Google has released Android 14 Beta 4, focusing on refining performance and functionality as the official release approaches. This update marks the second Platform Stable Android 14 release, with finalized APIs and app-facing behaviors for developers to review and integrate into their apps.
Developers can now publish their apps on Google Play for devices running Android 14 at the official API level. To ensure compatibility, developers are encouraged to test their apps on devices running Android 14 Beta 4.
- They can explore new features and APIs, report any issues, and assess the impact of default behavior changes in Android 14. Additionally, developers can test their apps with opt-in behavior changes specific to Android 14.
- Upgrading the targetSdkVersion with the Android SDK Upgrade Assistant, available in Android Studio Hedgehog, simplifies the process.
Notable changes and features shared by Mishaal Rahman of Esper.io in Android 14 Beta 4 include:
- New Easter egg: Android 14 Beta 4 introduces an Easter egg inspired by space sim enthusiasts, with the logo and droid statue paying homage to the Apollo 14 mission patch.
- SystemUI app icon: The SystemUI app now has a new adaptive icon, although it remains hidden from the home screen.
- Mute/silent mode icon: The status bar icon for “mute” or “silent” mode has been redesigned.
- Speech settings relocation: The Speech settings have been moved from Settings > System > Keyboard to Settings > System > Languages.
- Auto-confirm unlock feature: Android 14 Beta 4 introduces the long-awaited “auto-confirm unlock” feature, which automatically unlocks the device when the correct PIN is entered. A PIN of 6 digits or more is required to enable this feature.
- Manufactured year display: Under Settings > About phone > Model, users can now view the “manufactured year” of their device based on its serial number.
- Separated volume sliders: The “ring volume” and “notification volume” sliders in Android 14 are now separate and cannot be merged.
- Lock screen clock plugin APKs: Factory images for devices such as the Pixel 5, Pixel 4a 5G, Pixel 5a 5G, Pixel Tablet, and Pixel Fold contain lock screen clock plugin APKs, although they are not enabled by default on the Pixel Tablet.
- Google Keep preinstalled on the Pixel Tablet: Android 14 Beta 4 for the Pixel Tablet includes a preinstalled version of Google Keep, although it does not meet the requirements for the Notes role.
- New default profile picture options: Android 14 Beta 4 introduces additional default profile picture choices.
The update is compatible with Pixel Tablet, Pixel Fold, along with the Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, Pixel 5, Pixel 5G, Pixel 6 (6, 6 Pro and 6a) and Pixel 7 series (7, 7 Pro and 7a). If you have the previous beta, it will update automatically. Otherwise, you can download it from the Android Developer’s site.