Android 14’s latest dev preview tests new security and privacy features

Google has just released the second developer preview for Android 14, as app developers test their programs against changes coming in this year’s big mobile OS update. Most of the features in this latest release were already mentioned in the first Android 14 dev preview back in February, such as operational improvements to Android devices, changes to app security and privacy permissions, and a new API that supports passwordless sign-in using passkeys. 

The Android 14 preview also includes a test of Credential Manager, a platform API that supports multiple sign-in methods, such as passkeys and federated sign-in solutions (such as the option to sign in with Google) alongside the traditional username / password combinations. This API isn’t exactly new — support was included in the first Android 14 preview. However, Google has since made UI improvements based on its initial feedback. Some services like password manager app Dashlane have already teased passkey integration, pending the release of Android 14 later this year.

Apps using Google’s photo picker will allow a user to control how much access they give to their device’s media library.
Image: Google

Android 14 will also increase privacy by giving users more control over how their information is shared. Google has updated the photo picker first introduced in Android 13 to allow Android 14 users to specify which images and videos on the device apps are permitted to access, rather than allowing apps to access their entire media library.

The second Android 14 preview includes improvements to system health and battery life. Optimizations to Android’s memory management system will limit apps from using unnecessary resources while running in the background. For further information on what’s included in Android 14’s latest developer preview, a full rundown of features and updates can be found on the Android developer website.

This early preview is only available to Android 14 developer preview users, via either manual download for new preview users or an automatic over-the-air update for those already enrolled in the preview. There’s not much here for general Android users anyway yet, and these developer previews can be unstable, which would cause issues for anyone not familiar with running a developer build. The Android 14 beta is expected to arrive in April, with a final release anticipated sometime in August 2023.

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