Amid a plethora of rumored features and improvements, Google has finally released the first Android 14 Developer Preview. The release is in time with previous releases of Android. The developer preview comes with a myriad of changes, including backend and user-facing ones. Since Android is the one powering billions of devices around the globe, people are naturally excited about Android 14 and what it brings to the table. Let’s check out all the details below.
Android 14 DP1 Released for Pixel Phones
Android 14 Codename Continues the Sweet Tradition
Google has always been in the habit of attaching sweet dessert codenames to their Android releases. Android 14 is no different. The tech giant is calling the new Android Upside Down Cake, which is surely an interesting moniker. While codenames are not widely used now, Google has naturally kept up the tradition of keeping interesting names for its Android releases.
Commitment to Big Screens and Foldable Devices
Google continues its commitment to support tablets and foldable form factors. Initially begun in Android 12L and 13, the latest version of Android will keep up the effort to create a consistent experience across all screen sizes and form factors. To help developers create apps that adapt to different screen sizes, Google is creating new elements, including window size classes, activity embedding, sliding pane layout, and more, which will all be supported in Jetpack Compose.
The company has also updated its guidance for developers on how to treat larger screens. This will help developers keep an updated eye on how their apps will perform across devices. Attention has also been paid to additional learning opportunities and multi-device experiences which will pave the way for a unified experience.
Fonts Get Bigger with Non-Linear Scaling
Fonts get even bigger in Android 14 as users will now be able to scale up their font to 200%. This is a 70% increase compared to the 130% that was previously possible on Pixel devices. However, Google has also prevented from the text getting too large and added a non-linear font scaling curve, which is automatically applied.
This will help create a balance between text that is already large and will prevent it from getting any bigger compared to smaller text on your phone. Google has also displayed practices for developers to test this out by going to Accessibility -> Display size and text settings. The improved font scaling will apply to a variety of devices, including big screens and foldable.
Better Power Management and Streamlined Operations
Android has always lagged behind iOS when it comes to battery life. While it has been getting better over the years, there is work left to be done. Android 14 takes this forward by optimizing how apps use the battery in the background. Foreground services will now be reserved for the highest-priority user tasks only. This will prevent unwanted apps from overly using the phone’s power when running in the background.
Google is also making it easy for developers to program their apps to use less background power when downloading files. This will increase app optimization for developers and users at once. Other power-side changes include added restrictions to exact alarms which will restrict apps from firing off unnecessary alarms and will require permission.
App Cloning Comes to Android 14
Android 14 is also planning to add an app cloning feature. This will allow users to run two instances of the same app through two accounts. While this is kind of similar to the dual apps feature available in most third-party Android skins, it’s still going to be quite helpful.
Android 14 Release Timeline
Android 14’s first developer preview is already out on the official website and available for installation. Google has also released a concise timeline for users to keep a track of the OS. As veteran users will see, the company is more or less following the same timeline as it did in previous releases. The first developer preview has already been released, with one to follow in March.
Beta releases of Android 14 will happen in April and May when we can start to see the new features refined. Users will see even more stable releases in the months of June and July. Finally, the user-facing changes will be compiled, and a stable release will hit the market sometime later. While that’s a long timeline, you can head on over to Google’s official Android 14 page and download developer preview 1 right now.