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Android 14: Elevating Your Smartphone Experience

TLDR: Android 14 introduces customization options, privacy enhancements, and thoughtful features. Key updates include lock screen personalization, notification flashes, font scaling, app-specific screen recording, emoji wallpapers, drag-and-drop between apps, regional preferences, using your phone as a webcam, app pairs for foldable, limited media access, repair mode, and battery optimizations.

Android 14 brings significant changes to customization, performance, privacy, and security to the world’s most popular operating system. While it may not appear as radical as Android 12’s redesign, Google has introduced a range of neat tweaks and thoughtful features to enhance your smartphone and foldable experience. Let’s dive into the top 15 features that make Android 14 stand out.

1. Lock Screen Customization

Following Apple’s lead, Google has introduced several lock screen customization options on Android. Long tap your device’s lock screen and head to the **Wallpaper and style** menu to make tweaks. You can change the clock style, colour, size, and left and right corner shortcuts, and sync everything with your device’s Material You theme.

2. Notification Flashes

Notification flashes can be a lifesaver if you frequently miss incoming alerts due to noisy environments. Go to Settings > Notifications > Flash notifications and turn on the toggles for Camera Flash and Screen Flash. You can also change the screen flash colour from Yellow to another shade.

3. Bigger Fonts

Android 14 expands accessibility settings by allowing you to scale text up to 200% by going to Settings > Display > Display size and text. Google has also introduced a non-linear font scaling curve to prevent unusual issues from appearing in this setting.

4. Auto-Confirm Unlock and PIN Privacy

Android 14 emphasizes privacy. If you use a PIN to unlock your device, you can turn off animations while entering the PIN and automatically unlock the device if you input a correct PIN of six digits or more.

5. Screen Recording for a Single App

You can now restrict screen recording to a specific app only, preventing the recording of UI elements and incoming notifications. When you start a screen recording, select A single app from the drop-down menu.

6. Emoji Wallpapers

Android 14 introduces the Emoji workshop, where you can create eye-catching emoji wallpapers by selecting your preferred emojis, patterns, and colours. Tap Inspire me to check the ready-to-use emoji wallpapers you can apply to your device.

7. Drag and Drop Text and Images Between Apps

Android 14 borrows a neat feature from iOS, allowing you to copy and paste text and images between apps. Hold the copied content, switch to another app, and paste it.

8. Set Regional Preferences

Building upon Android 13’s per-app language option, Android 14 introduces regional preferences. Navigate to Settings > System > Languages > Regional preferences to let apps know your regional preferences and personalize your experience.

9. Use an Android Phone as a Webcam on a PC or Mac

If your PC or Mac has a below-average webcam, you can now use your Android phone’s primary camera as a webcam during video calls. Connect your Android phone to a PC or Mac via a cable and select Webcam from the USB Preferences menu.

10. App Pairs

App pairs is a thoughtful add-on for foldable users running Android 14. When you open two apps in split view and swipe up and hold from the bottom, the system creates an app pair, allowing you to launch these apps with a single tap.

11. Limit Media Access

Android 14 introduces a highly requested feature, allowing you to limit media access to third-party apps. You can now select only specific photos and videos that apps can access.

12. Repair Mode

Repair mode creates a secure environment when your device is being repaired, protecting your apps and personal data from being accessed by others. To turn on Repair mode, go to Settings > System> Repair mode

13. Check the Phone’s Manufacturing Year

With Android 14, you can easily check your Android phone’s manufacturing year by navigating to Settings > About phones> Model menu.

14. Battery Optimizations

Android 14 brings tweaks to prioritize foreground services, preventing background apps from using your phone’s full power and causing abnormal battery drain.

15. Data Protection

Google has tightened rules for third-party developers that collect your data. Android 14 sends you a monthly warning notification when another company acquires an app or changes its data-sharing habits.

Android 14: Far from an Incremental Update

Android 14 is packed with features that go beyond this list. Google frequently releases Feature Drops on eligible Pixel devices, adding even more functionality. After installing Android 14, be sure to change these five settings immediately on your phone to get the most out of Google’s latest release.


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