Google will soon launch Android 14. The brand new update promises improvements in privacy, security and performance, among other areas.
Android 14 is still in beta for Google Pixel smartphones. This means Pixel users can already download the new upgrade and see what has changed. The final version will probably be available on your smartphone by the end of the summer. We take a quick look at all the features that caught our eye.
Android 14: these five new features you can expect
Please note that the features discussed are published by Google’s developers. Whether they will return in the final version remains to be seen. M
#1 Battery saver on Android 14
Android 14 brings some new tweaks in an effort to improve battery life. You shouldn’t expect huge advances, but the new features would still provide considerable savings.
For example, Google has made changes to the way the operating system handles background tasks, downloads and uploads. Furthermore, you can also track your own battery usage more easily. It looks like the “screen time since last full charge” option is going to make its return. The feature disappeared in Android 12 and allowed you to estimate how long it will be before your smartphone needs to go on the charger.
Charging but (Image: Unsplash/Onur Binay)
#2 More emphasis on privacy
Since malware usually targets older versions of Android, Android 14 no longer allows you to install older apps from Android 5.1 and earlier.
There are a few other tweaks behind the scenes to improve security, but perhaps the most notable is that you can revoke permissions from apps much more easily. As a result, information about your location, contacts or photos, for example, is no longer available. In this way, Google hopes to better protect you from unsafe apps or third-party ads.
#3 Bigger fonts and smarter scaling
Switching to a larger font in Android 13 was limited to 130 percent. Google is scaling this up to 200 percent with Android 14. To avoid shaky layouts, the system uses nonlinear scaling. This means that words that are already large in a “normal” font size, such as headings and titles, are not made even larger. This keeps the text readable.
Linear scaling vs. nonlinear scaling (Image: Google)
#4 Better support for large screens
The first thing Google announced in the preview for Android 14 is additional support for apps that want to adapt to different screen sizes. With more tools available to developers, we can expect apps that work well on smartphones, foldable phones as well as tablets.
#5 Satellite connection on Android?
Satellite connectivity for smartphones has been rumored for a while, especially since Apple debuted “SOS emergency notification via satellite” for the iPhone 14 last year. Such a feature was confirmed in the tweet below by Google’s senior vice president for Android, Hiroshi Lockheimer.
Exactly what this will mean is still unclear. It could make it easier to send (emergency) messages in places with poor connectivity.
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Wild to think about user experiences for phones that can connect to satellites. When we launched G1 in ’08 it was a stretch to get 3G + Wifi working. Now we’re designing for satellites. Cool! Excited to support our partners in enabling all of this in the next version of Android!
– Hiroshi Lockheimer (@lockheimer) September 1, 2022