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Android 14 Developer Preview 2 is now available to download


Google has released the second Developer Preview (DP2) of Android 14 that brings additional enhancements to privacy, security, performance, and more building on top of the first developer preview of Android 14 from last month. With DP2, Google is continuing to refine the large screen device experience for tablets, foldables, and more while optimizing the way apps work together, improve system health and battery life, and polish the end-user experience.

Selected Photo Access on Android 14 Developer Preview 2There are several new features and improvements announced with DP2, including selected photo access, credential manager, safer implicit intents, and improvements to background work.

Just like on iOS 14, Android 14 users can now grant apps access to only selected photos and videos, instead of the full library of all on-device media. When an app requests for media access, the new popup dialog will give users three permission choices: Allow access to all photos, Select photos, and Don’t allow.

Android 14 will also add Credential Manager as a platform API that will allow developers to retrieve and store credentials with user-configured credentials providers. The API will not only support passwords but also allow apps to sign in using passkeys, which is the industry standard for passwordless sign-in.

In terms of optimizations, the new preview includes improvements to Android's memory management system to improve resource usage when the applications are running in the background. Background work will be disallowed outside of conventional Android app lifecycle APIs such as foreground services, JobScheduler, or WorkManager. Google is pushing hard on making Android 14 a perfect operating system for foldables, building on the work done in Android 12L and 13. There's a new large screen gallery that contains design inspiration for social and communications, media, productivity, shopping, and reading app experiences.

Android 14 also introduces various new PackageInstaller APIs that will allow app stores to improve their user experience, including the requestUserPreapproval() method that allows the download of APKs to be deferred until after the installation has been approved, the setRequestUpdateOwnership() method that allows an installer to indicate that it is responsible for future updates to an app it is installing, and the setDontKillApp() method that can seamlessly install optional features of an app.

Android 14 brings new app compatibility features that are intended to make Android updates a less tedious process for developers. Devs now have more time to make necessary app changes as most app-facing changes are now on an opt-in basis. Google is expecting Android 14 to reach platform stability in June 2023 that will give developers several weeks before the official release for performing final testing.

Developers can test the developer Preview 2 with their apps on the Android Studio SDK Manager to make them ready for the next Android update, Developers can also flash a system image on supported Pixel devices starting today, that include the Pixel 7 Pro, Pixel 7, Pixel 6a, Pixel 6 Pro, Pixel 6, Pixel 5a 5G, Pixel 5, or Pixel 4a (5G).

You can learn more about Android 14 Developer Preview 2 on the official blog.

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