The next version of Android is getting better.
Available today and right on time, the second Android 14 Developer Preview (DP2) doubles down on privacy and security while improving performance and battery life. The changes are still minor, as Google is likely holding back the exciting bits to announce at Google I/O on May 10th.
Like the first release in February, Android 14 DP2 is putting a lot of effort into improving the overall Android experience for users up front and behind the scenes. Those changes include allowing apps to access specific photos instead of an entire phone gallery, an improved credential manager to support passkeys, and improving app performance, updates, and battery usage.
Before we go over too many details, it’s important to mention that this is a developer preview, and Google doesn’t intend these releases for the general public. You can still try it but expect bugs and performance issues. We expect another preview soon, followed by the Android 14 beta for general users in April. Expect the official release sometime in August.
Android 14 DP1 includes plenty of under-the-hood improvements for security, battery life, and performance. You’ll also find new regional options in settings for temperature, days of the week, and numbering systems to make life easier for users.
Only sharing specific photos with an app is an excellent feature and something we’re surprised took this long to arrive. Google is also adding higher restrictions on when apps running in the background can start activities, improving performance and battery life.
Interestingly enough, the Android 14 Developer Preview 2 (DP2) has some neat changes to the app store. For example, a new InstallConstraints API will prevent apps from updating while in use to avoid crashes. Or, if it’s a minor app update, the new splitAPK setDontKillApp method can update apps while they’re in use. Now your TikTok or Instagram scrolling session won’t get interrupted.
Which Phones Can Get Android 14 Developer Preview 2?
If you’re a developer (or enthusiast) looking to try the latest version of Android, it’s available on a wide array of phones. As usual, you can flash a system image and enjoy Android 14 DP2 on the Pixel 7 Pro, Pixel 7, Pixel 6a, Pixel 6 Pro, Pixel 6, Pixel 5a 5G, Pixel 5, or Pixel 4a.
Those running the Android 13 QPR beta may want to jump right to this second Android 14 developer preview and avoid doing a data wipe.
As expected, there aren’t any big fancy features in this latest update, as it’s all about refinement and bug fixes. Again, we expect Google to announce more headline-worthy features at Google I/O.
The rest of this Preview is very developer-focused. Google added background optimizations and made changes to allow fewer non-dismissable notifications. Plus, better app compatibility throughout the entire Android ecosystem.
Google also mentioned large-screen device support, like foldables, which was expected. Developers should look into the new Cross-Device SDK preview when building or updating apps. You can also start compatibility testing before the Android 14 release later this year.
In closing, we still recommend most users wait until at least the first or second official Android 14 beta rather than trying developer preview builds. Stay tuned for those sometime in April.