Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Mobile news

A new Android 14 update is here — but you shouldn’t download it


Google has released the second developer preview of Android 14, as the next major version of the operating system takes another step toward a full release. Like the first Android 14 developer preview, the clue as to who it’s for is in the name.

This early version is designed for developers to test new features and designs in their apps, and to explore how new tools in the software could help improve them. It’s not designed for everyday use by consumers — that version will come later.

The Android 14 logo.
Google

The second preview comes a month after the first, and includes enhancements based on feedback from the initial version, along with further changes to some of the early new features being introduced with Android 14. Don’t expect deep insights into how Android 14 will look and operate here, as the tools are very much aimed at app development, rather than showing direct consumer-facing design and feature elements.

What we can see is further emphasis on privacy and security, plus more changes to make Android 14 work even more seamlessly on large screens. For example, Google has introduced guidance on app quality for devices with large screens, more tools to help predict motion and stylus movements, and a gallery with design inspiration for different types of apps running on tablets and folding smartphones. There are all changes that make sense with a Pixel Tablet and Pixel Fold looming around the corner.

For security and privacy, the introduction of Credential Manager is a big move, as it promises to simplify sign-in procedures — either through the use of passwords or (more interestingly) passkeys. Google discussed Passkeys in Android last year, and this helpful feature promises to be part of Android 14’s enhanced security suite. Other changes being experimented with in the second Developer Preview include fewer non-dismissible notifications, optimized background memory management, and a more user-customizable personalization menu.

The second developer preview of Android 14 must be manually installed and is currently only compatible with Google Pixel phones starting with the Pixel 4a, and leading up to the most recent Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro models. Even if you have one of these phones, we don’t recommend trying to install the new preview of Android 14 unless you’re a developer. In the near future, as it has done in the past, Google will release a beta version of the software that’s suitable for non-developers to try. It’s best to wait until then before trying to see what Android 14 offers today.

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