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Google rolling out Android 14 Developer Preview 2



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Android 14 Developer Preview 2 is rolling out now ahead of next month’s first beta. It continues work on a number of tentpoles with more capabilities taking shape in this release.

Work on the Privacy and security tentpole continues with a new dialog in Android 14 where “users can now grant your app access to only selected photos and videos”

  • Allow access to all photos: the full library of all on-device photos & videos is available
  • Select photos: only the user’s selection of photos & videos will be temporarily available via MediaStore
  • Don’t allow: access to all photos and videos is denied

This is what end users will see if an app doesn’t support the Photo Picker, which is Google’s recommended approach. 

Meanwhile, the Credential Manager is becoming a platform API in Android 14. It supports username/password, federated sign-in (like Sign-in with Google), and passkeys:

It aims to make sign-in easier for users with APIs that retrieve and store credentials with user-configured credential providers.

There’s also:

  • Safer implicit intents: “For apps targeting Android 14, creating a mutable pending intent with an implicit intent will throw an exception, preventing them from being able to be used to trigger unexpected code paths. Apps need to either make the pending intent immutable or make the intent explicit. Learn more here.”
  • Background activity launching: “To further reduce instances of unexpected interruptions, Android 14 gives foreground apps more control over the ability of apps they interact with to start activities. Specifically, apps targeting Android 14 need to grant privileges to start activities in the background when sending a PendingIntent or when binding a Service.”

As part of Streamlining background work, DP2 “includes optimizations to Android’s memory management system to improve resource usage while applications are backgrounded.”

Several seconds after an app goes into the cached state, background work is disallowed outside of conventional Android app lifecycle APIs such as foreground services, JobScheduler, or WorkManager — an order of magnitude faster than this happens in Android 13.

Android 14 makes it so that users can dismiss more notifications (including those with FLAG_ONGOING_EVENT) “on unlocked handheld devices.” 

Notifications will stay non-dismissible when the device is locked, and notification listeners will not be able to dismiss these notifications. Notifications that are important to device functionality, like system and device policy notifications, will remain fully non-dismissible.

Under Improved App Store Experiences, there are new PackageInstaller APIs that benefit the end user workflow:

  • requestUserPreapproval(): allows the download of APKs to be deferred until after the installation has been approved
  • setRequestUpdateOwnership(): allows an installer to indicate that it is responsible for future updates to an app it is installing
  • setDontKillApp(): method that can seamlessly install optional features of an app through split APKs while the app is in use
  • InstallConstraints API: gives installers a way to ensure that app updates happen at an opportune moment, such as when an app is no longer in use.

To improve Personalization, centralized “Regional preferences” in system Settings will let you personalize temperature units, the first day of the week, and even numbering systems. Apps will then be able to use that information. For example:

A European living in the United States might prefer temperature units to be in Celsius rather than Fahrenheit and for apps to treat Monday as the beginning of the week instead of the US default of Sunday.

Android 14 Developer Preview 2 system images are available for the Pixel 4a 5G, Pixel 5, Pixel 5a, Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, Pixel 6a, Pixel 7, and Pixel 7 Pro, as well as the Android Emulator. Google also had the following to say about updating from the Android 13 QPR Beta:

If you intend to move from the Android 13 QPR Beta program to the Android 14 Developer Preview program and don’t want to have to wipe your device, we recommend that you move to Developer Preview 2 now. Otherwise, you may run into time periods where the Android 13 Beta will have a more recent build date which will prevent you from going directly to the Android 14 Developer Preview without doing a data wipe.

DP2 (UPP2.230217.004) with the March 2023 security patch is officially “for developers only and not intended for daily or consumer use.” It’s only available via manual download and flashing/sideloading today, with the public-facing Android Beta coming later in April. If you need help, here’s our full guide on installing Android 14.

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