need to enter your code to unlock and have full access to your phone once again.When it comes to hiding your pictures and videos, Google Photos is the Android hero you’ve been looking for. Simply open the file, tap the menu icon on the top right and select “Move to Locked Folder”. Files moved into this folder cannot be accessed without unlocking your smartphone.Now, with so many safety nets in place, there’s no need to be anxious about putting your phone in someone else’s hands for a change!


Samsung Galaxy A13 vs. Galaxy A12: The Clash of the Mid-Range Titans

Samsung’s most affordable smartphones on the market, the Galaxy A12 and A13, are going head to head in this comparison by Mondo. Considering you can own either one of these mid-range handsets without breaking the bank, which one will you pick?The more dynamic displayIf you’re looking for a smartphone with a striking display for watching videos or light gaming, the Samsung Galaxy A13 is the better option. Launched in March this year, it sports a larger screen size at 6.6-inches with 400 PPI (pixels per inch). In comparison, the Samsung Galaxy A12, launched in February 2020, has a 6.5-inch screen and 264 PPI. The Galaxy A13 also has a better screen resolution at 2 408 x 1 080 than the A12’s 720 x 1 600, and although it falls just short of a Full HD experience, it’s still sharp for day-to-day use.This doesn’t mean the A12 is a dud. On the contrary, the display specs are decent, with a pretty good maximum brightness. Although both phones lose out on high-end AMOLED tech, they have very similar displays (PLS on the A12 and IPS on the A13) that are surprisingly good and produce bright, punchy colours. One place the A12 wins is its bigger screen-to-body ratio, which is 85.8% to the A13’s 83.2%.Winning battery performanceTurning our attention to battery power, the Galaxy A13 and A12 sport a big 5,000mAh battery with fast charging capabilities of up to 15W. The phones can last up to two days on a single charge, ensuring that these mid-range powerhouses go the distance without needing to be constantly charged. In video playback tests, the Galaxy A13 reached just over 19 hours, while the A12 surprisingly lasted an extra 7 hours under the same conditions.Latest software is unbeatableSince the Samsung A12 was launched a whole 2 years before the A13, there are some drawbacks in terms of software simply because it’s an older release. Both phones run on Android with Samsung skins on top. However, the A12 features Android 10 with a One UI skin, while the A13 runs on the latest Android 12 and One UI 4.1. Even so, both versions of Android offer excellent security upgrades, more personalisation and easy multitasking. Plus, the Samsung skins allow for a unique Android experience that isn’t possible with other brands.Changing chipsetsThe chipset of the Galaxy A12 was introduced with a MediaTek Helio P35 processor. But Samsung soon replaced it with the snappier Exynos 850 processor.Now, the A13 is following a similar path with a change of chipsets planned. It’s powered by the 5G-enabled MediaTek Dimensity 700 in the US but currently ships with the 4G-only Samsung Exynos 850. The Samsung chip is planned to be swapped out for the faster MediaTek Helio G80 processor. The upgrade will see a boost in gaming, camera and connectivity capabilities.Cameras find common groundWhen it comes to camera specs, the Samsung Galaxy A13 boasts a slightly more powerful 50MP main shooter, while the Galaxy A12 holds steady with a capable 48MP offering. Both feature a quad lens setup on the back, and the main cameras are supported by a 5MP ultra-wide lens, 2MP macro lens and 2MP depth sensor. On the front, they’re both equal with an 8MP selfie snapper. The handsets capture vibrant, shareable photos with enough detail and decent composition.More memoryBoth phones combine octa-core processing with a good amount of RAM for a smoother performance. On the Galaxy A12, you get 4GB RAM, 64GB of internal storage, and a MicroSD card slot that holds up to 1TB. The A13 offers a choice between 3GB, 4GB, or 6GB of RAM, and 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of internal storage. It mirrors the A12 with a 1TB MicroSD card slot.VerdictThe newer Samsung Galaxy A13 features plenty of upgrades that place it a step above the Galaxy A12. If you’re looking for a faster chipset, the latest software, better main camera and display, and more storage, this one's for you. However, the A12 holds its own for a 2020 model with a bigger screen-to-body ratio, decent screen and camera quality, and unbeatable battery performance.So which one should you choose? Both are excellent entry-level handsets from this A-series lineup. If you’re looking for a smartphone that fits the current mid-range standard, the Samsung Galaxy A13 ticks more boxes. But if you’re willing to cut back on certain specs for a better battery, then the Galaxy A12 is a good contender.


Get These Awesome Emoji Packs to Celebrate World Emoji Day

Emojis have completely changed how we communicate, adding character, fun and humour to our everyday messages. They have become so iconic that there’s now an unofficial global holiday on 17 July to celebrate them!  Here’s are 5 FREE emoji packs to help you up your emoji game this World Emoji Day.Bitmoji for Hyper-Personalisation(iPhone/iPad/Android)Owned by Snapchat, Bitmoji gives you a custom emoji experience that lets you create cartoon versions of yourself. These are so accurate that they can even match your unique style. Bitmoji integrates with Facebook, Gboard, iMessage, and even Gmail and Slack. But its best feature is unlocked while using Snapchat. Known as Friendmoji, the feature allows you and your friends to send personalised emojis to each other. This gives Bitmoji the competitive edge since it is the only platform with the feature.Elite Emoji for High-Definition (iPhone, iPad, Android)With over 2000 high-definition emojis to choose from, Elite Emoji gives you both quality and quantity. Choose from an array of themes and categories, including animals, sports, birthdays, jokes, and much more. For a touch of personalisation, there are over 5000 witty messages to pair with your emojis. You can use Elite Emoji on messaging and social media apps like iMessage, WhatsApp and Instagram.Gboard for Originality (Most compatible with Android)GBoard is one of the most popular keyboards on Android, featuring good functionality and outstanding originality. Emoji Kitchen, in particular, boasts cutting-edge Google AI technology that allows you to mash up two different emojis into a wacky combination. With the possibility of cooking up over 15 000 new emojis directly on the keyboard, Gboard takes your emoji game to the next level! It works on most Android apps, like Google Messages, Facebook Messenger, Telegram and WhatsApp. Although Gboard is also available on iOS, it doesn’t support Emoji Kitchen, but there is a workaround. You can access the feature online on and download your creations as images instead.Emoji> for Choice (iPhone/iPad Only)With over 60 million users worldwide, Emoji> is the go-to emoji app for iPhone users. There are hundreds of exclusive and regularly updated emojis to add character to your iMessage and social media conversations. You can enjoy a free version, unlock special emojis through in-app purchases or even ask the user community to create specific emojis just for you! Emoji> integrates smoothly with the iOS keyboard, and brings you more emoji choice.Facemoji for Character(iPhone, iPad, Android)The Facemoji keyboard app offers thousands of emojis at your fingertips, ensuring you’re never short of ways to express yourself. The emoji feature has dozens of custom themes, funny gifs and eye-catching fonts that range from fancy to playful. Most emoji packs are free, although there are some paid options. You also get a choice of themed packs to celebrate annual events.There are so many ways to express yourself this World Emoji Day, so what are you waiting for? 😉