The first developer preview of Android 14 has been released by Google, bringing with it improvements to system health on devices and more customization options for end users.
Developer Preview releases are meant only for developers, as the name suggests. It’s for trying out new features and making ensuring that their applications run on upgraded devices as they’re meant to. We anticipate there may be bugs and other issues, and Google will be actively soliciting developer input over the next several months. You should try Android 14 if you don’t mind encountering issues. If you need rock-solid reliability from your mobile device, though, you may want to hold off until the complete Android 14 release, scheduled for the second part of the year.
To let developers know when they can expect Google to release the complete SDK/NDK APIs, internal APIs, and app-facing system behaviors, Google normally announces a “platform stability” milestone for Android releases. Google plans to have a stable platform by June 2023, with a minimum of “several weeks” before the launch. In June 2022, Android 13 reached platform stability, and in August of same year, the final version was published. Google has given some facts regarding the release timetable that you can check out.
Some of Android 14 preview 1’s most prominent additions are:
- Android 14 introduces a number of improvements that will provide users more control over the information they access and the manner in which they get it.
- If you’re using Android 13 or earlier, you can only expand the text size to 130% of its normal size. With Android 14, the restriction will rise to 200%. Furthermore, if text is becoming too huge, it will not grow alongside smaller text on the screen. This makes sure everything can be read, and it also helps people who need extra assistance seeing the screen.
- A/B testing will be possible, and developers may send out updated locales from the server if their app uses server-side localization. Easy support for speakers of languages having grammatical gender, such French and German, is made possible through the grammatical inflection API.
- The ability to sideload applications on handsets running Android 14 that are aimed at Android SDK version 22 or below will be severely restricted. This is due to the fact that malicious software would aim at SDK 22 in order to circumvent the new runtime permission mechanism in Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The following adb command will allow developers and hobbyists to install the previously supported apps.
- Some improvements and tweaks are being made to the JobScheduler and Foreground Services architecture at Google. As a first step toward better resource management and battery life, Android should restrict Foreground Services to just the most essential user-facing processes. User-initiated data transfer tasks are one example of the new sorts of work that have emerged. Furthermore, developers will have to specify the kinds of forefront services they want to provide. This mandate helps developers describe the purpose of background tasks and determine which scenarios are suitable for using background services. New regulations for Google Play’s usage of these APIs will also be introduced.
- Being internal to Android, these updates shouldn’t affect developers, but Google is nonetheless alerting them to the possibility. Once an app enters a cached state, Google modifies how context-registered broadcasts are sent to the app. Broadcasts to context-registered receivers may be queued and provided to the app only after the app exits the cached state. Also, after the app leaves the cached state, any context-registered broadcasts that are expected to be sent several times (such as BATTERY CHANGED) may be combined into a single broadcast and sent.