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Android 15 prepares to make it easier for your grandma to use her phone

A new “easy pre-set” mode could make Android much easier to use.

Published onFebruary 7, 2024

Mishaal Rahman / Android Authority
  • Code within the latest Android beta suggests that Google might introduce a new “easy pre-set” mode that optimizes the UI for readability.
  • Android is loaded with settings and features that might make it confusing or complicated to use for people who aren’t tech-savvy or who have trouble with their vision.
  • This easy pre-set mode changes settings like the icon and text size, navigation mode, and more.

Google just released the first beta of Android 14 QPR3, which will be the third quarterly platform release of Android 14 when it goes stable in June. After installing the beta on my Pixel phone, I discovered a hidden settings page for a new feature called “easy pre-set.” This mode, based on what I found, seems to be a way to make Android easier to use for people who aren’t as tech-savvy as readers of Android Authority or who may have trouble with their vision.

An APK teardown helps predict features that may arrive on a service in the future based on work-in-progress code. However, it is possible that such predicted features may not make it to a public release.

Hidden within Android 14 QPR3 Beta 1 are strings that explain what this new easy pre-set mode will do. According to these strings, the easy pre-set mode optimizes the Android UI for “improved readability and ease of navigation.” It specifically does so by “enlarging icons and text, adding contrast and bold, and adding navigation buttons to the bottom of the screen.”

<string name="easy_preset_category">Quick access</string>
<string name="easy_preset_description">Easy pre-set optimizes for improved readability and ease of navigation</string>
<string name="easy_preset_footer_message">Easy pre-set improves readability by enlarging icons and text, adding contrast and bold, and adding navigation buttons to the bottom of the screen.</string>
<string name="easy_preset_switch_title">Enable easy pre-set</string>
<string name="easy_preset_title">Easy pre-set</string>

While we were able to manually launch the settings page for this new easy pre-set feature, we weren’t able to actually enable the new mode just yet. However, we did discover an additional change this mode makes when it’s enabled: the current wallpaper is swapped with a pure black image.

Android 14 QPR3 Beta 1 easy preset
Mishaal Rahman / Android Authority

It’s good to see Google add a feature like this to stock Android. Many other OEMs offer a feature just like this, and there are even third-party launcher apps on Google Play that are designed to be used by the elderly or the less tech-savvy among us.

Although this feature is present in the Android 14 QPR3 Beta 1 release, it’s unlikely that Google plans to release this feature with the stable Android 14 QPR3 update in June. It’s more likely that Google will release this feature as part of Android 15 later this year, and this feature’s appearance in the QPR3 beta is simply because Google is simultaneously working on the QPR and Android 15 releases.

Once Google kicks off the Android 15 developer preview, we’ll have a better idea of where this feature slots in. That could happen at any moment, so be sure to follow Android Authority to find out what’s coming in the next Android release!

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