June 3, 2023

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16 ways Android 14 subtly improves your phone

It wouldn’t be Google I/O if the company didn’t have a new version of its smartphone and tablet OS — and while Android 14 is entirely AI-powered and the company’s first foldable phone, more since learned from the company’s developer sessions.

Don’t get too excited: these changes precise! But here are a few ways Google’s Cake Upside Down might make your life a little sweeter when it arrives this fall.

Get rid of passwords

Passkeys are already here – but they are not evenly distributed. In Android 14, third-party apps will be able to use your Android phone and your fingerprint Single to register you and allow you to enter.

There’s a new credential manager in Android 14 to walk you through these steps, and it can save multiple passkeys And Passwords for each app:

Realistically, it will take some time for apps to adopt passkeys, but plenty Password managers And login services will add them more quickly. Google says that 1Password, Dashlane, Keeper, and Okta “will be available upon the launch of Android 14.”

Stop suspicious data brokers

Ever had a perfectly good app turn around and Sell ​​your data For advertisers, data brokers, or worse? You may never have known — but in Android 14, your phone will send a monthly notification warning you when apps change their data sharing practices. Assuming Google finds out, anyway.

It is part of New Data Safety InitiativeAnd you can see how it will look in the images below:

You’ll also get a specific warning when apps ask you for permission to share your location: a button titled “This app has said it may share location data with third parties” that you can tap for more information.

No more unwanted “urging” notifications clogging your screen

Google decided that “high priority” full-screen notifications were probably not something any rando developer could do. Starting with Android 14, it is only for incoming calls and alerts. good!

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Camera flash notifications and long loud beep alerts

If you are the go-to type seriously heading down, This might catch your eye – you’ll be able to blink your phone’s camera flash or your entire screen when you get an incoming notification.

Android 14 will also warn you when you’ve been listening to loud music for too long with a nice big notification.

Customize your lock screen with made clocks

‘Material You’ won’t be eliminated in Android 14 – customization is here to stay:

Google also got some AI-generated wallpapers coming to Pixels before Android 14.

Predictive return in the Spotify app.
GIF by Sean Hollister/Google Video

Back to the future

Predictive return It was actually a feature of Android 13, but Android 14 improves it with animations. Basically, you can see what you get when you swipe back to the previous page, before you’ve actually finished swiping.

At the top (or on the left, if you’re on a desktop screen), you can see what it looks like in Spotify – a small sliding preview of the previous screen when you swipe back from the audio playback page.

A comprehensive health store

You may have heard that Google has launched a new Health Connect app to replace Google Fit — letting your health apps share data with your phone and vice versa — and it may come pre-installed on phones. Fact: Android 14 makes it an integral part of the entire platform.

“Starting with Android 14, Health Connect is part of the platform and receives updates via Google Play system updates without the need for a separate download,” Google wrote. Hey, app developers: The company only promises to keep the legacy Google Fit APIs until 2024.

Hearing aids

Hearing aids won’t be just another stupid Bluetooth headset in Android 14 — you can choose which sounds should go to your phone’s speaker and which should go to the listening device and swipe from your home screen for custom controls.

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Smarter file transfer

With Android 14, Google understands that there are long-running rollouts that should get special treatment — like media playback, audio recording, and navigation. As part of that, a new API has been created to back up things to (and from) your phone.

Google says that if a user initiates a data transfer using this API, it should continue to run until successful, reschedule and automatically pause if a connection is lost, and resume when that connection is restored.

larger text

Font scaling is one hundred percent, but non-linear so things don’t look silly. Hooray for easy access!

Respect your regional preferences

Celsius or Fahrenheit? Do your weeks start on Monday, Sunday, or maybe even Thursday? What set of numbers are you using? Is your country’s language gendered? Android 14 will allow you to set and save the first three preferences Syntax Reflection API So localized/translated apps can address people without potentially insulting them.

Play lossless audio on a USB headset without missing calls

You probably could already do that — but when you did, Android had to hand over volume control to your USB headphones and lost the ability to ring and wake you properly. In Android 14, there are standard APIs for lossless, high-fidelity playback without all the hurdles.

Keyboard, touchpad, and stylus improvements

I don’t have many details but I heard it during one developer session: “Android 14 adds automatic layout configuration for keyboards, improved touchpad gesture detection, advanced pen movement prediction, and more.” Mishaal Rahman in XDA Developers I spotted some of this Also in trial version.

Take HDR photos that older phones can still enjoy

When you take HDR photos on your Pixel or Samsung phone, you may be Doing so in a format that is difficult for older phones to load properly.

Android 14 adds A new type of JPEG image These are actually two images in one file: a regular SDR image that can be played back on conventional monitors and a “gain map” that captures the extreme brightness that only HDR monitors can enjoy. Plus metadata to incorporate.

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Your grandfather’s old phone reads it as a regular JPEG, but newer devices with nice bright screens get a full 10-bit HDR image. I don’t understand why Google and Qualcomm are marketing this as “Ultra HDR”, but it seems like a nice addition!

Fantastic features for third party cameras

ML Kit Document Scanner.
Image: Google

with Zoom in the sensorGoogle will allow camera apps to “take advantage of the sensor’s advanced capabilities to give a cropped RAW stream the same pixels as the full field of view”.

with camera accessories, Google will allow the apps to “handle longer processing times, enabling images optimized using compute-intensive algorithms such as low-light photography on supported devices.” Instagram night sight?

with Document scanner API for ML KitIn the fourth quarter, applications should be able to scan physical receipts and other text documents and convert them to digital.

More useful share button

the share sheet is what pops up after you hit the share button in an app, and Android 14 gives app developers a dedicated row of their custom buttons there — plus it “uses more cues from apps to determine the order of Direct participation goals To provide more useful results for the user.

Android 14 features are rumored

While these are all notable features that I saw confirmed during Google I/O, there are also more than a few interesting additions to Android that have been spotted in beta or other code. Here are some of the things you might see in the final version:

When will Android 14 be released?

August or September, most likely. That’s what the Google image below suggests anyway.