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Android 14 Beta 5: Latest News, Features, Leaks, and What’s New

Google’s August surprise: Android 14 Beta 5 arrives, defying initial plans for four major betas before stability. Extensive bug fixes in this release suggest unexpected issues, potentially delaying the stable launch. As we await the major update on top-tier phones, discover upcoming features and expectations. Continue reading to learn more.

Android 14: Timeline, Release Date, and Devices

Android 14’s journey aligns with past versions. Check the timeline below, revealed by Google. It involves two developer previews: one in February and the other in March. On April 12, Beta 1 landed, followed by Beta 1.1 two weeks later. Google’s tradition is to save significant user-facing updates for its May 10 developer conference, Google I/O. This held, bringing exciting Android 14 announcements. Throughout, bug fixes emerged: Beta 2.1 on May 25 and Beta 4.1 on July 26, 2023.

In June, Android 14 reached platform stability with the third beta. This lets developers update apps with new features and APIs without worrying about further changes. July saw Beta 4, and a surprise Beta 5 arrived on August 10, 2023.

Source: Google Regarding compatibility, these Google Pixel devices are beta-compatible:

  • Pixel Tablet
  • Pixel Fold
  • Pixel 7a
  • Pixel 7 & 7 Pro
  • Pixel 6a
  • Pixel 6 & 6 Pro
  • Pixel 5a 5G
  • Pixel 5
  • Pixel 4a 5G

Newer releases like the Pixel 7a, Pixel Tablet, and Pixel Fold joined the beta in Android 14 Beta 3, and Beta 4. However, the non-5G Pixel 4a isn’t receiving betas. Launched with Android 10, it’s promised up to Android 13, not 14.

Initially, only Google Pixel phones had the developer preview and beta. Post-Google I/O, more phones, as in past Android releases, like:

  • iQOO 11
  • Lenovo Tab Extreme
  • Nothing Phone 1
  • OnePlus 11
  • Oppo Find N2 Flip
  • Realme GT2 Pro
  • Tecno Camon 20 Series
  • Vivo X90 Pro
  • Xiaomi 13 Pro
  • Xiaomi 13
  • Xiaomi 12

Google released generic system images (GSIs) too, installable on Project Treble-supported phones. Be well-versed in installing Android betas before attempting this.

After beta tests, Android 14 should hit recent and flagship Android phones. Timelines vary per manufacturer. Quick updates are likely for Samsung, slower for Asus, Motorola, etc.

Android 14 Beta 5: Latest Features Unveiled

In an unexpected move, Google dropped Beta 5 on August 10, just a month after Beta 4. Packed with final-minute bug fixes before the stable release, this version holds fewer visible user changes. However, let’s explore the two significant discoveries.

Goodbye to Android 14’s Clock Face

Android 13 Beta 3 Clock Face || Android 13 Beta 3 Clock Face-1

Android 13 Beta 3 Clock Face
Android 13 Beta 3 Clock Face-1

As Samsung and Apple embraced diverse lock screen themes, Google joined in for its phones. Android 14 added fun clock faces to Pixels’ lock screens. However, in Beta 5, one style, a handwritten clock, vanished, leaving seven styles. Google hasn’t clarified this change.

Predictive Back Gestures Delayed for Android 14 Tablets

Google’s ongoing work on predictive back gestures, initiated in Android 13, aims for a stable launch with Android 14. However, these gestures aren’t tablet-ready. A Pixel Tablet user highlighted issues with Beta 5’s predictive back gestures—activated activities vanishing.

What’s New in Android 14 Beta 4

Amid Amazon’s Prime Day, Google released Android 13 Beta 4 on July 11. This is likely the final beta before Android 14’s stable launch, expected by August or September at the latest. Beta 4.1 followed swiftly on July 26, resolving numerous bugs. Yet, problems persist, like the missing share menu and unlogged calls in the Phone app—Google must address these before the stable release.

Android 14 Beta 4 and 4.1 introduce significant adjustments for prime time readiness, and here’s what’s changed.

Explore Android 14’s Fun Easter Egg

Just like every Android version, Android 14 has a hidden treat in system settings. Reflecting its Apollo 14-themed logo, this Easter egg launches a rocket, soaring through space. It lets you explore stars and planets—an entertaining mini-game worth trying once you have Android 14.

To access it, as with previous versions, open system settings, head to About phone → Android version, and rapidly tap the Android version entry. Afterward, long-press the Android 14 logo to launch the rocket, enjoying haptic feedback.

New Silent Mode Icon in Android 14 Beta 4

New Silent Mode Icon in Android 14 Beta 4
android-14-beta-3-status-bar

In each Android release, Google likes refreshing the top status bar and notification shade. Android 14 continues this tradition. Instead of a crossed-out bell, silent mode reveals a crossed-out speaker icon in the status bar. This echoes a prior change in Android 14’s volume rocker interface.

New Silent Mode Icon in Android 14 Beta 4
android-14-beta-4-status-bar

Speedier PIN Entry in Android 14 Beta 4

Unlocking Android phones often means entering a PIN and hitting ‘enter.’ Pixel phones now gain quicker access. If your PIN has six or more digits, you can activate Auto-confirm unlock in system settings under Security & privacy → Device unlock → screen lock cog. This is on by default for new six-digit PINs but can be unchecked to keep the digit count hidden from prying eyes.

Speedier PIN Entry in Android 14 Beta 4
android-14-beta-4-auto-entry-pin

With Auto-confirm enabled, your PIN entry screen shows outlines for digit count—no ‘enter’ button on the keyboard. Outlines fill as you type. Mistype the last digit and the field clears instantly, prompting full PIN reentry.

Android 14 Beta 4: A Return to Familiar-Themed Icons

Android 14 Beta 4: A Return to Familiar-Themed Icons
android-14-beta-3-themed-icons-light
Android 14 Beta 4: A Return to Familiar-Themed Icons
android-14-beta-3-themed-icons-dark
Android 14 Beta 4: A Return to Familiar-Themed Icons
android-14-beta-4-themed-icons-dark

Android 13 Beta 3 introduced themed icon adjustments, emphasizing background color from your theme. However, this reduced contrast, especially in dark mode, which didn’t sit well with many users. In Beta 4, Google revisited the design, aligning icons more with Android 13’s style.

New Default Profile Images in Android 14

For shared devices, like the Pixel Tablet, switching profiles is common. Android 14 offers personalized image options or a set of fresh default images, as discovered by Mishaal Rahman.

Manufacturing Date Display in Android 14

A subtle yet useful change is seen in the settings app. Now, under Settings → About phone → Model, you can find your phone’s manufacturing year, also reflected in the serial number, as highlighted by Mishaal Rahman.

Android 14 Beta 4: Revamped Home Screen Customization for Older Pixels

Customizing the home screen on older Pixel phones lacked certain features, such as unique lock screen shortcuts and clocks. Strangely, this was limited to devices preceding Pixel 6. However, Android 14 Beta 4 rectifies this issue. Numerous users have confirmed via Mishaal Rahman’s Twitter thread that they now possess these customization options.

What’s Fresh in Android 14 Beta 3

Following a minor bug-fix update, Android 14 Beta 2.1, in late May, Google rolled out Android 14 Beta 3 right on schedule, June 7, 2023. This release integrates some I/O 2023 developer conference announcements while unveiling additional interface changes and unmentioned features.

Personalize Your Lock Screen in Android 14

In response to Apple’s iOS 16 customizable lock screens, Android 14 steps up. Beta 3 allows users to replace the default lock screen clock with various alternatives. Additionally, a more intricate interface repositions weather details, and the date. Curiously, Mishaal Rahman noted these customizations aren’t available on Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5, hopefully a temporary issue.

android-14-lock-screen-customization-7
android-14-lock-screen-customization-7
android-14-lock-screen-customization-8
android-14-lock-screen-customization-8
android-14-lock-screen-customization-9
android-14-lock-screen-customization-9

Quick Actions Get a Revamp in Android 14

Quick action buttons at the bottom of the screen are now customizable. If home automation or Google Wallet isn’t your concern, Android 14 lets you choose shortcuts for QR code scanning, flashlight, Do Not Disturb, Mute, photo or video camera, or opt for a clean look with none. Triggering actions involves a long press, akin to iOS. This customization is accessible by long-pressing the home screen, mirroring Apple’s approach.

Gesture Navigation Tutorials in Android 14

Gesture navigation is still novel for many users, especially as it becomes more intricate on upcoming Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet devices. This likely motivated Google’s gesture navigation tutorial update, now accessible via system settings.

Images: [Animation showing Android 14’s new gesture navigation home tutorial], [Animation showing Android 14’s new gesture navigation back tutorial], [Animation showing Android 14’s new gesture navigation switching apps tutorial]

Animation showing Android 14's new gesture navigation home tutorial
Animation showing Android 14’s new gesture navigation home tutorial
Animation showing Android 14's new gesture navigation back tutorial
Animation showing Android 14’s new gesture navigation back tutorial
Animation showing Android 14's new gesture navigation switching apps tutorial
Animation showing Android 14’s new gesture navigation switching apps tutorial

Though not revolutionary, the new tutorials are visually appealing and available in system settings for quick reference.

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