As Android 13 quickly becomes available, our focus now shifts to the next best thing: Android 14 the release of Google’s next operating system update is anticipated for 2023. Continue reading to learn about the new system’s changes, the dessert starting with “U,” and when Android 14 will be available for download.
Unless you have a Xiaomi device, some companies have already updated the majority of their flagship phones, and some have even begun updating their entry-level phones. Already, it has been promised that updates will be even faster in 2023. With that in mind, let’s see what Android 14 has to offer.
Android 14: When can we anticipate the new Google OS?
By this point, Android releases are fairly predictable, with distinct phases designed to assist app developers and device manufacturers in preparing for the subsequent release, which typically occurs in the third quarter of the year.
Google declares that the version “includes a release candidate build of Android” after three to five Beta releases, indicating that the feature set is final and that, at least for app developers, all app interfaces (APIs) are ready for testing games and applications.
Google releases the stable version, which coincides with the announcement of a new Pixel generation, which occurred between August and October since Android 6 (Marshmallow, back in the era of the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P). After some bug fixes, most related to stability issues for Pixel phones, Google released the stable version.
Android 14: How will it be called? Dessert?
Even though Google stopped using the Android codename in its official marketing campaigns after Android 10, OS developers and engineers continue to use it.
Since Google’s developers didn’t have many options for desserts starting with the letter U in 2023, the Android repository received an update in April 2022 that hinted at the dessert codename for Android 14: Cake upside down Nonetheless, marketing materials should only feature the “Android 14” logo.
Android 14: New features
Even though Android 14’s beta testing is still a few months away, some features are already being developed. Furthermore, the OS open-source development already provides some hints regarding the stable release.
The satellite connectivity feature, which debuted on the iPhone 14 family, will also be available on (at least some) Android phones in 2023. Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google’s SVP, announced the new connection option, but he didn’t say how it will work. He said that it will only work for SMS, emergency calls, and low-speed data connections.
RIP, Android Beam
After being removed from the majority of distributions over the past few years, Nearby Share will finally be removed from the Android codebase because it has been made a first-class citizen in recent Android releases. Although Android Beam will not be missed by many, it had one advantage over Nearby Share, not relying on Google Mobile Services (GMS), which allowed AOSP-based distributions like EMUI/HarmonyOS and FireOS to include support for the data transfer feature.
Security certificates independent of system updates
Android Police said that updates for security certificates are a welcome change for people who have old phones. These are digital certificates that, among other things, are used for online connections. Additionally, this has an impact on essential HTTPS connections as well as a security issue (the S stands for security, as you probably already guessed).
Mishaal Rahman claims that standard Play Store updates will be used to renew the certificates in the future. assisting owners of devices whose manufacturers have stopped making them so they can use basic online services and stay connected. Regardless, Android 14 devices will not require certificate updates for some time.
Better back gesture functionality
Those who use gesture navigation commonly encounter this scenario: When you try to return to a specific app screen by repeatedly swiping back, you suddenly land on the Android home screen. Google claims that this will soon be a thing of the past because, when you back up, the last window will show you a preview of the home screen.
In the video that is embedded above, the new functionality can be seen around the 34-minute mark. Hopefully, that will put an end to accidentally closing an active app.
Mandatory AV1 decoding support
Esper’s Mishaal Rahman observed a change that was both welcome and concerning, indicating that AV1 decoding support will be required in Android 14. As an alternative to the fee-based MPEG LA video formats (AVC/H.264, HEVC/H.265, and VVC/H.266), the next-generation royalty-free video codec (AV1) is supported by Google, Amazon, Netflix, Mozilla, and many others.
In the flagship market, where the most recent Qualcomm, MediaTek, and even Exynos SoCs that support AV1 is available, this requirement is simple to meet. However, this may exclude low-end and mid-range devices, many of which launch with processors that were released years ago…
Better consistency in the share (intent) menu
Power users of Android have already noticed that the share menu, also known as the intents menu, varies greatly between applications, which is made worse by the manufacturer’s skin. According to developer Mishaal Rahman, a change in Android 14 promises some consistency.
The Esper developer claims that Google moved the code for the share menu to an updatable module, limiting the number of brand-specific customizations (think One UI) and removing the menu from OTA updates.
Block outdated APK installs
Another commit to the Android repository, this time uncovered by 9to5Google, indicates that Android 14 will block the installation of apps targeting outdated operating system versions. A similar control is already applied on the Play Store, where app developers must target at least Android 12.
If implemented, the change would stop users from sideloading—or installing from third-party stores—old app versions, and those who are adamant about using an old app version could resort theoretically to using the command line. In any case, the Android repository doesn’t list a minimum API target for the change, so Google may only be preparing changes further down the road.
Android 14: Expected devices
Google’s Pixel line will receive the new version first, as is customary with each new Android version. A “Pixel 8” smartphone is anticipated to be the first device to feature the Android operating system because Android releases are typically timed to coincide with a new Pixel generation.
Other Google smartphones, beginning with the Pixel 5 and upward, are anticipated to receive the update on the same day.