Google has released Android 14 Developer Preview 2, and it’s good news if you’re worried someone might snoop on your data. DP2 adds a screenshot detection framework to help developers thwart hackers and spies that use screenshots to capture sensitive data. An intruder may have a harder time snooping on private chats or banking details, in other words.
The Android 14 test release also offers an iOS-like ability to limit the photos an app can use. You can restrict access to a temporary set of specific photos. You don’t have to worry that a social media app will see the family photos you’d rather keep private. DP2 also refines a programming kit that lets apps use passkey sign-ins instead of less secure (and more hassle-prone) passwords.
Other upgrades are subtler. There are more efforts to boost performance by limiting the resources apps can take while running in the background. And if you’ve ever been irritated by notifications that refuse to go away, you’ll be glad to here there are fewer non-dismissable alerts.
Android 14 is already known to include a number of other improves at this stage. It offers broader support for foldable phones and tablets, greater accessibility and per-app regional personalization. The new OS can also block the installation of ‘old’ apps, such as malware that targets an ancient Android version to avoid modern security checks.
The software is still very early. The first beta meant for public consumption isn’t due until April, and you won’t see release candidates until June. You’ll need to manually download this for your Pixel (4a or later) or PC-based emulator. Google also isn’t likely showing everything you can expect when the finished Android 14 arrives — we’d expect to hear more at Google I/O on May 10th. Like other developer previews, DP2 is aimed at coders who want to get an early start and are willing to live with bugs and compatibility issues. For now, you’ll want to stick with Android 13 on a primary phone where reliability and app support are critical.