Android 14 is officially here, as announced at #MadebyGoogle ’23! After months in preview status, the latest version of Google‘s smartphone OS is now here and offers even more customization, control, and accessibility on your Android smartphone.
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UPDATE (2023/10/24 2:05pm ET): We can confirm the Android 14 update is rolling out as we have received OTAs on both a Pixel 7 (1.09GB download size) and Pixel Tablet (0.98GB download size).
Each iteration of Android is (arguably) better than the previous and given what’s on the slate for Android 14, that still holds true. There’s a lot to go over, so be sure to find out more about the latest version of Android 14 on the Android website after reading an overview of what’s new below.
One thing I always enjoyed about Android devices was the level of customization. Unfortunately, this usually comes by way of external apps or even different flavours of Android you could install on rooted devices. With Android 14, Google is giving users more ways to customize their devices with the customization picker.
This updated feature allows users to more easily switch between wallpapers, as well as set custom lock screen shortcuts, and implement new, curated lock screen templates. These templates have customizable fonts, widgets, formats, and colours that can be more reflective of your personality. With new AI integration, your lock screen will be more dynamic. For example, should the weather change drastically, the weather widget on your lock screen will become more noticeable.
Google is also introducing generative AI wallpapers using AI-generated text-to-image diffusion models to help you create wallpapers on the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.
Control, and privacy, are key must-haves on any device you use — especially given the fact we are doing more with our phones everyday, including fitness and health tracking. Depending on the fitness devices you use, you might be using multiple apps that don’t really work well together for sharing and syncing data. With the Health Connect app on Android 14 being built right into your settings, users now have a central way to securely store all of their data in one place. Even better? All the data is securely encrypted on your phone.
On the subject of data sharing, Android 14 will offer new data sharing updates, making it easier for users to know and track which app is sharing data, like your location, with third parties.
Finally, PINs are getting an update as well. With the latest version of Android, users will be “encouraged” to use a PIN with a minimum of six digits. In addition, once you’ve successfully typed in your pin to unlock your phone, it will automatically unlock without having to hit the enter button.
Android 14 is also rolling out with more vision- and hearing-inclusive features. New features include an improved magnifier, the ability to improve readability with nonlinear font scaling, and quickly change the font size with the Quick Settings tile.
Accessibility for those who are hard of hearing has also been improved. With Android 14, there are more intuitive ways to connect and interact with hearing aids, as well as the addition of Flash notification which will give users a visual light flash when they have incoming notifications.
Android 14 is starting to roll out to supported Pixel devices today, and later this year will be available on more of your favourite devices from Samsung Galaxy, iQOO, Nothing, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Sharp, Sony, Tecno, vivo, and Xiaomi.
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