Google has kicked off 2023’s preview cycle by rolling out Android 14’s first developer preview ahead of its Q3 2023 launch. Starting February 9, developers using 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, can download either a system image or using OTA updates to get the new OS on their devices.
The update, labelled DP1 (UPP1.230113.009), is only meant for developers and shouldn’t be installed on consumer devices. That said, the public beta should arrive later in April, while the Android 13 QPR2 update remains in beta. It also comes with the Android February 2023 security patch. Overall, we might see as many as five additional betas before the final release.
DP1 focuses on five major factors, the biggest of which is ensuring support across devices a form factors. With the number of tablets and foldables growing in the world, Google has released layouts and large screen guidelines to make it easier for app developers to optimise their apps for different form factors and screen sizes. The cross-device SDK is also here, including cross-device audio switching.
In terms of privacy and security, Android 14 will no longer be running apps with a targetSdkVersion lower than 23. This means that any apps targeting Android 6 or lower can’t be installed on the system. According to Google, this specific version was chosen because threat actors were targeting version 22 in malicious apps to bypass the runtime permission model.
However, any older apps already installed on the device prior to the Android 14 update will continue to function normally. 9To5Google reports that developers are also being given a testing workaround.
Additionally, any apps that target Android 13 or higher (SDK version 33) which aren’t calendars or clocks by nature will need the special SCHEDULE_EXACT_ALARM permission before they can set exact alarms. This is also being done to save device resources as Google claims that invoicing exact alarms can significantly affect device resources, including battery life.
There are changes to the Foreground Services and JobScheduler APIs as well. These changes allow the APIs to declare foreground service types (a requirement in Android 14) as well as add user-initiated data transfers.
Last but not least, text can now be scaled up to 200%, an upgrade from 130% on the Pixel in addition to getting a non-linear expansion scale, meaning that text which is already bigger won’t grow the same size as the smaller text. Android 14 also supports OpenJDK 17. This means that Java 17 language features are available as well.