What to expect from Android 14, coming fall 2023

Android 14 is scheduled for release in fall 2023. — Photography Courtesy of Google Developers/AFP Relaxnews

The developers overseeing the next Android update have started to share some of the advances expected in this new version of Google's mobile operating system, coming this fall. They are mainly working to improve the security of the operating system, in addition to adding some very useful new features.

A first glimpse of the new features expected in Android 14 has been shared by the team of developers working on this new version of Google's mobile OS, through a second "preview" that owners of a Google Pixel smartphone (versions 5, 6 and 7) can test, if they so wish.

As far as security is concerned, Android 14 will, among other things, automatically block the installation of applications that are considered too old, often not updated for a long time – sometimes several years – and which are therefore potentially dangerous. Note that these are often applications obtained outside of Google Play. In this official store, each app must be compatible with at least Android 12, which should ensure a satisfactory level of security.

As for privacy, Android 14 is expected to allow access to only some of a user's photos and/or videos rather than all of their content by default when requested by application editors. Of course, it will still be possible to deny access completely. It will also be possible to block new notifications when the device is locked, with the exception of important notifications concerning the proper functioning of the phone.

Android 14 is looking to make it possible to "clone" applications, in other words, to duplicate them onscreen in order to use several accounts on a given app, to improve the management of smartphones with dual SIMs, to facilitate switching to the best performing network, or even to easily turn your smartphone into a webcam, as with the latest generation iPhone.

In addition, this new version of Android could bring support for passkeys, which have emerged as a leading alternative to traditional passwords. They take the form of unique digital keys, generated and stored automatically on the smartphone. Finally, Android 14 should also allow its users to make calls via satellite connectivity, initially for emergency use only. This is another feature inspired by what Apple already offers.

The main features of Android 14 will be announced on Wednesday, May 10 at the annual Google I/O developer conference. Beta versions will be launched this spring ahead of a final version available in September and a first roll-out in the fall. Pixel smartphone owners will, as usual, be the first to receive it. Third-party manufacturers (Samsung, Xiaomi, Oppo, etc.) will then release their timetable for updating compatible models to this new version of Android.

Currently, more than three billion active smartphones worldwide are running Google's mobile operating system. – AFP Relaxnews

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