Android 14 is the latest version (2023) of the Android operating system, and it comes with a number of new features and improvements. Some of these new features of Android 14 are focused on improving the user experience, while others are designed to give users more control over their devices.
In this Android 14 guide, we’re going to take a look at the top 14 new features of Android 14 that all users will find most useful. The new features of Android 14 covered in this post include the new photo picker, lock screen customizations, notification flashes, battery life improvement, separate ring and notification volume control, app pair, charging pill (animation), Appolo 14 easter egg, drag and drop text and images to different apps, auto-confirm unlock, phone’s manufacturing year, battery charge cycles count, magic compose, and emoji, generative AI, and cinematic wallpapers. Some detailed how-to guides will be released soon.
Please note the new features of Android 14 discussed in this post apply to the stock Android (e.g., Pixel phones or Motorola phones). Some Android vendors may customize Android 14 with their own implementations and features, and therefore, some of these features may not be available on their Android 14 devices or work differently, for example, in Samsung’s Android 14 update (One UI 6), the new features are substantially different from the features discussed here.
1. New Photo Picker: Restricting Photo and Video Access
The new Photo Picker in Android 14 gives users more control over which photos and videos they share with apps. Users can now select individual photos and videos, or they can select entire albums or folders.
This is a welcome improvement over the previous Photo Picker, which only allowed users to reject or approve access to all photos and videos. In other words, prior to Android 14, you could only either allow or not allow an app to access all photos and videos (all or nothing). If allowed, the app then can access all photos and videos. If not allowed, the app cannot access any photos or videos.
The new Photo Picker in Android 14 allows you to grant access to individual photos, videos, albums, or folders. A similar feature was introduced in iOS14 for iPhone 3 years ago. Now, Google has finally caught up with this new feature of Android 14.
2. Lock Screen Customizations: the most popular new feature of Android 14
Android 14 users can now customize their lock screens with new widgets, wallpapers, and themes.
To customize your lock screen, long-press on an empty area of the lock screen and then tap on Settings. You can then choose to change the lock screen widget, wallpaper, or theme.
This is probably one of the most popular new features of Android 14. Many users have cried for this feature in the stock Android for years. Again, some Android vendors have offered lock screen customization on their devices before. For example, Samsung’s One UI offers some customization for the lock screen.
3. Notification Flashes
Notification Flashes are a new accessibility feature of Android 14 that alerts users to incoming notifications with a brief flash on the screen. This can be helpful for users who are deaf or hard of hearing.
To enable Notification Flashes, go to Settings > Accessibility > Notification Flashes. You can then choose to enable Notification Flashes for all notifications or only for specific notifications.
Please note that some Android vendors, e.g., Samsung, have already implemented a similar feature in their devices in the last few years. Google now implemented it in the core of Android 14.
4. Battery Life Improvements
Android 14 is more efficient in power consumption. For most users, battery life will be noticeably improved after updating to Android 14 (usually after a few days).
Google experimented with various options to improve the power efficiency (as well as speed) for Android. For example, some background tasks are scheduled and prioritized differently.
Android 14 also updated the Battery Saver with more controls and helped improve the battery life further.
5. Separate Ring and Notification Volume Control
Separate ring and notification volume control actually is a feature that was removed by Google previously. Now, it is one of the prominent new features of Android 14.
In a nutshell, with Android 14, you can now adjust the ring and notification volumes independently, again.
To adjust your phone’s ring and notification volumes, go to Settings > Sound. You can then adjust the ring volume and notification volume using the corresponding sliders.
6. App Pair
App Pair is a new feature of Android 14 that allows users to quickly launch two apps at the same time. In Android 13, you can launch two apps in the split-screen view for multitasking. But you have to choose them one by one, not as a pair.
To create an App Pair, go to Settings > System > Gestures > App Pair. You can then select two apps to create an App Pair for.
Please note Samsung introduced the app pair in Galaxy Note 8 (and Galaxy S9). It has been available since then on most Galaxy phones. It seems the implementation in Android 14 is very similar.
7. Charging Pill (animation)
Charging Pill is a new visual feature of Android 14 that provides users with a pill-shaped background behind the battery indicator in the status bar. And it is animated when the battery is being charged, similar to the camera (and microphone) access status icon.
The new design makes it easier to see at a glance that the phone is properly connected to the device and that it’s charging.
At the same time, you can still see the charging status info in the notification shade.
8. Appolo 14 Easter Egg
Just like in all previous Android versions (e.g., Android 11), there is an Easter egg in Android 14. The Android 14 Easter Egg is a NASA Appolo 14-inspired mini-game.
To access the Android 14 Easter egg, you need to tap on the Android version number in the Settings app multiple times until the big Android 14 logo appears.
You can then tap and hold on to the logo to start the game. The game simulates the launch of Appolo 14. and you control the navigation of the spaceship.
9. Drag and Drop Text and Images to Different Apps
Drag and drop is the quickest way to share content between apps. But in Android 13, it only works in the split-screen view mode, and you are limited to the two active apps. It is a popular feature in foldable devices.
Android 14 now eliminates the restrictions. But it becomes finger gymnastics if it is not in the split-screen view mode.
To drag and drop text or images from one app to another, long-press on the text or image and then drag and drop it to the other app (e.g., in the Recents screen).
10. Auto-confirm Unlock
Auto-confirm unlock in Android 14 allows users to unlock their phones automatically without tapping the enter key when they type the PIN.
This new feature of Android 14 is available only when your PIN code is six digits or more. You can turn auto-confirm on or off as long as your PIN code has more than six digits.
To enable Auto-confirm, go to Settings > Security > Auto-confirm. You can then choose to enable or disable it.
11. Phone’s Manufacturing Year
Android 14 users can now view the manufacturing year of their phone in the Settings app.
To view your phone’s manufacturing date, go to Settings > About phone > Status information > Manufacturing date.
12. Battery Charge Cycles Count
Android 14 users can now view the number of charge cycles their phone has completed in the Settings app. This gives some indication of the remaining battery life.
To view your phone’s battery charge cycle count, go to Settings > Battery > Battery health.
Please note some manufacturers may not implement this feature in their devices with Android 14.
13. Magic Compose
Magic Compose is one of the most practical new features of Android 14. It helps users write emails, messages, and other types of text content more quickly and easily, powered by AI. Magic Compose suggests relevant content based on the context of what the user is writing.
To enable Magic Compose, go to Settings > System > Languages & input > Virtual keyboard > Advanced > Magic Compose. You can then choose to enable Magic Compose for all apps, or only for specific apps.
14. Emoji, Generative AI, and Cinematic Wallpapers
Android 14 includes a new set of emojis, as well as new generative AI and cinematic wallpapers.
To access the new emojis, go to Settings > Languages & input > Virtual keyboard > Emoji.
To access the new generative AI and cinematic wallpapers, go to Settings > Wallpaper & style > Wallpaper.
Do you have any questions about the new features of Android 14?
If you need help with the new features of Android 14, please let us know in the comment box below.
The community will help you to understand and use the new features of Android 14.
You may check the Android 14 Guides page if you need some detailed how-to guides on the new features of Android 14.
If you are still on other versions of Android, you may check these guides:
- For Android 13, please check the Android 13 guides page.
- For Android 12, please check the Android 12 guides page.
- For Android 11, please check the Android 11 guides page.
- For Android 10, please check the Android 10 guides page.
- For Android Pie (Android 9), please check the Android Pie guides page.
- For Android Oreo (Android 8.0 and 8.1), please check the Android Oreo guides page.
- For Android Nougat (Android 7.0 and 7.1), please check the Android Nougat guides page.
- For Android Marshmallow (Android 6.0), please check the Android Marshmallow guide page.
- For Android Lollipop (Android 5.0 and 5.1), please check the Android Lollipop guide page.
- For other general Android questions or problems, please check the Android 101 page.
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Enjoy your Android 14!