Android 14
image via: Google

This is the time of year when we start hearing about Android 14, Google’s next version of Android. Similarly to last year, Google releases the first developer preview of Android 14 in February for the Pixel devices.

Android 14 developer preview is a limited release for Pixel devices that is for developers to test and provide feedback on the initial build of Android 14.

This is a developer’s preview. It does not include all the upcoming and new features of the operating system. There are bugs in this preview build that will be fixed in future updates before the official release. Along with the next generation of Google Pixel devices, Android 14 will be released in the third quarter of 2023.

In the Preview build, we get a sneak peek at what Google has planned for Android’s next version. Google brings a number of new features, options and changes to Android every year, as well as improving what’s already there.

One of the first improvements Google made to DP1 was to optimize the OS for folding devices. Google called this feature “Working across devices and form factors.” As per Google, “Android 14 builds on the work done in Android 12L and 13 to support tablets and foldable form factors.”  

More APIs and documentation have been added by Google to help app developers create more layouts for their apps. As a result, apps will be optimized for different Android devices, including smartphones, tablets, Chromebooks and folding Android devices. The large-screen app quality checklist has been improved to provide developers with an easy way to measure how well their apps work on different devices.

Second, customization has been improved. Every year, Android’s customization features have improved, and this year is no exception. Users will be able to scale up their font to 200% in Android 14 DP1, a significant improvement over 130% on Google Pixel smartphones.

Google says, “To mitigate issues where the text gets too large, starting in Android 14, a non-linear font scaling curve is automatically applied. This ensures that text that is already large enough doesn’t increase at the same rate as smaller text.”

The Android operating system will no longer be able to install older apps using APK files from third-party websites, which is a security and privacy concern. Android apps with a target SDK version of 22 or lower will no longer be able to be installed on smartphones. APKs that only support Android 5.1 or below will not be able to be installed by users.

This was also reported previously that Google restricts older apps from being installed on Android 14 as the company says, “specific version was chosen because some malware apps use a targetSdkVersion of 22 to avoid being subjected to the runtime permission model.

For Pixel devices, this is the first developer preview. It is expected that Google will release another developer preview in March with a few improvements and changes. There will be four beta versions of Android 14 between April and July before the final version is released.

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