Google announced the release of Android 14, alongside the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro phones, on Wednesday during the Made by Google event. The Android 14 software update is rolling out to supported devices.
The latest major release of the Android mobile operating system brings new features to your Android smartphone, including AI-generated wallpapers, passkeys for third-party apps, monthly reminders for data-sharing, and camera flash notifications.
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Android 14 was first released as a developer beta back in February, shortly after Google’s annual Google I/O event, with a beta version dropping a couple of months later. The general public release of Android 14 was originally slated for early September but was ultimately pushed back until today.
During today’s Made by Google event, in addition to the new Pixels, the company also unveiled the Pixel Watch 2 and the latest Pixel Buds Pro — all of which you can preorder.
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If you’re interested in testing Android 14, here’s everything you need to know, including the biggest new features, whether your phone supports Android 14, and if so, how to download Android 14 onto your device.
What new features are coming with Android 14?
Android 14 doesn’t revolutionize the Android experience so much as push the mobile operating system forward, but it does now offer AI-generated wallpapers, passkeys for third-party apps, dynamic monochromatic themes and more.
Mostly there are enhancements: camera, accessibility, home screen, lock screen, privacy and security, and battery optimization all are improved with Android 14.
The camera gets several improvements with Android 14, including support for high-quality Ultra HDR images, better low-light photography on compatible phones and in-sensor zooming that allows you to zoom in and out without loss of image quality in some third-party apps. A new document scanner service will allow apps to digitize physical documents, like your receipts, with your camera.
For accessibility, Android 14 offers larger fonts, scaled up to 200%, for those who are visually impaired. There are also camera flash notifications — which use your camera’s flash to notify you — meant for people who are hard of hearing. You can pinch-to-zoom to set magnification in your apps. And there are more customization settings for hearing aids.
The lock screen features a new customization picker, with custom clocks and lock screen shortcuts.
And for privacy and security, you have notifications warning you of any changed data-sharing practices for third-party apps, stricter app permissions, enhanced PIN privacy, ability to disable 2G connectivity, encryption for all cellular connections and more.
Which Android phones support Android 14?
Every Android phone out there supports the Android OS — but not in the same way.
Google usually develops a new Android update, known simply as Android OS, and then releases it to its own devices, like the Pixel Pro, Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet. Other smartphone manufacturers then transform the stock Android OS into their own update, or skin — Samsung has One UI and OnePlus has OxygenOS, for example.
As for pure Android 14, only a limited number of Google devices support the latest Android OS:
Android 14-based updates will be pushed out to devices from Samsung, Nothing, OnePlus, Sony and other manufacturers later this year.
How to download Android 14 on your phone
On your supported Android, go into the Settings application, scroll down to the bottom and tap System > System update. If Android 14 is available on your device, you’ll see your update status appear. If not, tap the Check for update button at the bottom. Next, hit Download and install and wait for your phone to download the latest software and restart. Once your phone boots back up, you should see Android 14 running.
Note: If you see a “not enough space available” notification, you’ll need to free up storage before you can update to Android 14.
Brendan Martin is a tech enthusiast with a deep understanding of the latest technological innovations. He explores the intersection of science and technology, providing readers with insights into the digital revolution. When not immersed in the world of gadgets and code, Brendan enjoys experimenting with DIY tech projects.