Google releases Android 14 Beta 1, bolstering privacy and security safeguards

Google unveils Android 14 Beta 1 for general users today, with Google Pixel devices eligible for the upgrade. However, we have observed instances of errors during the upgrade process, ultimately necessitating a complete device reset. It is therefore imperative to thoroughly back up all data before upgrading.

The new version introduces incremental improvements in functionality while continuing to enhance privacy and security. Based on the updates in the Android 14 DP series, the following new features and enhancements have been incorporated.

Screen lock password protection:

To thwart prying eyes attempting to discern your password, Android 14 offers Enhanced PIN privacy in the screen lock password settings. With this feature enabled, there will be no animation when entering digits, thus reducing the risk of password exposure.

Transparent navigation bar:

Google has added a mandatory Transparent Navigation Bar option within developer settings. This feature renders the navigation bar transparent at a system level, without requiring any third-party app support. However, some apps may not currently display a transparent navigation bar, necessitating future compatibility updates.

Restoration of certain features:

Google previously merged ringtone volume and notification volume, but has restored these in DP2 and is expected to do so in Beta 1 as well. This server-side change is not yet apparent in Beta 1.

Low-power Bluetooth settings for developers:

The developer options include an Enable Bluetooth LE Audio Allow List switch, allowing developers to manually control which low-power Bluetooth devices are usable and which are not, primarily for testing purposes.

Minor changes in permissions:

Prior versions’ photo permissions selection has been altered to encompass both photos and videos, determining whether an app is allowed access. Options include granting full access, denying access altogether, or manually selecting a subset.