Wednesday, June 19, 2024
AndroidSmart Phones

Android 14 Beta 3 is Out: Custom Lock Screen, Shortcuts, and More

Google has rolled out Android 14 Beta 3, marking the first stable release. The software update is available for download on compatible Pixel phones, including the latest Pixel 7a. This will introduce unique features that were first announced at Google’s I/O conference, such as a customizable lock screen.

The third beta installment of Android 14 OS means there is only one more beta candidate of the operating system which is expected to hit phones in July. It will be followed by the final version of Android 14, which will be released to the public as early as August this year. Here’s what’s new in Beta 3.

Customizable lock screen and shortcuts

Google is adding native support for the customizable lock screen. Pixel users can select from different new designs of the clock and weather. Furthermore, they can customize the color and size of these widgets while dynamic styling will be applied when you pick a wallpaper.

In addition, the option to change the left and bottom shortcuts to your preferred apps or functions is now operational. Alternatively, you can choose to disable the shortcut as well. It was noted that some Android OEMs already have the same feature available since the early days of Android. Google has just added it natively to Pixel phones via Android 14.

Android 14 Beta 1 Lock Screen
The new lock screen on Android 14 Beta 1. / © NextPit

More colors and an updated battery indicator

More colors of Material You were introduced by Google in Beta 3. These are noticeable on the app icons and fonts which change according to the main hue of the chosen wallpaper or theme. At the same time, the color palette has expanded to include the system buttons under Settings.

Furthermore, the battery indicator receives an updated design when charging. The icon and percentage are now encapsulated in a pill-shaped boundary, placing more emphasis on the charging status.

Gesture navigation graphical

In Pixel devices, there is an option to select gesture-based navigation instead of having the 3-button layout at the bottom. With the latest update, users will be able to view a tutorial on how to use the three gestures efficiently, including app switching or returning to the home screen.

Which phones can install Android 14 Beta 3?

For Pixel devices enrolled under the Android 14 beta program, a notification will appear to inform you that you can already download and install Beta 3 via an over-the-air update. However, manual installation is possible as you go to Settings > Software Update. Currently, the beta program is open for Pixel 4a all the way to Pixel 7 duo and the Pixel 7a (review).

If you’re running a non-Pixel Android device, you can check out our Android 14 tracker to see when the update will be released for your device based on the manufacturer’s timetable.

Have you installed the Android 14 Beta? Which of the new features do you think is the most exciting? Tell us in the comments.


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