After months of murmurs and rumors, the Android 14 Developer Preview 1 was launched in early February, proper consistent with earlier releases like Android 13 and Android 12. It is going to be the working system that can energy the perfect Android telephones of 2023 and 2024. Whereas it’s extremely unlikely to be an enormous redesign like Android 12, it nonetheless seems prefer it’s poised to carry a ton of quality-of-like enhancements like higher battery life, improved accessibility, and a revamped again navigation gesture. Stick with us to find out about the whole lot we learn about Android 14 thus far.
Android 14 preview timeline, potential launch date, and supported units
Android 14 follows an identical timeline as earlier releases. As you may see within the timeline shared by Google beneath, we’re two developer previews, with the primary launched in February and the second slated for March. Someday in April, Google will launch the primary beta, however the larger launch will seemingly comply with in Might. Traditionally, the corporate has at all times held again among the most fascinating consumer-facing adjustments for the discharge that ties in with its developer convention, Google I/O.
In June, Android 14 is reaching platform stability with the third beta. Which means that builders can program their apps utilizing the brand new options and APIs launched in Android 14 with out having to fret about any additional adjustments. A fourth beta will arrive in July, and someday after that, the steady launch will comply with. If historical past is any indication, we’re seemingly an August or September launch.
Google has introduced which telephones are appropriate with the primary developer preview:
- Pixel 7 & 7 Professional
- Pixel 6a
- Pixel 6 & 6 Professional
- Pixel 5a 5G
- Pixel 5
- Pixel 4a (5G)
As normally, the developer preview is restricted to the Google Pixel cellphone lineup. Extra telephones from different producers may be part of the beta program later, which has been the case for the previous couple of Android releases. Prior to now, beta builds had been obtainable for telephones from Xiaomi, Asus, OnePlus, Oppo, Nokia, and extra.
Google will nearly actually launch generic system pictures (GSIs), which you’ll be able to set up on any cellphone that helps Challenge Treble. Make sure precisely learn how to set up an Android beta earlier than you concentrate on going that route.
After the beta testing is completed, we count on Android 14 to turn into obtainable on all latest Android telephones and the flagship telephones from the previous couple of years. The rollout could take longer than a number of months, relying in your producer, although. Samsung’s telephones are normally up to date fairly rapidly, inside a number of months after the steady launch, however the identical cannot be stated for Asus, Motorola, and extra.
What’s new in Android 14 Developer Preview 1
Google launched the primary developer preview of Android 14 on February 8, 2023. It is sole function is to assist builders get their apps prepared for the brand new launch, so most bulletins revolve round options that builders have to concentrate to. However, there are some fascinating tidbits in right here, so let’s dive proper in with the official bulletins from Google:
A give attention to large screens and cross-device use instances
Google is continuous its quest to make Android and its app ecosystem an ideal match for all display sizes, whether or not on smartphones, foldables, tablets, or Chromebooks. The push for big-screen optimization began with Android 12L and was then subsequently additional enhanced with Android 13, and issues aren’t alleged to be any completely different with Android 14. The corporate is rehashing among the progress it is made and pointing builders to its best-practices and new courses that enable them to construct for various kind components extra simply.
Google says it up to date its massive display app high quality checklists, which give builders a straightforward technique to gauge how effectively their merchandise will carry out throughout completely different units. There are additionally new instance layouts for various sorts of apps, that are alleged to encourage builders to create equally adaptive layouts and apps that make the perfect use of obtainable display actual property.
Much less battery drain due to streamlined background operations
Standby battery life has drastically elevated on Android through the years, however there may be nonetheless work to do. With Android 14, Google is making adjustments to order foreground companies to the very best precedence user-facing duties solely, which means that apps will not be capable to use your cellphone’s full energy once they simply need to do one thing within the background. Moreover, Google is making it simpler for builders to program extra difficult guidelines for background duties, like forcing an app to solely obtain large information when your cellphone is related to Wi-Fi.
Google has extra restrictions deliberate for apps that use precise alarms to fireside a notification or a job at a particular time sooner or later. Newly put in apps concentrating on Android 13 or increased might want to ask customers for permission to set precise alarms, although Google encourages builders to keep away from precise alarms each time potential. The restriction does not apply to alarm and calendar apps.
Within the background, Google can be optimizing how Android’s inner broadcast system works. In case you’re not acquainted, that is principally Android speaking sure occasions to apps, resembling when a particular battery stage is reached or when airplane mode is entered or exited. Many of the adjustments to this technique are alleged to be inner to Android and should not have an effect on the way in which apps work, however builders need to know that in sure circumstances, context-registered broadcasts could be queued up earlier than they’re despatched to cached apps. In observe, this could result in higher standby battery life because the system has to get up much less typically to ship these broadcasts.
There can even be new Google Play insurance policies that can drive apps to undertake these new, extra restrictive APIs, with the corporate saying that extra particulars on this are coming quickly.
As to make some extent about its promised battery life enhancements, Android 14 DP1 is placing your screen-on time entrance and middle within the system setting’s battery stats, proper above all different utilization statistics. After screen-on time was absolutely hidden from the battery part in Android 12 and solely re-introduced with Android 13, this swap is a boon for many who use screen-on time as a gauge to how good or unhealthy the battery life is.
Higher accessibility thanks to larger fonts and improved per-app language preferences
Because it does with nearly each Android launch, Google is enhancing the accessibility of the system. Android 14 is making it potential to scale textual content as much as 200% relatively than the previous most of 130%. As a way to forestall any structure points arising from this setting, Google can be introducing a non-linear font scaling curve. This can forestall textual content that’s already massive sufficient to not get larger than obligatory.
There are additionally adjustments to Android 13’s new per-app language choices, which let you tweak the language particular person apps are displayed in. Builders will be capable to tweak which languages are displayed within the settings menu, permitting them to point out completely different choices for various areas or to run A/B assessments on which languages ought to be supported.
For languages which have a grammatical gender, Android 14 introduces a brand new Grammatical Inflection API. This makes it simpler to show completely different grammatical genders relying on how the app consumer ought to be addressed. Quite than having to tweak every string that makes use of a grammatical gender individually, builders solely want so as to add inflected variations for each related time period in a translation — the API takes care of the remaining.
Extra safety due to an set up block for older apps
As already noticed in inadvertently leaked supply code, Google is proscribing sideloading with Android 14. By default, you will not be capable to set up apps that concentrate on an SDK model decrease than 23, launched 2015 with Android 6. Google explains that malware typically makes use of SDK variations concentrating on older variations of Android to keep away from restrictions a part of SDK model 23 and better. This can successfully make it a lot tougher to get malware on units, even when unhealthy actors handle to persuade customers to sideload an app relatively than getting it from the Play Retailer.
In case you completely depend on an outdated app that targets an older model of Android, it will likely be potential to override the block by putting in it utilizing ADB with the adb set up –bypass-low-target-sdk-block FILENAME.apk command.
Android will get a helpful and stunning new again gesture animation
When Google launched full gesture navigation in Android 10, it fully modified how many individuals use their telephones. Since then, the corporate has solely made small tweaks to gesture navigation, by no means fully reinventing the way it works. Whereas the corporate will seemingly persist with the way in which gestures at the moment work, Android 14 will supply a severe improve within the type of predictive again gestures, as Google shared in an Android Dev Summit panel. The system will supply new animations exhibiting which display you’ll navigate to subsequent if you use the again gesture. This can work inside apps and when your subsequent transfer takes you to the house display.
On Android 14 Developer Preview 1, we’re in for a primary glimpse of how these animations will seem like in motion. Android skilled Mishaal Rahman managed to activate hidden flags inside a rooted model of the Developer Preview, and introduced a rudimentary app with help for it. As you may see within the video beneath, this provides peeking animations to the again gesture, permitting you to see the place you’ll navigate to subsequent.
The most important caveat proper now’s that app builders must construct help for this characteristic, so it will not essentially be enabled for all apps on Android 14 by default.
You possibly can already give this a attempt in your Pixel cellphone: While you activate the predictive again navigation flag within the developer choices on Android 13, you will note that some apps like Google Telephone and Google Information help predictive again gestures when your subsequent navigation takes you to the house display. Android 14 is the following step for this experimental characteristic.
Interface adjustments: Quick pair and Visitor mode
Google hasn’t talked about each single change but, and there’s a ton extra to uncover in Android 14 Developer Preview 1. Considered one of these is the addition of a toggle that permits you to activate or off quick pair. In case you’re not acquainted, quick pair is Google’s comparatively new choice that helps you rapidly join new Bluetooth equipment to your cellphone. Nonetheless, in the event you reside in a dense house block or work in an electronics retailer, you would possibly get manner too many misguided prompts to arrange close by units. The brand new toggle then permits you to flip off quick pair, serving to you do away with the annoying interruptions.
There’s additionally a minor tweak to the A number of customers settings display. Right here, the Permit visitor to make use of cellphone choice has been moved to the top-level menu, making it simpler so that you can allow cellphone requires anybody utilizing your smartphone. Beforehand, this feature was sitting behind the Visitor account itself, which was not essentially the most intuitive place for it.
Android 14 is getting sensible about switching networks when utilizing twin SIM setups
Individuals who reside with two SIM playing cards in a single cellphone know the trouble. As soon as they attain an space the place one among their carriers does not carry out ok, they should swap to their different SIM to get their secondary community up and operating. This would possibly turn into an automatic course of with Android 14, which gives a toggle to Swap cell information robotically. The connected description makes issues fairly clear: “Quickly use this community when it has higher availability for calls and web.”
App cloning may come to Pixel telephones
Some producers can help you clone your apps, and there are additionally third-party companies on the Play Retailer that supply this performance. Many individuals who need to use an app with a number of accounts depend on it, and it seems like Google is contemplating including this feature to its model of Android. Proof has surfaced within the type of a hidden Cloned Apps part in settings that implies we’d take a look at this feature turning into a actuality with Android 14.
Health monitoring apps may work higher collectively
Well being Join, Google’s elective app that serves as an interface between completely different health monitoring apps to share their information, would possibly turn into a pre-installed app in Android 14. There was already some proof that this might occur, and within the first developer preview, we’re seeing extra of it. The Android launch is transport with a brand new Well being Join APEX file, which is a robust indication that Google is making ready to bundle the app with the system. This is able to give all Android units a central place to retailer and trade your health information throughout numerous apps.
DualSense Edge help could possibly be coming
Have you ever dropped some dough on the PlayStation 5’s high-end DualSense Edge controller and want to use it wherever it is potential? You would possibly quickly add Android 14 to the record of supported units. The brand new working system has added structure information for the Sony controller, which makes it seemingly that Android 14 will help it.
Android 14 may borrow an iOS privateness characteristic for media information
Apple’s iOS let’s you select if you would like to provide an app entry to your entire media information or solely a few of them. Android 14 may comply with swimsuit. Mishaal Rahman managed to activate a revamped permission management choice for media information that positive remind us of the way in which iOS handles issues. Since this adjustments the way in which some older APIs work, it is unclear if it’ll truly make it into the ultimate launch, although.
Android 14 may enable you to spot bloatware and uninstall it
No person loves pointless bloatware on their telephones, and Google is trying into singling out these further apps you need not preserve in your cellphone. Mishaal Rahman noticed that there’s a new choice in a hidden system settings part that lists “Apps put in within the background.” The outline on this part then explains that you will see that apps right here that your system could have put in within the background due to your service or different producer companions. The record will make it potential to do away with all of those quick.
Android 14 is decoupling root certificates from system updates
Android 14 is decoupling TrustCor root certificates from system updates. As soon as telephones operating Android 14 turn into previous and outdated, this might forestall them from shedding web entry as they age and their certificates turn into outdated. Certificates may also turn into untrusted and would possibly want changing before their scheduled date, so it is good to have the ability to push out these updates with out full system releases.
All the pieces else we learn about Android 14 thus far
Aside from the small print Google shared concerning the developer preview above, we have realized a number of extra issues concerning the upcoming Android launch. That is as a result of Android is an open supply venture at its core, and Google must tweak among the underlying code to make future options occur. The corporate additionally introduced a number of options forward of time in different circumstances. Along with that, there are additionally some leaks from numerous sources. With this out of the way in which, here’s what we have realized thus far.
Android 14’s inner code identify is the one U dessert anybody may consider
All Android variations have enjoyable codenames connected to them, following an alphabetical order. Google could not use them publicly for advertising and marketing anymore prefer it did previously, however internally, these codes are nonetheless in use. With Android 13, generally known as Tiramisu, everyone knows that U is the following letter within the alphabet. As such, Google goes with the one apparent selection and calls its new child “Android 14 Upside Down Cake.” It feels a bit like dishonest, however right here we’re.
Android 14 may have a satellite tv for pc connectivity choice that’s just like the iPhone 14
Apple has launched a bunch of iPhones with emergency satellite tv for pc connectivity. Google’s Hiroshi Lockheimer has confirmed that Android will supply the identical know-how, saying he’s excited to be “enabling all of this within the subsequent model of Android!” Qualcomm modems will seemingly be first in line to supply help for this, because the Snapdragon producer introduced satellite tv for pc help for its chips throughout its IFA 2022 keynote.
Bluetooth may be taught to measure distances
Bluetooth is a flexible commonplace that revolutionized how we use wi-fi equipment like among the finest earbuds. In Android 14, the connectivity protocol would possibly turn into much more helpful. As noticed within the AOSP, Google is engaged on a brand new Bluetooth Distance Measurement API that might make it simpler to search out misplaced equipment. Whereas it isn’t as correct as extremely wide-band (UWB), it may let you know in the event you’re shifting nearer or additional away from a given related Bluetooth system.
It is potential that this API may additionally energy Google’s upcoming Watch Unlock mechanism, which might preserve your cellphone unlocked so long as your favourite smartwatch is shut by.
Android 14 would possibly decouple the share menu from the system and switch it into an independently-updated Challenge Mainline module. This is able to enable the corporate to push new variations of the part with no full system replace. In the long run, this may imply that adjustments to the share sheet would arrive on all Android telephones operating Android 14 and better. The change could be bitterly wanted because the share sheet has turn into one among Android’s weak spots with a lot room for enchancment.
Some units would possibly go 64-bit solely
The Google Pixel Pill is already rumored to supply a 64-bit solely construct of Android 13, and the identical could be the case for a lot of telephones and tablets launching with Android 14. Based mostly on documentation within the Android Open Supply Challenge (AOSP), units that include ARM v9 processor cores must go 64-bit solely on the upcoming model of Android. With 2021’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 switching to the v9 structure, we count on all upcoming flagship telephones and tablets to turn into 64-bit solely sooner relatively than later.
Additional adjustments we may even see on Android 14
Some extra options had been noticed forward of the Android 14 launch:
- Android 14 will seemingly introduce help for NTFS, the proprietary file format developed by Microsoft. It is used on many exterior laborious drives which are formatted for Home windows, and Android may benefit drastically from supporting it.
- The environment friendly AV1 video codec may turn into necessary on Android 14. It permits units to save lots of bandwidth with out shedding picture and audio high quality. The format is utilized by YouTube in sure circumstances, so having all units help it in the long run is nice information on your information plan.
Our wishlist for Android 14
Whereas we now know which developer-focused adjustments will come to Android 14, lots is left at midnight. That is why we compiled a brief wishlist of eight issues we’d like to see in Android 14. We give attention to Google’s first-party software program right here, which means we’re how Android seems and behaves on Pixel units.
A couple of of those choices and options could also be a part of Android on some producers’ units already, however they might not have made the bounce to AOSP or the Pixel software program. Since Google makes many options it pioneers obtainable to Android producers, options first coming to Google telephones typically carry advantages to the entire Android market.
1. Deliver again lock display widgets
Apple revealed its new iPhone lock display earlier this 12 months at WWDC, and as we discovered in our iOS 16 vs. Android 13 comparability, it is superior. The Cupertino firm launched the choice so as to add widgets to the lock display, full with fancy personalization choices.
We give attention to the previous as a result of Android additionally supported lock display widgets as soon as upon a time. Up till model 4.4 (KitKat), it was potential so as to add widgets to the lock display. You might both substitute the clock on the prime of the display or add a widget on its panel. It was only a swipe to the suitable.
The system has at all times been gimmicky, although, with just a few helpful purposes. In any case, Samsung caught with this performance and nonetheless gives lock display widgets on its Android pores and skin One UI.
Left: iOS 16 lock display widgets. Proper: Previous Android 4.2 lock display widgets.
Whilst you would possibly surprise why Google would carry again a characteristic that it gave up on, this is not the primary time Apple breathed new life into an Android characteristic that was languishing. The identical occurred when iOS launched help for widgets, with Google all of the sudden turning into within the idea once more. Following Apple’s footsteps, Google revamped how widgets labored on Android 12 and launched redesigned widgets of its apps.
2. Give us stacked widgets
Talking of widgets, Google could have discovered a brand new curiosity within the idea due to Apple. Plus, it might have launched some wanted enhancements to the underlying mechanics. Nonetheless, there’s extra we want for. Apple launched the neat idea of stacked widgets, which lets you add a number of widgets to the identical place in your homescreen. To entry all of them, swipe by them.
We want Google would implement this on Android, although the matter is a tad extra difficult on the platform. Apple widgets aren’t scrollable or very interactive, so it is simpler to order a scroll gesture for a system characteristic like this.
Nonetheless, it is irritating that Google nearly created a system like this. Its At a Look widget provides you details about upcoming occasions, related units, climate alerts, and extra. It additionally allows you to scroll horizontally by a number of entries when there may be multiple. Google has been noticed engaged on its model of stacked widgets in Android 12, so there could be hope for Android 14.
3. Deliver again devoted Wi-Fi and cell community toggles
In Android 12, Google determined it was time to spring clear the fast settings toggles. The corporate merged the Wi-Fi and cell information choices right into a single Web toggle. The toggle is complicated to make use of, making easy processes, resembling disconnecting and reconnecting to your Wi-Fi community, an ordeal. Many people do that day by day, as web connections can typically be fickle.
Relying on how poor your cell connection is if you’re inside, it is a good suggestion to show off the cell radio to save lots of battery life. That is one other factor the Web toggle makes much less intuitive.
4. Make third-party launchers easy once more
Since Google launched gesture navigation to Android 10, third-party launchers have been left languishing. That is as a result of the default preinstalled launcher ties into the system deeper to supply easy transitions between the homescreen, the Recents overview, and apps.
Third-party launchers do not have the identical privileges because the preinstalled one, leaving you with two selections: Both persist with the one which shipped together with your cellphone and that will lack some options you want to, or take care of inconsistent animations in trade for extra superior customizability.
The Lawnchair launcher
Ideally, Android 14 would give third-party launchers the choice to hook into the system extra deeply once they’re set as the usual choice. It is comprehensible that Google could be cautious as a consequence of safety considerations. There are additionally technical challenges to beat since Android producers have completely different animations and strategies to attain them. So it is potential that customized launchers must be coded for particular telephones.
5. Assist builders make gesture navigation prettier in apps
Apple’s iPhones and iPads are fairly nice at making gesture navigation really feel pure and like a component deeply embedded within the system and in apps. Nonetheless, on Android, gesture navigation nonetheless clashes with many apps.
Android apps typically do not draw content material behind the navigation bar, leaving a block across the navigation bar. On iOS, this is not a lot of a problem. Most apps draw content material within the space behind the navigation bar, and it makes for a extra immersive expertise.
Whereas iOS builders have a handful of display sizes and processors to help, Google may supply extra assist to builders for edge-to-edge navigation. Android app developer Pavlo Rekun instructed us in an interview that in a worst-case state of affairs, Android app builders have to regulate each view of their app to make the navigation bar clear.
It is comprehensible that giant studios with tons of particular person pages and views inside their apps do not have time for a small beauty choice, particularly since not all Android customers use gesture navigation. Nonetheless, seeing extra consistency and a focus to element on Android could be good. To do this, Google must drive builders or make issues simpler to implement.
Whereas it is potential that Google won’t fulfill this want, it is nice to see the corporate engaged on a good larger venture: Predictive again gesture navigation, which is able to present you which of them web page you are about to navigate to if you’re utilizing the again gesture.
6. Deliver again customized icon shapes and fonts to the Pixel
Android 11 formally added the choice to alter icon shapes, fonts, and a few colours within the notification shade and settings on Pixel telephones. This was eliminated as soon as Android 12 rolled round with its Materials You themes primarily based in your wallpaper.
It is smart to strip some choices as they conflict with this wallpaper-based theming. Nonetheless, whereas it was at it, Google went above and past to strip away all customization choices, notably icon shapes and fonts.
With Materials You maturing and turning into extra versatile and customizable (Android 13 added extra shade extraction combos), it might make sense for Google to reintroduce among the customization choices it eliminated in preparation for Materials You. In any case, it isn’t clear how completely different icon shapes and fonts would conflict with Materials You’s colourful themes.
7. Add correct privateness controls for apps
Apple launched privateness controls to iOS 14.5, which forces apps to ask customers for approval to trace them throughout different apps to create extra correct promoting fashions. Most individuals decline a request like this when requested from the get-go. Thus, promoting corporations misplaced entry to the information they beforehand relied on.
As a lot as we’d love a characteristic like this on Android, it is unlikely that Google will add one thing as highly effective as Apple, and Google has made as a lot clear already. The corporate is at the moment engaged on the Privateness Sandbox, which guarantees to supply the perfect of each worlds for customers and advertisers. The system is meant to permit for customized adverts that make the most of a brand new system characteristic relatively than doing the monitoring by themselves.
Google is an promoting firm at its core, so a drastic resolution like Apple’s would battle with its pursuits. And even when it launched a complicated choice like this, opponents may rapidly level out that Google is creating an unfair benefit for itself on its platform, resulting in all types of authorized points. Nonetheless, one can dream, and we might like to have severe privateness controls on the platform.
8. Give us some Dynamic Island eye sweet
Apple shocked everybody when it launched its Dynamic Island for the iPhone 14 Professional and Professional Max. In distinction to Android producers who make punch-hole selfie cameras as unobtrusive and hidden as potential (with some implementing stealthy under-display cameras, just like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and its predecessor), Apple absolutely embraced its pill-shaped show cutout.
It dynamically expands and shrinks to show background actions like timers, audio playback or recordings, health monitoring, and extra. As soon as third-party builders are allowed to hook into the system, the probabilities are limitless.
A design mockup of what Google may do with notifications
Google may go two methods to counter Apple. The corporate may flip notification card backgrounds all black and make them really feel like part of the punch-hole digicam on Pixel telephones. Or, it would advance show and digicam applied sciences and push the business to under-display cameras.
Given that it’s going to seemingly take a while for these under-display cameras to supply fairly pictures, Google would most likely go for one thing extra Dynamic Island-like.
Android 13 and Android 12 earlier than it hides the digicam cutout in some circumstances
Google gives one thing like Dynamic Island with Android 12 after which 13, albeit not as elaborate. While you pull down the notification shade, the highest half with the fast toggle settings retains a black background, no matter whether or not you are utilizing a darkish theme. This does its half to cover the digicam cutout on the prime. Google solely has to assume this idea slightly additional to make the digicam cutout much less seen and extra part of the interface.
Get the Android 14 developer preview proper now
Android 14 is accessible for obtain for builders. In distinction to the beta launch, which is able to come later, you will not be capable to be part of a program and get the preview construct in your cellphone robotically. As a substitute, you will need to obtain the manufacturing unit picture and discover ways to manually set up the Android 14 Developer Preview in your cellphone.
Remember the fact that the software program is particularly flagged as unstable and never meant for shoppers, so you must solely set up it when you could have a spare cellphone or if you’re okay with not with the ability to use your cellphone as a consequence of bugs.