Google releases a new version of Android 14. What’s new?

Google released the first version of the new Android 14 exactly a month ago, on February 8, 2023. Today, the Mountain View giant provides users with another, more advanced release containing new features and solutions.

Google has released Android 14 Developer Preview 2

The Android development team announces that the new version includes further improvements in privacy, security, performance, developer productivity and user customization. At the same time, it is better adapted to devices with a large screen – on tablets and in folding models.

In Developer Preview 2, the Mountain View giant recommends that developers use the photo selection feature if their application requires access to multimedia. As a reminder: it already appeared in Android 13 and consists in the fact that the user can choose whether the application can access all photos / videos in the device’s memory or only selected ones.

However, if for some reason a developer is unable to use Photo Picker when their app requests the visual media permissions (READ_MEDIA_IMAGES / READ_MEDIA_VIDEO) introduced in SDK 33, users on Android 14 devices will still be able to grant Photo Picker access only to selected photos and videos via a dialog like this:

source: Android Developers

It’s worth mentioning here that the Photo Picker feature isn’t reserved for Android 14 and 13 – it’s also now available on Android 11 and Android 12 and Android 13 Go Edition devices.

Android 14 also aims to make user sign-in easier with APIs that retrieve and store credentials using user-configured credential providers. Additionally, the API allows the application to log in using access keys without entering a password. This is a step towards the “no password” future that not only Google, but also Apple and Microsoft are aiming for.

Android 14 is also expected to provide better interoperability between apps, improve system health and battery performance. The goal is to give foreground programs more control over the ability of the applications they interact with to initiate actions. On the other hand, the functionality of programs that go into “sleep” mode will be significantly limited after a few seconds – orders of magnitude faster than on Android 13.

Another new feature in Android 14 is the ability to remove all notifications from the notification bar when the device is unlocked (this feature is already available in Xiaomi’s MIUI 14). However, this is not the case for everyone – notifications that are important to the functionality of the device, such as system notifications and device policies, will remain completely uncancellable.

Android 14 will also provide improvements for third-party app stores (programs will be updated from the store from which they were originally downloaded and at a more convenient time for the user) and for Europeans living in the US – they will be able to set “regional preferences” eg display the temperature in Celsius (instead of Fahrenheit) and set Monday as the first day of the week (instead of Sunday as in the US).

Google Android 14 regional preferences regional preferences
source: Android Developers

When will Android 14 be available for everyone?

Developer Preview 2 is the last developer release – the first beta version will be available in April 2023. The first of four – the last one is scheduled for July. The final release is expected in the third quarter of this year.

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