The time has come: the first Developer Preview of Android 14 has been published. With the new version of Android, especially the battery life should be significantly improved.
Like every year, Google releases the first Developer Preview of new Android versions in February or March. Such a preview version, this time of Android 14, is aimed at developers who thoroughly test the new features and report bugs to Google. Non-developers can also join the preview phase, but that is not recommended because the versions are often unstable. Moreover, a Developer Preview is not optimized to give you the best battery life. If you still want to test the new features early, please join the Beta phase later.
Focus on power saving
Before Android 14 enters that beta phase, two Developer Preview builds will appear first. Developer Preview 1 has been available since Wednesday evening. It is clear that with Android 14 Google is committed to more efficient battery use. For this, the operating system tackles the power consumption of apps running in the foreground. The intention is that such apps only perform tasks in the interest of the user, and also prioritize their tasks.
Google is also making optimizations in, among other things, the task management and the API in Android 14 that manages downloads. Both background tasks and file downloads should consume less energy after the update. Android 14 lets you save some extra power by choosing ‘Extreme battery saver’, an addition to the old ‘basic’ power saver. It is not known exactly which background and foreground services Google is slowing down with this.
Finally, Google returns to an earlier decision to remove Screen Time. In Android 14 you can simply read how many hours your screen has been on in a day; incidentally, this is also possible in Samsung’s One UI 5, based on Android 13, for example. It is therefore mainly people who own a Pixel or Asus smartphone who benefit from the return to ‘vanilla’ Android.
Sideload old apps
Android 14 also slightly increases security. Older apps, which were developed for Android 5 or older, will no longer be installed. According to the search giant, this is crucial because apps for those old Android versions often spread malware; they can also bypass the permission system in Android, which only became a mandatory part of apps from Android 6 (SDK23). You could not find such apps in the Play Store – unless your device runs on Android 5 or lower – but you could only sideload them. That, too, is coming to an end now.
One last important change can be found in the text formatting. Font sizes can now be scaled up to 200 percent. To prevent headings from becoming too large and possibly unreadable, Android applies so-called non-linear scaling. Large headlines will not become even larger, while the text between the headlines will become larger. This should make text in apps a lot easier to read for people with poor eyesight and make Android just that little bit more accessible.
Install Developer Preview 1
Google is only releasing Developer Preview 1 for Pixel smartphones and the Android Emulator. If you have a Pixel 4a or newer, you can find all the information you need to install the preview version on this website. The first beta version is expected to appear in April and the ‘reveal’ is scheduled after August, presumably in the third or fourth quarter.
Timeline for the development of the new Android version.
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