Android 14 is set to launch later this year, but if you’ve got a Google Pixel smartphone you can already take the first public beta for a spin.
After releasing a first developer preview in February, and a second in March, Google has released Android 14 Beta 1. And it brings some big user-facing changes, including an updated user interface that could make gesture-based navigation more intuitive.
For example, the back arrow is much more prominent when you swipe from the edge of the screen to perform a back action. The arrow will also now be decorated in a color that matches your device’s theme. And you’ll see a preview of the app or screen you’re navigating to as you begin to swipe.
Android 14 Developer Preview also allows apps to add custom actions to the system share sheet, which basically means that when you hit the share menu you may see new options for certain apps.
As usual, the Android Developers Blog provides some more details on these and other developer-centric changes included in this update. But as is also usual, the company doesn’t provide a deep dive into user-facing changes. For that, I’d recommend checking out 9to5Google’s “Here’s everything new in Android 14 Beta 1” article and Mishaal Rahman’s Twitter thread on the same topic.
A few of the things they’ve found so far? An enhanced PIN privacy option that disables animations while you’re entering a PIN on the lock screen and there’s a dedicated Nearby option in the share sheet, for using Google’s Nearby Share to send items to other devices in your vicinity.
Android 14 Beta 1 is available now for the Google Pixel 4a 5G and later. There’s also an Android Emulator image if you want to kick the tires but don’t have a supported phone.