Second Android 14 Preview is out with privacy changes
Last month, Google released the first preview of Android 14, the next major version of the mobile operating system. Google publishes a new Android version each year. Development is extensive, and includes developer previews, beta releases and platform stability work before the final release.
The second Developer Preview of Android 14 is now available. It is the last preview before the first Beta release in April 2023.
The first preview introduced a wide range of new features, including support for passkeys, an upcoming security feature that allows third-party apps on Android to manage passkeys for users.
Second Android 14 Developer Preview
The second Android 14 release includes refinements for features introduced in the first preview and new features and changes.
Here is an overview of important changes in Android 14 Developer Preview 2:
- Partial access to photos and videos -- Android users may grant partial access to photos and videos to apps in Android 14. Next to the already existing full access and deny access options, Android users may now select photos and videos that they want an app to have access to.
- Device screenshots detection -- Android 14 includes a "privacy-preserving screenshot detection API" that informs apps when user's take screenshots using hardware buttons.
- Android users may dismiss non-dismissible foreground notifications -- Android 14 users may dismiss foreground notifications that are configured to be non-dismissible. The new behavior does not apply to non-dismissible notifications when the phone is locked or a clear all notification action is selected by the user. Also worth nothing is that it does not apply to some use cases as well, e.g., notifications created using MediaStyle.
- Improved regional preferences settings -- Android 14 users may set regional preferences regarding the temperature, first day of the week and numbers under System > Languages & input > Regional preferences in Android 14.
- Media owner package names may be redacted -- Android 14 may redact the owner package name, unless the application's package name is always visible to other apps or the querying app has the QUERY_ALL_PACKAGES permission.
- Restrictions on starting activities from the background -- The changes, which you find here, are designed to protect users "by preventing malicious apps from abusing APIs to start disruptive activities from the background".
- Apps can only kill their own background processes in Android 14.
- App Stores improvements -- Install approval may be requested before downloading, there is a new method to claim responsibility for future updates, which permits only the update owner from installing automatic updates, and application updates at less-disruptive times.
The second Android 14 developer preview addressed a Google Wallet bug that prevented cards from being activated.
Android users interested in testing the new preview should take a look at the top open issues first. The preview is available as a manual download. Google created previews for certain Pixel devices (from Pixel 4a 5G and newer).
Instructions are provided on the official Get Android 14 website, linked above.Advertisement