Google launches Android 14 Developer Preview 2

Android 14 Developer Preview 2 is rolling out now ahead of next month’s first beta. It continues work on a series of tent poles with more options that take shape in this release.

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

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

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

Meanwhile, Credential Manager is becoming a platform API in Android 14. It supports username/password, federated login (like Sign in with Google), and access keys:

It aims to make login easier for users with APIs that retrieve and store credentials with user-configured credentials.

There is 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 used to trigger unexpected code paths. Apps must either make the pending intent immutable or make intent explicitly. Learn more here.”
  • Start of background activity: “To further reduce instances of unexpected interruptions, Android 14 gives foreground apps more control over the ability of apps they interact with to launch activities. Specifically, apps targeting Android 14 must grant privileges to launch background activities, when a PendingIntent is sent or when a service is bound.”

As a part of Streamlining background workDP2 “includes optimizations to Android’s memory management system to improve resource usage while applications are in the background.”

Several seconds after an app goes into cache mode, background work is not allowed 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 users can dismiss multiple notifications (including those with FLAG_ONGOING_EVENT) “on unlocked handhelds.”

Notifications remain non-dismissable when the device is locked, and notification listeners will not be able to dismiss these notifications. Notifications that are important for the functionality of the device, e.g. system and device policy notifications, remain completely non-repudiable.

Below Improved App Store experiencesthere are new PackageInstaller APIs that benefit the end-user workflow:

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

To improve Personalization, centralized “Regional Preferences” in System Preferences allow you to customize temperature units, the first day of the week, and even number systems. Apps will then be able to use this information. E.g:

A European living in the US might prefer temperature units to be in Celsius instead of Fahrenheit, and for apps to treat Monday as the start of the week instead of the US standard Sunday.

Android 14 Developer Preview 2 system images are available for 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 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 periods where the Android 13 Beta will have a newer build date, preventing you from going straight to the Android 14 Developer Preview without performing 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 to installing Android 14.

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