Android 14 now available for public beta testers: What to expect


Android 14 is finally available for anyone who wants to test Google’s next mobile software early. The first public beta of Android 14 brings improved privacy, system navigation, performance and more. Anyone with an eligible phone like the Pixel can head over to the Android 14 developer website and start the process. Remember that this is an early beta for the public, so this version of the Android 14 OS is likely to be full of bugs.

Google already previewed what Android 14 would be like back in February when it launched the first developer preview. Developer Preview 2 was introduced in March, but with the beta release, the general public gets an opportunity to test the upcoming Android version.

One of the important aspects of Android 14 is system navigation. Gesture navigation, notably, gets a new and prominent back arrow when you slide your finger in from the edge of the screen to go back to a previous app. Arrow now compliments your device’s wallpaper and its theme for a better look. But apart from being visually pleasing, the new back arrow will help users better understand Android 14’s predictive back gesture experience.

Google has also improved Sharesheet in Android 14 by allowing apps to add custom actions. For example, an app may allow you to choose specific actions in Sharesheet instead of doing them separately inside the respective app. The system, Google said, now uses more App Signals to determine the ranking of Direct Share targets, meaning the ranking of entities you see in Sharesheet will now depend on App Signals rather than their alphabetical order. However, information on these signals is scarce at this point.

Android 14 also brings improved graphics such as morphing effects, as well as advanced language settings that will automatically set the language of the app as per your preference. Privacy is also improved in the upcoming Android version, allowing apps to limit the visibility of private data to accessibility services for users with disabilities.

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