All We Know To Know About Google’s Android 14 ‘Upside Down Cake’

Credit: Aline Dassel from Pixabay

The ability to follow a pattern in order to get a feel for all of the new features that have been included is the aspect of a major Android upgrade that excites me the most. As a result of Google’s implementation of Material You in the Android 12 upgrade, the operating system saw the most significant aesthetic overhaul since Android 5 Lollipop. The new design philosophy, together with a comprehensive list of new features, gave Android 12 a completely different appearance and felt compared to earlier versions of the operating system. Then Android 13 arrived, and it continued with many of the same aesthetic decisions that its predecessor had made. Now we are going on to Android 14, and it is possible that there will be even more changes occurring behind the scenes.

Although the first beta version of Android 14 has not yet been released, we already have some clues as to what we might anticipate for the future. With each new version, new features and several incremental enhancements will be made to various components of the Android operating system. It is anticipated that the initial developer previews will be available in the following months for all of the supported Pixel devices, as well as certain other smartphones that are not Pixels. You have arrived at the correct website if you are looking for comprehensive information on Android 14 in a single location.

What does Android number 14 go by?

Two years ago, when Android 10 was released, Google abandoned its dessert-based naming convention for the mobile operating system. However, the company’s internal development teams have continued to employ names inspired by sweet treats in its product titles. For example, Android 11 was referred to as Red Velvet, and Android 12 is often referred to as Snow Cone. In a similar manner, Android 13 is referred to as Tiramisu. Since Android 14 was discovered in one of the AOSP Gerrit changes in July of last year, Google is no longer able to keep the version of Android a secret. The previous versions were named: Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, KitKat, Lollipop, Marshmallow, Nougat, Oreo, Pie, Quince Tart, Red Velvet Cake, Snow Cone, Tiramisu, Upside Down Cake.

We do not yet have a date for the release of Android 14, but we have a strong suspicion that it will stick to the same release rhythm as in the years before. The first developer preview version of Android 13 was made available in February 2022, and this was immediately followed by a second developer preview and four further beta versions until the final version of Android 13 was made available. If this is the case, we should anticipate that Google will release the first developer preview of Android 14 around the same time.

If Google sticks to the same release schedule as it did in 2018, developers should anticipate that Android 14 will reach “platform stability” sometime around the third beta version of the operating system. Platform stability refers to the completion of application programming interfaces (APIs), and it occurred at the same time in the previous year that developers were given the opportunity to upload applications to the Google Play Store that targeted a new API level.

What new features will come with Android 14?

Even though Android 14 has not been released just yet, we are already aware of a few alterations that will be made to the platform.

It’s possible that the sharing option may eventually be improved. Since the beginning, Android has struggled with the functionality of its share menu. It is not consistent among OEM variations of Android or even applications, despite the fact that previous upgrades have tried to solve the issue.

According to other rumors, in order to solve the discrepancies that may be seen inside the share menu, Google may decide to transfer the Android Sharesheet to a Project Mainline module in a future edition of the operating system. As a means toward achieving this goal, Google has included a new application into the system image of Android 13 QPR1 beta. The source code for Android 13 QPR1 discloses that the new “Intent Resolver” app will be in charge of the implementation of Android’s “chooser” code. This code is responsible for invoking the Android Sharesheet by compelling users to choose which app they want to use for the share action.

Because the Android Sharesheet is now part of Project Mainline, Google is able to provide a more uniform system share menu for Android devices manufactured by a variety of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). It will also make it possible for the corporation to conduct experiments to determine what aspects of the system function well and which do not, allowing for improvements to be made without the need for a whole system overhaul. Although it hasn’t been officially announced, it appears probable that Google will go through with this plan.

It’s possible that Google may prevent you from sideloading obsolete software. When Google releases new versions of the Android operating system, the company has a tendency to restrict the access that was previously granted to applications. It is typical for each update to be accompanied by an increase in the API level, which integrates the newly introduced improvements. However, in order to maintain compatibility with existing applications, the corporation will also support earlier API levels. This means that applications will be permitted the same amount of access as those that target the older API levels.

On the other hand, Android 14 could start completely blocking Android applications that are designed to run on older versions of the platform. There are currently minimal API levels that must be met in order for an app to be accepted into the Google Play Store; however, these standards are not enforced on a system level. You were previously able to sideload software builds for an earlier version of Android without encountering any barriers.

This action is being taken in an effort to stop the spread of malware. Malware may be designed to target earlier SDK versions in order to circumvent the enforcement of new API behavior. Users will still be able to install older applications on their smartphones by navigating to a command shell and making use of a new flag; however, the procedure will not be as straightforward as that of sideloading an APK. By making the procedure more hard, Google will reduce the likelihood that customers may inadvertently install malicious software on their devices. This will protect Google from liability.

There will soon be root certificates that can be updated. Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is built on top of trustworthy Certificate Authorities, who sign root certificates, which are at the very center of the PKI (CA). However, there are occasions when such CAs become untrustworthy; thus, there has to be a method for devices to get fresh certificates in order to guarantee full access to the internet. Previously, the only method to distribute fresh certificates on Android was via an over-the-air (OTA) update due to the fact that they are kept in the system partition of your phone.

This is going to change in the near future, most likely with Android 14, because Google is going to make the root store on your phone (the store that basically tells your phone what certificates are accepted) a part of the Conscrypt Mainline module that can be updated via Google Play System Updates. This change is going to take place because Google is going to make the root store on your phone a part of the Conscrypt Mainline module. Your phone is protected against a hypothetical internet disaster that might occur overnight if a major certificate authority were to suddenly become untrustworthy. This is something that the majority of users won’t even notice, but it is there to protect your phone.

There is a possibility that Health Connect may be included in Android 14. There are a large number of health-tracking applications available for Android; however, not all of these apps will cover every vital sign that you would wish to monitor. Previously, there was not a centralized application programming interface (API) that health applications could use to collaborate and exchange data with one another. Now, however, there is such an API. Google’s solution to the issue is called Health Connect, and it is designed to enable various monitoring applications to exchange data with one another by acting as a go-between. Previously, in order for MyFitnessPal to collect data from Samsung Health, Fitbit, or Google Fit, it was necessary for it to connect directly with each of these individual applications. In this instance, all it has to do is establish a connection to Health Connect, and then that service will take care of all the other necessary connections on its behalf. There is a version of Health Connect that can be downloaded from the Google Play Store right now; but, since it is not automatically installed on users’ phones, not everyone is aware that it exists. Google has made it clear that it intends to have it pre-installed on at least some phones, and it is reasonable to assume that the corporation will wait until it is no longer in beta before carrying out this plan. According to some reports, it will be included with Android 14 and may even be made available as a Mainline module. Although it has not been verified, there is a substantial amount of evidence to imply that this is the situation.

Compatible devices

If you have a current Google Pixel smartphone, such as the new Pixel 7 series, you will be among the first to receive a taste of Android 14 when it is released. If you have one of these smartphones, you can read more here. You will still be able to test it out, despite the fact that it will remain in the form of a development preview only (which, as a result, definitely shouldn’t be put on your primary vehicle). We also anticipate that other device makers will get in on the action; however, it is often the case that smartphones from companies like as OnePlus and Xiaomi do not receive updates as frequently as other devices do. In other words, use caution.

On the other hand, if you are dead set on testing Android 14 as soon as it is released on your mobile device but there is not yet an official build available, you may use a Generic System Image (GSI). When the first developer preview becomes available, we will make sure that this section has been updated with any new information that has become available. We are anticipating the first Developer Preview to be released in the month of February, which would be consistent with the timing of the releases in the past.

Susan Kowal
Susan Kowal is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor/advisor, and health enthusiast.