Most people — apart from during Beta 1 — haven’t had a chance to fully experience Android 13’s redesigned media controls, but you can do so today with Google Podcasts and Chrome.
As of Beta 3.2+, Google Podcasts and Chrome (play media, like SoundCloud) are the only apps to entirely offer the Android 13 media controls. We also checked YouTube Music, Spotify, and Apple to no avail.
By fully, we specifically mean that the play/pause button appears at the right edge of the player. The pause action uses a square with rounded corners, while play is housed in a circle with a small transition between the states. Meanwhile, the progress bar can be flanked by buttons to the left and right.
On unsupported apps, all buttons and the seek bar are contained in one line at the bottom of the media controls. It makes for a very squished and inelegant experience that has made me exclusively just open the audio app. Everything else, including the one-sized rectangular layout and large cover art cutout, is live.
For apps targeting Android 13 (API level 33) and higher, the system derives media controls from
PlaybackStateactions. 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.
Chrome and Google Podcasts today target API level 33, but Android 13 Beta 1 showed that all existing apps can take advantage of the updated layout. It remains to be seen whether Google will require apps to update or enable the new control style just before Android 13 launches.
More on Android 13:
Dylan Roussel contributed to this article.
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