Google has released the first Android 14 developer preview, offering the first hints of what’s in store for this year’s major operating system update.
The preview, which is not intended for consumers and is released to allow developers to start the process of updating their apps, suggests that Android 14 will have several main priorities. They are: better support for larger screens and improved battery optimization, accessibility and user security.
In the post at st Android Developer Blog, Google says Android 14 will build on Android 12L and 13 by improving foldable and tablet support. This preview includes more tools to help developers create apps that seamlessly adapt to different screen sizes.
“With each release, our goal is to make it easier for you to optimize your app across all Android platforms,” says Dave Burke, Principal Android Engineer.
Google is also focusing on improving customization with the accessibility feature, where users will be able to scale their text up to 200% (was 130%), which will be useful for people with low vision.
Android 14 will also try to streamline background apps, which users should see benefits when it comes to battery life. For example, a developer can ensure that it runs in the background when users are on a Wi-Fi network
The company is also working on a new Grammatical Inflection API that will allow app developers to add support for languages where a sentence changes depending on grammatical gender. For example, translating the phrase: “You are subscribed to…” into French.
To give a similar phrase in French, there are several options:
Masculine form: “Vous êtes abonné à…” (English: “You are subscribed to…”)
Feminine form: “Vous êtes abonné à…” (English: “You are subscribed to…”)
Neutral phrase that avoids inflection: “Abonnement à…activé” (English: “Subscription to… is on”)
“Today we’re releasing the first Developer Preview of Android 14, and your feedback on these previews is a critical part of making Android better for everyone,” says Burke. “Android 14 continues our work to increase your productivity as developers along with improvements in performance, privacy, security and user customization. This preview is just the beginning, and we’ll have much more to share as we move through the release cycle.”
Of course, this is just the beginning for Android 14. We’ll start to see some things aimed at users in the next releases and of course when the public previews start being available in the spring.