Google is constructing the inspiration of Android 14, and like yearly, it is providing beta builds for anybody inquisitive about getting a primary have a look at what the following model of Android has to supply. Android 14 Beta 1 rolled out a couple of weeks in the past, and on the outset, there actually is not something completely different to Android 13 right here.
That is at all times going to be the case given how the preliminary preview builds went, and with Google making main UI adjustments with Android 12 and tweaking the Materials You design aesthetic with Android 13, it was a provided that Android 14 could be a modest replace. That is evident after utilizing Beta 1 for per week or so; there aren’t many user-facing adjustments in the meanwhile, with Google more likely to introduce marquee options at a later date as we get nearer to launch.
This is a brief have a look at what you are getting in Android 14 Beta 1, and why you are higher off ready for the following construct.
Predictive again gesture is cool — however you may want to attend
The largest addition in Android 14 is a predictive again gesture that transforms how gesture navigation works. We acquired an preliminary have a look at it final 12 months within the Android 13 beta, however the characteristic wasn’t out there within the steady construct. The predictive gesture principally offers you a preview of the web page you may be returning to when you press the again gesture, so you’ll be able to then determine if you wish to return or keep on the present web page.
Whereas it’s a nifty characteristic, it is nonetheless clearly a piece in progress; it is not even out there out of the field. You may want to enter the developer choices and toggle it, and even then it would not work all through the system. I’ve had restricted luck in getting the gesture to work, and there have been cases the place it was buggy or would not present a preview in any respect.
The again arrow itself is way more prominently highlighted in Android 14, and the perfect half is that it really works with the Materials You aesthetic, making it look cohesive with the remainder of the interface. The predictive again gesture goes to be an enormous deal as soon as it’s enabled out of the field in later builds, however for now, it’s simply an early showcase of what is to come back.
Regional preferences supply extra customization
One in every of my favourite options in Android 13 is the power to set the language on a per-app foundation, and with Android 14, Google is introducing the power to vary regional settings system-wide. The Regional preferences sub-menu inside settings allows you to manually set the primary day of the week, and this variation shall be carried out throughout all apps.
In an analogous vein, you’ll be able to swap between Celsius or Fahrenheit, and the adjustments shall be saved throughout the system. This makes it simpler for my use case as I normally set the language to U.S. English and should manually tweak the settings to Celsius in climate widgets. Google can also be making a number of accessibility-related adjustments, with the choice to scale fonts to 200%, together with non-linear scaling.
Privateness adjustments to guard your knowledge
The largest privateness change coming to Android 14 is an enhanced PIN privateness possibility that disables animations when you enter your PIN. The characteristic principally prevents numbers from briefly displaying up as you enter, so if anybody’s glancing over your shoulder, they will not have the ability to guess the PIN.
One other much-needed change is the power to permit entry to a choose variety of images inside an app. This builds on the Photographs and movies permission that debuted in Android 13, and as an alternative of giving an app entry to all images in your cellphone, now you can select what images they’re in a position to view.
There are many bugs right here
Whereas there aren’t as many user-facing adjustments in Android 14, Google is making a ton of under-the-hood adjustments that ought to enhance battery life. That stated, Android 14 Beta 1 has loads of bugs in the meanwhile, extra so than the final two variations. Android 12 and Android 13 betas have been steady even in the course of the first public releases, however that is not the case this time round.
I’ve had points with gesture navigation not working in any respect at occasions, and there is noticeable lag on the Pixel 7; this undoubtedly wasn’t the case on Android 13. I’ve additionally observed increased battery drain, the in-screen reader being even slower than regular, and frequent crashes of my most well-liked mail shopper, Newton Mail.
Must you set up it?
That is the primary public beta of Android 14, and as such, there are loads of tough edges. We have gotten used to Google releasing comparatively steady betas with Android 12 and Android 13, however Android 14 has a laundry listing of bugs, and it would not really feel steady simply but. If you happen to’ve acquired a spare Pixel mendacity round and need to check out the newest options, then positive, you’ll be able to set up the Android 14 beta.
I did not discover a lot in the best way of distinction apart from the predictive again gesture, and actually, the instability and sheer quantity of bugs means you are higher off ready for forthcoming beta builds.
I’ve a clearer suggestion in the event you’re mulling putting in the Android 14 Beta 1 in your each day driver: simply do not. It is not prepared for each day use at this level, and you will discover the necessity to downgrade to Android 13 after a couple of days. So save your self loads of trouble and await Google to roll out the following beta — that needs to be simply across the nook. At this second, there is not sufficient of an incentive to check out Android 14. That may change over the approaching weeks, however for now, that is clearly a piece in progress.
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