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The First Android 14 Beta Doubles Down on Privacy

And here's how to install it.

Close up of the Android 14 Developer Preview logo on a Google Pixel 7 Pro with a nature background
Justin Duino / Review Geek

As Google promised, the first Android 14 Beta is finally available after two earlier developer preview builds. The beta doubles down on privacy and security while improving the user experience. Plus, now it’s stable enough for the average user to consider trying.

Beta 1 doesn’t have many changes over last month’s DP2, but we can expect more improvements in future updates. Instead, Google’s continued to refine the experience, make subtle changes, and get it stable enough for daily use.

Users will find two exciting visual changes with the Android 14 beta, as Google changed the on-screen back arrow during gesture navigation. More importantly, it looks like Google is finally ready to improve the share menu, also known as sharesheets. Developers will find design aspiration ideas, more share target options, better graphics capabilities, and a slew of security and privacy tweaks.

As shown above, the two most significant changes you’ll notice (over Android 14 DP2) are the new back button and share menus. The gesture navigation experience now has a bigger and more prominent back arrow, which should help with gesture navigation, even for new users. Plus, the back button matches Material You and wallpapers to match the theme of your device.

The redesigned and hopefully improved share menu is a welcomed change. In Android 14, app developers can add custom actions, shortcuts, and more to the “sharesheet,” giving users more options than ever. I’m hopeful behind-the-scenes changes will clean up the share menu, too.

According to the Android 14 developer blog, Beta 1 will also introduce enhancements to the per-app language preferences, better privacy for accessibility apps and services, and new tools for testing app compatibility. If you’re a developer that hasn’t tested an app on Android 14, you probably should, with the beta arriving to more users.

Google's timeline for Android 14, which aims for platform stability by June and an August launch.

Looking ahead, we can expect several more beta releases of Android 14 as the operating system continues to improve and reach platform stability requirements. Then, we’re assuming it’ll get released in mid-August or early September, similar to previous years.

In the meantime, those with a Pixel 4a or newer can head to the Android beta program website to enroll and get the update. More details and install instructions are also available on the Android 14 beta page. And finally, developers can test the Android 14 beta in an Android emulator.

Source: Android Developer Blog

Cory Gunther Cory Gunther
Cory Gunther has been writing about phones, Android, cars, and technology in general for over a decade. He's a staff writer for Review Geek covering roundups, EVs, and news. He's previously written for GottaBeMobile, SlashGear, AndroidCentral, and InputMag, and he's written over 9,000 articles. Read Full Bio »