Google usually starts the year with a series of betas for its new version of Android. This also applies to Android 14, the newest member of the Android family that will be released later this year. The first developer preview (DP1) came out in February and this time it’s time for the second beta: Developer Preview 2.
As the name suggests, these builds are mainly aimed at developers, who can already test their apps on the operating system. At the same time, Google is letting its Android fans know what they can expect from the new operating system.
Image selector is now mandatory
Google introduced the so-called Photo Picker with the arrival of Android 13. Users can select which photos and videos the app can access via this privacy function. Previously, the app could display all photos if you granted access to your library. However, in Android 13, there was still a problem: Google didn’t force apps to use the new photo selector. In practice, this meant that developers tended not to implement an image selector.
From Android 14, Google has turned the tables and developers have to believe it. If they develop an app that works with the latest version of Google’s Play SDK (level 33), they will automatically be prompted to support the select option. Specifically, this means that apps will soon offer three options when they request access to your photo library:
- Access to the entire photo library
- Select photos (open photo picker)
- Don’t allow (the app can’t access your photos)
Low power consumption
Google already reduced power consumption in the first DP of Android 14 and picks up that thread again with DP2. It does this by putting apps you’re not using to sleep faster. Only normal background tasks (for which Google has developed specific APIs) remain allowed when the application is put to sleep.
New region preferences
Android 14 also includes a series of so-called new region preferences. It allows users to set preferences for their region or religion, such as what they see on the first day of the week and what temperature units (Fahrenheit or Celsius) they use. Android passes these settings on to all installed apps, so that users no longer have to set this for each app. It is not known whether additional settings will be added in time.
Try Developer Preview 2
For now, the Android 14 Developer Program is only open to Pixel devices from Google. Specifically, it concerns Pixel 4a 5G, 5 and 6 (Pro), and Pixel 7 (Pro). They can install DP2 on their smartphone via the Google website. Please note that this is still a manual process.
The first beta is expected to appear in early April and then roll out to Pixel devices via an OTA update. Android 14 won’t be officially unveiled until September.
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