Initial Developer Preview of Android 14
Written by Nikos Vaggalis   
Tuesday, 14 February 2023

This first preview in the release cycle is asking for feedback from the Android community which in turn might initiate multiple iterations within the timeframe allocated. Let's find out what Android 14 has in store.

Android 14 is a release that cumulatively heralds enhancements to performance, privacy, security, and user customization by
adding new features, APIs, and making changes to the behavior of the system.

The preview in essence focuses on Behavior Changes and New APIs. As far as the Behavior Changes are concerned, these are split between changes that affect all apps regardless of the targetSdkVersion, and those targeting v14 or higher only.

So for all apps, changes include the following:

Core functionality:Schedule exact alarms are denied by default
Starting in Android 14, the SCHEDULE_EXACT_ALARM permission is no longer being pre-granted to most newly installed apps targeting Android 13 and higher;the permission is denied by default.

Core functionality:Context-registered broadcasts are queued while apps are cached
On Android 14, the system may place context-registered broadcasts in a queue while the app is in the cached state.

Security:Minimum installable target API level
Starting with Android 14, apps with a targetSdkVersion lower than 23 can't be installed.


For apps v14 or higher, the changes include the following:

Core functionality:Foreground service types are required
If your app targets Android 14, it must specify at least one foreground service type for each foreground service within your app.

Security:Restrictions to implicit and pending intents

Security:Runtime-registered broadcasts receivers must specify export behavior
Apps and services that target Android 14 and use context-registered receivers are required to specify a flag to indicate whether or not the receiver should be exported to all other apps on the device.

Security:Exception is thrown for receivers that receive only system broadcasts

Security:Safer dynamic code loading
Dynamic code loading (DCL) introduces outlets for malware and exploits, since dynamically downloaded executables can be unexpectedly manipulated, causing code injection. Apps targeting Android 14 require dynamically loaded files to be marked as read-only.

As far as  New APIs are concerned, the new features are :

Internationalization:Per-app language preferences
Android 14 expands on the per-app language features that were introduced in Android 13

Internationalization:Grammatical Inflection API
The Grammatical Inflection API allows you to more easily add support for users who speak languages where grammatical gender changes the sentence based on the person being addressed, providing a more personalized and natural-sounding user experience for those languages.

Internationalization:Per-app language preferences
You can now customize the language list per region, run A/B experiments, and provide updated locales.

Accessibility:Non-linear font scaling to 200%
Starting in Android 14, the system supports font scaling up to 200%, providing low-vision users with additional accessibility options that align with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Those changes aside, a big one is the initial support for Java 17, giving access to over 300 OpenJDK 17 classes, so that
devs can use the latest features like record classes, multi-line strings and pattern matching instanceof in their code.

Of course, the preview also includes compatibility framework tools to check your app against the new requirements or to help you migrate to the new version. You can also force-enable or disable the changes individually from Developer options or adb. To use the new Android 14 APIs and test the behavior changes, you need to set up the Android 14 SDK.

Finaly, the Android community is asked to explore the new APIs and behavior changes and report any critical issues or requests
to the Android developer team during February. The first changes initiated by the feedback are going to be incorporated
to the second Developer preview which will run during March.

If you are up to the task then do that using the project's issue tracker or report issues using the Android Beta Feedback app that's included in preview builds on Pixel devices.


More Information

Android 14 Developer Preview Specs

The first developer preview of Android 14

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 14 February 2023 )