Serious Discussion Android 14 - Everything New in Developer Preview (Updated)

silversurfer

Level 85
Thread author
Verified
Honorary Member
Top Poster
Content Creator
Malware Hunter
Well-known
Aug 17, 2014
10,140
There are few operating systems in the world that can claim to have the same level of influence as Android. It powers over 2.5 billion smartphones worldwide, and every year it receives a new upgrade with improvements over the previous version. Google's first developer preview of Android 14 is now live, bringing along changes that benefit developers while also improving device system health and giving users more customization offers.

As the title "Developer Preview" implies, these releases are intended for usage by developers only. It's for testing out new features and making sure that their apps work on updated devices as they're supposed to. There are going to be bugs, there are going to be other problems, and Google will be pushing for feedback from developers over the coming months. If you don't mind running into problems, then by all means, give Android 14 a try. However, if you rely on your smartphone being consistently stable, then it might be worth waiting for the full Android 14 release that's expected to launch in the latter half of the year.

The most notable features of Android 14 developer preview 1 include:
  • API behavioral improvements: Changes have been made to API behaviors in order to offer users a more consistent app experience across devices while reducing system resource usage. There is also updated guidance to help developers capitalize on multitasking and features unique to large screens for building their mobile apps for more devices.
  • Battery life and system health improvements: Improvements to the internal broadcast system will help make device battery life and battery consumption more efficient for users.
  • More customization options: Android 14 is offers enhanced accessibility and language features.
    • Android 14 makes it easier for developers to allow users to choose their preferred language for individual apps and add support for different terms of address when referring to users in a gendered language.
    • In accommodating low-vision users, Android 14 has an increased font size of up to 200% (up from 130%) and automatic non-linear font scaling to mitigate common layout issues and make text more readable.


 

Gandalf_The_Grey

Level 76
Verified
Honorary Member
Top Poster
Content Creator
Well-known
Apr 24, 2016
6,564
Android 14 to block malware from abusing sensitive permissions
Google has announced the release of the first developer preview for Android 14, the next major version of the world's most popular mobile operating system, which comes with security and privacy enhancements, among other things.

Starting with Android 14, apps will have to declare precisely how they plan to use certain phone features, data exchange between them will be limited, and additional files downloaded by apps will be read-only.

A highlighted security feature in Android 14 is to block the installation of malicious apps that target older API levels (Android versions), which allows easier abuse of sensitive permissions.

Starting with the "Runtime receivers," which enable apps to receive intents broadcast by the system or other applications, all apps targeting Android 14 must declare if they need to receive information from other apps or if they should be limited to system "broadcasts."

This new security measure continues the "Context.registerReceiver()" feature introduced in previous Android releases. It aims to prevent malicious apps on the device from intercepting or misusing broadcasts meant to reach other apps.

To further tighten up the information exchange between apps and prevent malware from gripping sensitive user data, Android 14 will also restrict the sending of "intents" that don't have a specified recipient.

With this new security enhancement, malware can no longer intercept intents sent from other apps and read their contents.

The third security feature that will land on Android 14 is "safer dynamic code loading," which limits all files downloaded by an application to read-only mode.

This would help prevent some code-injection scenarios involving manipulated executables that are meant to be run by privileged apps.

Finally, Android 14 will block the installation of harmful apps that target SDK versions lower than 23 (Android 6.0) to achieve easier permissions abuse.

"Malware often targets older API levels to bypass security and privacy protections that have been introduced in newer Android versions," explains Google.

"To protect against this, starting with Android 14, apps with a targetSdkVersion lower than 23 cannot be installed."

In Android 6.0 (2015), Google introduced a runtime permission model that required apps to request the user to grant permission access requests for sensitive operations like the device's camera, microphone, GPS sensors, phone calls, and SMS access upon the app's launch.

Malware targeting previous SDK versions can specify it in the manifest XML file and request access to sensitive permissions upon installation, which is easier for users to overlook and approve.

The new permissions protection system will also make it impossible for users to install apps that haven't been updated for some time. However, Google says older apps already installed on devices that upgrade to Android 14 will continue to work.

Android 14 is still far from its final form, and we may see more security features land on the second developer preview in March 2023.
 

Ink

Administrator
Verified
Staff Member
Well-known
Jan 8, 2011
22,361
Android 14 Developer Preview 1 is rolling out today to start this year’s preview cycle ahead of an expected Q3 launch.

Over the coming hours, we’ll dive into all of Android 14 Developer Preview 1’s new features and every single change. (The newest updates will be at the top of this list. Be sure to check back often and tell us what you find in the comments below.) Android 13 screenshots appear on the left and DP1 at the right.

Expect 5 more releases before the consumer launch later this year to Pixel phones.
Read more:
 
Last edited:

mlnevese

Level 26
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
May 3, 2015
1,533
I see they have incorporated some tweaks from major manufacturers into the main OS, which is actually good if you like the functionality but does not want to stay attached to a brand. A good example is battery management. Cloning apps is certainly a useful feature as well.

Otherwise, I think I won't even notice I'm using a new version when I eventually receive the upgrade sometime next year :)
 
Last edited:

vtqhtr413

Level 26
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Aug 17, 2017
1,484
App Cloning is a new feature apparently hidden in the shipping Preview 1 build, and Mishaal Rahman, writing for XDA, managed to enable it. The feature leverages Android's multi-user system to have two copies of the same app but with different data, allowing you to log in to each with different accounts. Some apps support multiple accounts and some don't, but this feature would bring multiple account support to everything. It would also bring a great deal of consistency to having multiple accounts—every app could deal with multiple accounts in the same way, with one icon for account number one and a second icon for account number two.
 

silversurfer

Level 85
Thread author
Verified
Honorary Member
Top Poster
Content Creator
Malware Hunter
Well-known
Aug 17, 2014
10,140

About us

  • MalwareTips is a community-driven platform providing the latest information and resources on malware and cyber threats. Our team of experienced professionals and passionate volunteers work to keep the internet safe and secure. We provide accurate, up-to-date information and strive to build a strong and supportive community dedicated to cybersecurity.

User Menu

Follow us

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to know first about the latest cybersecurity incidents and malware threats.

Top