HomeTechnologyNewsAndroid 14 First Preview Has Lots Of Room To Grow: Geek Review

Android 14 First Preview Has Lots Of Room To Grow: Geek Review

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New exciting features will have to wait.

Justin Duino/Review Geeks

Available today, the first developer preview of Android 14 shows that Google is still focusing on foldable support, app security, and energy efficiency. But this preview doesn’t introduce too many new features: it looks like Google is holding things back in anticipation of I/O 2023.

From a user point of view, there are three important announcements here. The first is Google’s development schedule for Android 14; This operating system update will be released in August, although the beta versions will be released in April. (Unlike developer previews, betas are aimed at a more general audience.)

The second big announcement is a new 200% font size option. This accessibility improvement is enabled by two things: larger smartphone screens, and a new “non-linear font scaling curve,” which prevents text from scaling if it’s already large.

And finally, Android 14 blocks the installation of apps that use a targetSdkVersion of 22 or lower. That’s a very fancy way of saying that apps can’t pretend they’re from 2014. It’s not uncommon for malware to use a low target Sdk version, as this can help apps circumvent modern security models and permissions.

The rest of this preview is very developer focused. For example, Google is fine-tuning its JobScheduler and Foreground Services APIs to improve large file downloads over Wi-Fi. This change should also reduce the impact of low-priority tasks, improving battery life and responsiveness.

Similarly, Android 14 forces new apps to request EXACT_ALARM permissions if they want to set precise time-based tasks or events (which require a decent amount of computational resources). Clocks and calendars understandably do not need to ask for this permission.

And Google continues to push developers to support large screen devices. The company updated its developer materials for large-screen and foldable app development, and encourages developers to use the new Cross-Device SDK preview when building new apps.

This is a pretty boring preview. But Google will spend the next few months revealing new Android 14 features. Plus, there are always some hidden secrets in these developer previews, so we should learn some cool stuff in a week or two.

If you want to try Android 14, we suggest you wait for the beta, which arrives in April and should provide a smoother experience than the developer preview. Those who insist on trying this preview need a Pixel phone and the know-how to display a system image.

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