But it won’t work for all your apps
We’ve been looking forward to seeing Android 13’s “Panlingual” per-app languages feature since we exclusively reported on it last year. Although Google announced it as part of Android 13 DP1, it wasn’t actually present in a user-facing way. As of Android 13 DP2, though, it’s now live and confirmed to be working — for apps that support multiple languages, anyway.
If you don’t remember the feature, it’s not particularly complicated. Google has been working on a way to allow apps to have language settings separated from the system. For example, if you’re a transplant, you can have your social media set to your home language and keep work apps set to you live — that sort of thing. Rather than having to depend on apps themselves to have language settings and changing them individually, this is a simple setting no different from a permission or performance profile, governed centrally rather than in each app where it might be hard to find.
The two ways to access the new per-app language settings.
The new settings can be accessed in two ways: On an app-by-app basis in the App info pane or via a new App Languages section in Settings -> Languages & input and by selecting an app from the list. From there, you can select the language for a given app to use, but not all apps can work in another language.
Some apps play nice with it, others don’t.
In my testing, many of the built-in apps and Google’s own apps don’t support other languages than what is defined by the system — if you’re set to English, that might be the only option you see for a lot of apps .
Even some third-party social media apps like Twitter (where it might be particularly useful for multilingual folks to better adjust to content) can’t play nice with the feature, even if they have their own built-in options for other languages. It’s not clear if support for this feature simply that developers implement language settings in a particular way or not, but that could be the limiting factor.
The Amazon app in Spanish, courtesy of per-app language support.
Whatever the causes and drawbacks, per-app language settings are now live in Android 13 DP2, even if they don’t work for all the apps you’d like them to just yet.
If you’d like to start enjoying apps in different languages, we’ve got an easy walkthrough on how to install Android 13 DP2. Be warned, though, things can and will break, don’t do it on your “daily driver,” and be prepared to troubleshoot problems and provide quality feedback to Google in bug reports. If you’re not feeling quite so adventurous, you can follow along with all our Android 13 coverage to see what else you’ve got to look forward to.
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