Google released the first Android 14 developer preview on February 8, revealing a broader release roadmap for later this year. The preview is already available for Pixel 4, 4a, 5, 5a, 6, 6 Pro, 6a, 7, and 7 Pro users. This release allows developers to test and program their apps using the new features and APIs while also giving us an early look at what to expect from Android 14.
For beta testers, the fourth beta release would be ideal for getting their hands on, as it would be much more stable than the early beta version. If everything goes well, smartphone manufacturers will implement their custom skin on top of the latest Android OS and initiate a worldwide release around September. Meanwhile, let’s look at what the beta version of the next iteration of Android OS has in store.
Android 14 Developer Preview Features
Google has religiously refreshed accessibility features with every Android version in accordance with how people use their smartphones. With Android 12, the big G introduced improved screen magnification and added the ability to control the screen with facial gestures. And Android 13 delivered a new reading mode for visually challenged users.
The Android 14 will bring larger font sizes if the existing most prominent option isn’t enough for you. Google increased the scale font size to 200% on Android 14 compared to the previous gen’s 130%. Furthermore, it will be non-linear font scaling so the text that’s already large enough, a headline, for instance, won’t end up taking the entire screen estate.
It also offers better support for gendered languages via Grammatical Inflection API. Apart from this, developers can also take advantage of enhanced pre-app language controls. Using these controls, developers can customize the language list per region, perform A/B experiments, and “provide updated locales if your app utilizes server-side localization pushes.”
Improve Battery Life, Security
Google also claims that Android 14 brings many changes to improve battery life. It alters two Android APIs to enhance the efficiency of tasks such as downloading large files and background activities. Besides this, Android 14 enhances the internal broadcast system for better efficiency.
The new Android OS now blocks older app installation, specifically targeting apps built for Android 5.1 and older APIs. Google explains that older APIs don’t use modern privacy and security protection against malware. If you upgrade to Android 14, those older apps will remain on your device. However, you won’t be able to install those apps on devices booting Android 14 out of the box.
Furthermore, we’re getting developer-focused updates like sliding pane layout and window size classes so that apps can adapt to different devices seamlessly. To make it simpler for developers to create apps that work on various devices and form factors, Google says it is releasing a preview of its cross-device SDK.
Although not mentioned directly in the release note, last year, Google’s Hiroshi Lockheimer confirmed that Android 14 would support satellite connectivity natively, something the official Android 14 logo hints at with space satellite graffiti.
Source: Android Developers Blog