Changes, and everything you need to know

The most exciting thing about a big Android update is being able to follow a pattern to get a taste of all the new features. Google’s Android 12 update marked the biggest visual redesign of the operating system since Android 5 Lollipop thanks to Material You. The new design philosophy, along with an exhaustive list of new features, made Android 12 look and feel radically different from previous iterations. Android 13 then came along and doubled down on many of the same aesthetic choices. Now we’re moving on to Android 14, and it’s likely that there will be even more under-the-hood changes.

Android 14’s first beta hasn’t arrived yet, but we already have some hints about what to expect in the future. Each new release will add new features and smaller improvements to different elements of the Android system. In the coming months, the first developer previews are expected to arrive for all the supported Pixel devices and some other non-Pixel phones. If you want all there is to know about Android 14 in one place, then you’ve come to the right page.

What’s Android 14 called?

Google ditched its dessert naming scheme for Android two years ago with Android 10’s brand redesign. The use of dessert names, however, has continued for the company’s internal development teams. Android 11, for instance, was called Red Velvet, while Android 12 is known as Snow Cone. Similarly, Android 13 is called Tiramisu. Google is no longer keeping Android 14’s a secret since it was found in one of the AOSP Gerrit commits back in July last year.

For those of you who are curious, these have been the dessert names (internal or public) of all the Android versions so far:

  • Android 1.5: Cupcake
  • Android 1.6: Donut
  • Android 2.0: Eclair
  • Android 2.2: Froyo
  • Android 2.3: Gingerbread
  • Android 3.0: Honeycomb
  • Android 4.0: Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Android 4.1: Jelly Bean
  • Android 4.4: KitKat
  • Android 5.0: Lollipop
  • Android 6.0: Marshmallow
  • Android 7.0: Nougat
  • Android 8.0: Oreo
  • Android 9: Pie
  • Android 10: Quince Tart
  • Android 11: Red Velvet Cake
  • Android 12: Snow Cone
  • Android 13: Tiramisu
  • Android 14: Upside Down Cake

There is no known release date for Android 14 yet, but we suspect that it will follow the same release cadence as in previous years. Android 13 dropped in its developer preview form in February 2022, followed by another developer preview, then four more beta releases until the final release of Android 13. We can expect then that the first developer preview for Android 14 will be around the same time.

For developers, you can expect to see Android 14 hit “platform stability” sometime around the third beta, if Google follows the same release timeline as last year. Platform stability refers to the finalization of APIs, and last year, coincided with the ability for developers to submit apps targeting the new API level on the Google Play store.

Will my device get Android 14?

The Pixel 7 Pro camera module

If you have a recent Google Pixel smartphone, like the new Pixel 7 series, rest assured that you will be one of the first to get a taste of Android 14 when it drops. It will still only be in developer preview form (and thus, probably shouldn’t be installed on your daily driver), but you’ll still be able to try it out. We also expect other device manufacturers to join in the fun, though it tends to be the case that devices from places like OnePlus and Xiaomi aren’t updated as regularly. In other words, beware.

However, if you really want to try Android 14 when it comes out on your smartphone and there’s no official build, you can try out a Generic System Image (GSI). We’ll be sure to update this section with more information when the first developer preview drops.

What’s new in Android 14 so far?

While Android 14 isn’t here yet, we already know of two changes that are coming to the platform.

Say goodbye to Android Beam

After being deprecated in Android 10, Google will finally be removing Android Beam from AOSP, according to a commit on the Android Gerrit. Android Beam could be used to connect two devices to start a data transfer easily. It’s already been replaced by Nearby Share, which essentially does the same thing, so it’s not a big deal.

However, the biggest issue is that Nearby Share relies on Google Mobile Services (GMS), meaning that Google has basically taken a feature away from AOSP and hidden it behind a proprietary service that isn’t a part of AOSP. This means manufacturers who aren’t (or can’t be, such as Huawei) a part of Google’s own licensing agreements for GMS will miss out on a feature.

Say hello over satellite

Android 14 will, according to Google’s Senior Vice President for Android Hiroshi Lockheimer, support satellite communication. He said that Google is “designing for satellites” and that the company is excited to support partners “in enabling all of this in the next version of Android.” Given pressure from the likes of Apple, which also recently introduced satellite support for the iPhone 14 series, it seems to be the direction the industry is moving in.

Android 14: Not a lot so far

Android 14 is quite a ways away from now, but we’re likely to hear more as we edge closer to the first developer preview. We’ll either hear of those changes through the Android Gerrit or statements from Google and spokespeople. We’ll be sure to update this article as more information comes to light, and we’re looking forward to what the next version of the world’s largest operating system will bring to the next table.

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