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Android 14 is finally here with a few firsts for the Pixel 8 series
- Google has released the stable Android 14 update for eligible Pixel devices.
- The software includes a ton of new features, including some that are exclusive to the Pixel 8 series.
- The update will roll out to non-Pixel devices later this year.
Google has finally released the stable version of Android 14 after several delays. It seems the company wanted to tie in the announcement of the new Android version with the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro launch. In true Google fashion, some new Android 14 features are reserved only for the latest Pixel phones.
Android 14 Pixel 8 exclusive features and customization options
“Generative AI wallpapers” is one such Android 14 feature that’s first landing on the Pixel 8 series. It uses AI to allow Pixel 8 users to create wallpapers using text prompts. If you own a Pixel 8 or 8 Pro, Google says you can create wallpapers that match your vision by choosing from a list of pre-set suggestions.
Android 14 also introduces other customization options that aren’t limited to the Pixel 8 series. You can now add shortcuts to your lock screen at the lower corners. You get a number of shortcut choices, including Wallet, Camera, Do Not Disturb, Mute, QR Code Scanner, Device Controls, Google Home app, Flashlight, and Video Call. You can add two of these shortcuts to your lock screen or choose to have just one.
You can also play around with fonts, widgets, colors, and formats to customize your Android 14 lock screen further. These options use AI to adjust the screen based on your usage. For example, if there’s a sudden change in weather, your lock screen weather widget will become more prominent. You can read more about how to customize your Android 14 lock screen here.
If you’re someone who doesn’t like a colorful aesthetic, Android 14 now includes a monochromatic theme with minimal colors.
For imaging, Android 14 supports 10-bit HDR (aka Ultra HDR). This allows your photos to retain more information from the sensor, making way for more vibrant colors and enhanced contrast.
Android 14 health, security, and accessibility updates
The Health Connect app is now integrated with Android 14. That means devices running the software won’t need to download the app separately.
Google is also updating the way data sharing works on Android 14. Now when you permit an app to use your location, you’ll be notified if and when it further shares your location data with third parties.
For greater device security, Android 14 will encourage users to set a six-digit PIN. Once you type in the PIN, you will no longer need to press enter to unlock your device.
New accessibility features on Android 14 include the ability to change Magnifier settings, a new font size Quick Settings tile, a dedicated hearing aid setup section in Accessibility options, and Flash notifications for visual light flashes for incoming notifications.
Android 14 availability
Google says Android 14 is starting to roll out on supported Pixel devices today. The list includes Pixel 4a 5G and above devices. The Pixel Tablet will also get the update alongside the handsets.
Google says Android 14 will roll out to devices from Samsung, iQOO, Nothing, OnePlus, OPPO, Realme, Sharp, Sony, Tecno, vivo, and Xiaomi later this year. You can check our Android 14 update tracker to know when your phone will receive the new software.