Google on Wednesday announced the release of its latest version of the Android operating system, Android 14, along with a variety of new products, including the Pixel 8 series, Pixel Buds Pro, and Pixel Watch 2, during the Made by Google event in New York City.
Google Releases Android 14: Know New Features, Supported Devices
“Android 14 is here, and it’s packed with updates that help you customize your device experience, give you more control over your health and safety and improve accessibility,” Dave Burke, Vice President of Engineering at Android, wrote in a blog post.
The latest Android OS brings customizations to the lock screen and home screens, generative AI wallpapers, custom lock screen shortcuts, enhanced PIN security, health updates, and much more.
Let’s have a look at the new features and updates that Android 14 offers:
Android 14: More Customisation Options
The updated customization picker makes personalizing your lock and home screens even easier. You can easily switch between wallpapers and update what you want to see at a glance. You can also set custom lock screen shortcuts, like QR reader or the Google Home app, which gives you quick, one-tap access to your most used controls directly from your Android lock screen.
Curated Lock Screen Templates
Android 14 offers a set of new, curated lock screen templates for fonts, widgets, colors, and formats that best match your style. Depending on your situation, these options use artificial intelligence (AI) to adjust your screen. For instance, your lock screen weather widget will become more prominent if there is a sudden change in the weather.
Generative AI Wallpapers
Android 14 also has a generative AI wallpapers feature that uses AI-generated text-to-image diffusion models to help you create wallpapers that match your vision. You can select from pre-set suggestions to create never-before-seen wallpapers. This feature will be first rolled out to Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro users.
For those who prefer a less colorful phone aesthetic, Android 14 includes a monochromatic theme that makes minimal colors look sleek and beautiful across the entire device.
Building on Android 13’s support for high dynamic range (HDR) video, Android 14 supports HDR images with Ultra HDR. This feature makes your photos look their best by bringing out vibrant colors, brighter highlights, and darker shadows.
Android 14: More Control Over Health, Security And Data
Health Connect, a new feature integrated into Android 14 settings, allows you to centrally store all your health and fitness data in one place while maintaining privacy through data encryption.
Improved Data Permissions
With new data-sharing updates on Android 14, you will have more visibility into how your data is being used by apps that request access to your data. For instance, if an app is sharing location data with third parties, Android 14 will notify you, allowing you to decide whether or not to grant access.
Enhanced PIN Security
Android 14 extends more robust digital protection for your device’s personal identification numbers (PIN). The latest operating system enhances PIN security by encouraging you to set a six-digit PIN. Once you type in the correct 6-digit or longer PIN, it will cause your device to unlock automatically.
Android 14: More Features For Low-Vision And Hard-Of-Hearing Users
Low-vision users can get an improved magnifier on Android 14, which can pinch to zoom in and out from 100%. They can also change the magnifier size in a new Magnifier Settings panel or customize how much of the screen you would like magnified. Additionally, they can opt for “Keep on when switching apps” in Android’s accessibility settings to prevent the magnifier from being turned off when switching between apps.
Nonlinear Font Scaling
Android 14’s font size Quick Settings tile offers nonlinear font scaling to ensure that larger font size enlarges at a slower rate than smaller font size without the text getting cut off, text wrapping to multiple lines, or text breaking the page layout.
Hearing Aid and Flash Notifications
Android 14 also introduces a dedicated hearing-aid setup flow from Accessibility settings to allow the ability to quickly access hearing aids controls from a shortcut. In addition, “Flash notifications” from the Accessibility and Notifications settings provide visual light flashes for incoming notifications for hard-of-hearing users.
Android 14 is currently rolling out on supported Pixel devices (4A 5G and up). Later this year, it will be available on more devices from manufacturers such as Samsung Galaxy, iQOO, Nothing, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Sharp, Sony, Tecno, Vivo, and Xiaomi.