Google has released the first beta of Android 14, the next version of its operating system, following its arrival in February with two Developer Previews as of now. Those who are eager to test it out can enroll their Pixel smartphones through the Android Beta website.
The beta release marks the beginning of Google’s plan to have three more beta launches leading up to the final release, which is scheduled for sometime after July.
If you’re looking to experience the latest features and updates on your Pixel device before the official release, now is the time to enroll and start exploring everything new that Android 14 has to offer.
Android 14 Beta 1: What’s New?
Google’s focus for the beta version of Android 14 is centered around five core themes: privacy, security, performance, developer productivity, and user customization. Additionally, they are also working to enhance the experience of using large-screen devices such as tablets and foldables.
Although the official Google blog post about Android 14’s beta release is not very detailed, tech enthusiasts can now explore the software firsthand and discover any new features or changes. As early adopters begin to tinker with the beta version, we can expect to learn more about the exciting improvements and additions to the operating system.
Android 14 Beta 1 Has A “Smarter” System UI
According to Google, Android 14 features a “smarter” system UI that includes a new back arrow and an improved system share sheet.
One of the notable changes is a revamped back arrow that offers a new gesture navigation experience, making it more intuitive and useful when interacting with apps.
Additionally, the back arrow follows Android’s Material You theming guidelines and complements the device’s wallpaper or theme for a cohesive design. Overall, these updates are designed to enhance the user experience and streamline navigation within the Android operating system.
Android 14 Has a Superior Share Sheet
Another noteworthy update is the redesigned system share sheet, which appears when users tap the share button in an app. With this new feature, users can add custom actions to the share sheet for a seamless experience. Rather than using custom solutions, apps can now integrate their actions directly into the system share sheet.
Additionally, the system now uses app signals to rank direct share targets more effectively. This means that the apps and contacts that users frequently interact with will appear at the top of the list, instead of outdated or irrelevant options from past usage. Overall, these improvements aim to make sharing content more convenient and tailored to individual user preferences.
Android 14 Improves on Per-App Language Preferences
Building on the per-app language preferences introduced in Android 13, Android 14 includes an improvement that allows apps to automatically detect the UI language of the current app, rather than requiring a manual declaration of support for the feature.
This enhancement streamlines the language selection process for users and provides a more seamless experience when switching between apps with different language settings.
Android 14 Brings Enhanced Privacy Measures
Finally, Android 14 also introduces a new accessibility feature that allows designated accessibility services to access specific app views while protecting user data and preventing accidental execution of critical actions, such as online transactions.
The beta version of Android 14 is currently available for download, and Google has announced that users on the Android 13 QPR Beta program will receive the update to Android 14 Beta 1 automatically, with no action required. However, as with any beta software, users should keep in mind that bugs and issues may arise.
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published: Thursday, April 13, 2023, 12:27 [IST]