Google recently announced the release of Android 14 Beta 3, marking an important milestone in the Android development cycle. This release focuses on key areas such as privacy, security, performance, developer productivity, and user customization. In addition, it brings significant improvements to the large-screen device experience on tablets, foldable, and more.


Android 14 Beta 3 introduces platform stability, finalizing the developer APIs and app-facing behaviors. Let's delve into some of the exciting features and updates that Android 14 Beta 3 has to offer.


Get Ready for Android 14: Platform Stability and Improved User Experience
What's New in Android 14 Beta 3: Enhanced Features and Developer Productivity


Platform Stability and App Compatibility

With the introduction of Platform Stability in Beta 3, developers can confidently work on developing and releasing compatibility updates for their applications. This is the time to conduct final compatibility testing to ensure a smooth app experience before the final release of Android 14 later this year.


Developers who provide SDKs, libraries, tools, or game engines are encouraged to test their offerings and release compatible updates promptly to prevent downstream app and game developers from facing compatibility issues.



Enhanced Accessibility Features

Android 14 Beta 3 brings several accessibility enhancements. One notable feature is the support for non-linear font scaling. The system now supports font scaling up to 200% by default, providing low-vision users with more accessibility options that align with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).


Developers are urged to perform UI testing with the maximum font size enabled (200%) to ensure their apps can accommodate larger font sizes without compromising usability. It is recommended to use appropriate APIs, such as TypedValue's applyDimension() and deriveDimension(), to convert between scalable pixels (sp) and pixels (px) to fully leverage this feature.



Improved Privacy Upgrades

Privacy upgrades in Android 14 Beta 3 include the ability for users to grant partial access to their photos and videos. When an app requests visual media permissions (such as READ_MEDIA_IMAGES or READ_MEDIA_VIDEO), users can now grant partial access, which is treated as one-time permission. When the app is moved to the background or actively killed by the user, the system eventually denies these permissions.


To ensure a seamless user experience, developers are encouraged to implement the photo picker, which allows users to grant access to selected images and videos without requiring any permissions. Android 14 introduces the READ_MEDIA_VISUAL_USER_SELECTED permission to assist apps in supporting these changes effectively.



Increased Data Safety Information Visibility

To enhance user privacy, Android 14 emphasizes the visibility of data safety information. The system now shows the declared data-sharing practices in more places, such as the runtime permission dialog. This clickable section highlights the app's data-sharing practices, providing users with insights into why the app may share data with third parties.


It also directs users to the appropriate settings where they can control the app's data access. Developers are encouraged to review their app's location data-sharing policies and make any necessary updates to their app's Google Play Data safety section.



Additional Changes and Considerations

Android 14 Beta 3 introduces various other changes and considerations that may impact app compatibility. These include foreground service requirements, OpenJDK 17 updates, security changes, and more. For example, apps targeting Android 14 must specify at least one foreground service type for each foreground service within the app.


Developers should review the complete list of behavior changes to ensure their apps adhere to the new requirements and guidelines.



Getting Started with Android 14 Beta 3

To explore the features and test your apps on Android 14 Beta 3, Google provides several options. You can use devices from partner manufacturers for testing on tablets and foldable. Alternatively, the 64-bit Android Emulator system images for Pixel Tablet or Pixel Fold configurations, available in the latest preview of the Android Studio SDK Manager, offer an easy way to get started.


Additionally, developers can enroll their supported Pixel devices, including the new Pixel 7a, to receive over-the-air updates for Android 14 Beta and future feature drops.



End Notes

Android 14 Beta 3 represents a significant step forward in the Android development cycle, focusing on privacy, security, performance, developer productivity, and user customization. With the introduction of platform stability, developers can confidently test and integrate the finalized APIs and behaviors into their applications.


The accessibility enhancements, privacy upgrades, and increased data safety information visibility demonstrate Google's commitment to user-centric experiences. By staying up to date with the changes and conducting thorough compatibility testing, developers can ensure their apps are ready for the final release of Android 14.


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