The first Android 14 developer preview is now available

Perspective: Android 13 came out just half a year ago and Android 12’s market share has still not leveled off, but Google is already laying the groundwork for Android 14. Google’s announcement announcing the first preview of its next mobile operating system indicates increased attention. on multiple form factors and notable changes to legacy software.

Android developers can get started testing Android 14 now like Google released its first preview this week. Phone testers can get started by uploading a system image to a Google Pixel 7 Pro, Pixel 7, Pixel 6a, Pixel 6 Pro, Pixel 6, Pixel 5a 5G, Pixel 5, or Pixel 4a (5G). For testing other devices such as tablets and foldable devices, the company offers an Android emulator.

Google is making great efforts to improve support for tablets and foldable devices with Android 14. Company published some guides to help developers optimize their applications for different screen sizesincluding large screens and displays that change orientation.

Part of that effort is related to multitasking. Google advises developers to resize their app windows to support features such as split screen and multi-window. Google has been improving how its own apps work on large screens since at least last year.

One important change users and developers should note that Android 14 won’t install apps that don’t at least support Android 6.0. Applications that have not been updated since the introduction of this OS in 2015 will not be installed at all.

This measure will likely not affect most casual users as Google has already made older apps less visible. Since last year, new Android users have been unable to find and download apps from the Google Play Store that haven’t received a patch in two years. Support for relatively ancient software probably only matters to those who download apps.

Google says the new restriction should stop malware, which often targets older SDK versions, to bypass the company’s latest security protocols. Google chose Android 6.0 for the cutoff because that’s when the OS introduced runtime permissions.

Interesting, XDA Developers discovered a hidden feature that can help users remove carrier-installed malware from phones running Android 14. Toggling two developer flags—one hidden—opens a special version of the settings menu containing a section called “Apps installed in the background.” There, users can view and uninstall software from the manufacturer of their device.

Mobile carriers and other vendors often push applications onto customers’ devices that they don’t need and usually can’t remove them, wasting disk space. Samsung’s Galaxy S23 series phones are known to ship with 60GB operating systems – that’s the size of three fresh installs of Windows 11 or four stock Android 13. Let’s hope Android 14 allows users to free up some space, especially those opting for cheaper models. with less capacity.

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