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Android 14: What to expect from this year’s big update

Originally posted on trustedreviews.

Android 14 is deep in development at Google HQ, and we’ve just had our first glimpse at what to expect from this year’s big Android update.

While it’s not a full-blown reveal, the first Android 14 developer preview gives us a good idea about what to expect from this year’s Android update ahead of its expected reveal at Google I/O in the next few months.

With that in mind, here’s all there is to know about Android 14 right now ahead of its official announcement

When will Android 14 be revealed?

Much like Apple’s iOS, Google releases a new version of Android on a yearly basis – though the announcement and release schedule isn’t quite as streamlined as the Android competitor, with different companies taking a different approach to bringing Android 14 to existing devices.

It starts with a reveal of Android 14, which will happen sometime in May – that has been Google’s preferred slot for the past few years, getting in there just before Apple’s yearly June announcement at WWDC – with a public beta to follow soon after.

Usually, Google’s own Pixel range will get the official Android 14 upgrade first, usually sometime in the Summer, though the same can’t be said for most Android manufacturers. Some lucky smartphones will get it fairly quickly, while others will have to wait quite some time.

For reference, some Android 13-supported devices are yet to get the Android 13 update.

Which devices will support Android 14?

That’s the million-dollar question right there. As noted, the upgrade process is far from straightforward when it comes to Android smartphones – even for those who should get the Android 14 upgrade as part of a multi-year OS upgrade promise.

It’s near-on impossible to list all devices that’ll support the upgrade, especially as it hasn’t been announced by Google just yet, so we’d recommend checking your manufacturer’s upgrade promise for your smartphone. Samsung, Google and Oppo are leading the pack with multi-year OS upgrades, but it’s not commonplace among all manufacturers just yet.

What to expect from Android 14

While Google has yet to officially reveal Android 14, it has released the first developer-only preview. Now, don’t get too excited as it doesn’t feature any consumer-focused features – it’s mainly for developers getting ready for the update later this year – but it does give us a good idea of what Google is prioritising with the update.

Improved support for tablets and foldables

As confirmed by Google with the release of the first Android 14 developer preview, this year’s software update should vastly improve support for big-screen foldables and tablets, with the former desperately needing some TLC to get apps to support the sometimes odd form factors. As it stands, most apps on Google Play simply aren’t optimised for the boxy aspect ratio of inner foldable displays, and that includes some hugely popular apps like Instagram.

Google says that it’s continuing work that started with Android 12L and Android 13 to vastly improve the big-screen experience on Android, with a new set of tools for developers that should make it easier to optimise their apps for different layouts.

“With every release, our goal is to make it easier for you to optimize your app across all Android surfaces,” Android engineering chief Dave Burke says in an Android Developers Blog about Android 14. Let’s hope that’s true.

Improved battery efficiency

Recent iterations of MediaTek and Qualcomm chipsets have made huge gains in battery efficiency, but that hasn’t stopped Google from wanting to further optimise the Android operating system to be as efficient as it can possibly be.

Google is trying to do this by streamlining the background work of apps, allowing, for example, developers to ensure background tasks are performed only when users are connected to Wi-Fi and not the more power-hungry cellular connectivity.

Other features are on the way

As noted, the above are only the first few developer-focused features to be announced by Google, and we’re confident that the company has a few tricks up its sleeve to allow it to continue to compete with Apple’s iOS.

We’ll hear more about it at Google I/O later this year, but we’ll also update this section as rumours about Android 14 begin to appear online.

Source: trustedreviews

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