Amidst all the confusion Google I/O 2023The second beta of Android 14 has been quietly released to a select few Pixel phones, bringing with it a handful of new features.
Chief among them is the data-sharing tool, which is getting “a new section in the location permissions dialog.” According to the android developer blog, the tool will let you know when an app on your phone “shares location data to third parties where [you] you can get more information [on the process]and control app access to data. Also, users will get a “periodic notification” if any app suddenly starts sharing data with third parties, so you won’t be surprised. Google says renewed data sharing will work with apps from other online stores; not just what you download from the Play Store.
Health Connect, the “repository of user health and fitness data on the device”, will now be a native application on the operating system where it will receive automatic updates. This way, it will always have up-to-date security that will keep your information safe “without having to download it separately.”
Apart from the security update, Google adds HDR support (high dynamic range) to Android 14, allowing the system to take photos with “vivid colors and greater contrast”.
What is different is new UltraHDR a format that is said to be backwards compatible with JPEG. This will allow older phones to view these HDR photos, albeit more compressed as they will have standard dynamic range. The operating system also aims to improve camera extensions. This performance boost will allow “apps to handle longer processing times” for certain types of images, such as those from low-light photography.
There’s more to the beta version than this handful of features. Bug fixes are also part of the package. One addresses stability issues that could cause the UI to lag or crash. You also have a fix for a biometric bug that causes “some apps not to work properly”.
Many of the upcoming changes shown at Google I/O 2023 will not be part of this beta, but you can see them first hand Keyword blog. Later, users will be able to create their own phone wallpapers using generative AI. All you need to do is enter the prompt. There’s also the Magic Compose feature to help you write basic texts you don’t feel like typing for.
If you are interested you can install Android 14 Beta 2 by joining Google beta program. AND list of compatible devices can be found on the Android Developer Blog, which includes, among other things pixel 7, Pixel 7 Proand Pixel 6a. Beta will not be available for recently released Pixel 7a, Unfortunately. Speaking of devices, the so-called first beta of android 14 is now available on several third-party phones such as OnePlus 11 and Nothing Phone 1 if you want to try there.
The third beta of Android 14 is expected to be released in June, with an official launch expected in late summer; most likely August.
Be sure to check out TechRadar’s coverage of Google I/O 2023. The tech giant is coming all in AIand much of what was shown was admittedly impressive.