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Google recently released the first developer release of Android 14. The new release includes a lot of new functionality, such as various UI tweaks and app-cloning functionality.

The tech giant recently presented the first Developer Preview of Android 14. This release, codenamed UpsideDownCake, offers improved security measures and various UI tweaks, among other things. In addition, app cloning, for example, has also been added.

New security features

In the area of security, starting with this OS version, so-called runtime recievers must specify export behavior. In addition, Android 14 ensures that apps targeting this Android version are restricted from sending so-called “implicit intents” to internal app components.

Also, Android 14 apps can only use so-called ‘dynamic loaded files’ that are marked as read-only. Furthermore, this version now blocks the installation of apps that were intended for older Android versions. With this, the tech giant wants to reduce the attack surface for cybercriminals. However, already installed outdated apps remain available to users. Finally, Android 14 also supports the recently released Credential Manager.

UI tweaks

In addition to security measures, the UI also gets several tweaks. Among them, the Security and Privacy menus and a single menu in Settings have been grouped together. For this, the many drop-down menus have also been removed and settings are available in a separate screen.

In the Battery menu, the basic and extreme-saving options have been improved. Several options for these are now in the same menu. This should further streamline all battery functionality.

Other new UI options include improvements for scaling applications. In Android 14, fonts can now be scaled to 200 percent. This should especially help users who want larger fonts or have visual impairments. An Apps Installed In The Background page has also been added. This allows users to see what bloatware and other non-essential apps manufacturers or operators have installed.

In addition, more features for using with mobile OS on larger screens and various UI features for pairing accessories and pairing hearing aids have been added.

App-cloning functionality

The new Android 14 now includes an app-cloning feature. This feature allows you to create a copy of an app so that both versions can each be used with a different account. This helps with apps that do not facilitate the use of different accounts. This functionality would be the same as the Samsung Dual Messenger functionality for social media and messaging apps, writes Samsung news site Sammobile.

Roadmap for Android 14

After the first Developer Preview now released, several more Developer Preview versions may follow next month. Public Beta versions of Android 14 should see the light of day in the months of April and May. The stable version is scheduled for June this year and the final version should be available in August/September 2023.

TIP: Google’s new Credential Manager links logins and passkeys