We expect Google to launch the next Android 14 Beta within the next few days, and we wouldn’t be surprised if it actually became available shortly after the Keynote has concluded. From there, we’ll see at least one more traditional Beta release, before Google transitions to the “Platform Stability” portion of the beta program. Provided that everything goes according to plan, the final version of Android 14 could make its way to a Pixel near you sometime in August. But if you’re like us and want to be on the bleeding edge of what Google is working on, and own a compatible Pixel phone, then you can install the Android 14 beta now.
While the predictive back gesture is set to change the way you navigate between apps on your phone, Android 14 could implement major changes that will benefit all Android users. One of the biggest complaints when using many of the best Android phones is how aggressive the background app management is. You could be listening to a playlist on YouTube Music, only to have the app seem closed for no reason. Android 14 is introducing new APIs to improve the “restrictions on foreground services and background work.” And it seems that Samsung phones will be the first to reap the benefits when One UI 6.0 launches later this year, based on Android 14.
One of the biggest updates expected to arrive in the final version of Android 14 is a new predictive back gesture which first appeared during the Android 13 beta cycles. As Harish explains in his Android 14 Beta 1 hands-on, this feature “basically gives you a preview of the page you’ll be returning to once you press the back gesture, so you can then decide if you want to go back or stay on the current page.” However, Harish also notes that “it’s clearly a work in progress” as you can only access it after enabling the feature within the Developer Options.
As Google I/O is primarily a developer conference, we decided to get the ball rolling with Android 14 goodies. Google released the first Android 14 Developer Preview in February, pushing a few subsequent updates leading up to the release of Android 14 Beta 1 almost a month ago. On the surface, this update doesn’t appear as though there’s much to be excited about, but that honestly couldn’t be further from the truth.