The first beta of Android 14 is now available to developers. It emphasizes privacy, security, performance, developer productivity, and user customization. Furthermore, it improves the user experience on tablets and foldable devices with large screens.
Android 14 introduces the accessibilityDataSensitive attribute to better protect sensitive data. The accessibility attribute can be used by apps to enable access to specific data and views only through Google’s and third-party services designed to assist disabled users.
In fact, if an app uses these new attributes, its visibility will be limited to apps that declare the isAccessibilityTool attribute. When apps are downloaded from the Play Store, Play Protect scans them and ensures they use the isAccessibilityTool attribute only if they are intended to assist people with disabilities.
According to Google, this new feature can be used to protect user data from third-party access, as well as to prevent critical actions from being carried out, such as authorizing a credit card payment. The importance of this feature cannot be overstated, since it allows developers to fully control what data an app considers sensitive and thus protects from general external access.
A number of system UI elements have also been improved in Android 14 beta, including a new, more prominent back arrow and a customizable share sheet.
It is possible for apps to add custom actions to the system share sheet by creating a ChooserAction that will be presented to the user when Intent.EXTRA_CHOOSER_CUSTOM_ACTIONS is invoked. As a result, a separate row of app-specific actions will appear above the cross-system action row.
Additionally, the new share sheet makes it easier to return to the invoking app and add new items to those being shared. Last but not least, the user interface has been improved by allowing you to scroll, when sharing a large number of images, as well as mixing text and images.
Android 14 beta 2 will be available during Google I/O next month, and beta 3 in June. The final beta of Android will be released in July.
Don’t miss this Twitter thread by Mishal Rahman, co-host of All About Android, for a complete list of all changes in Android 14 beta.
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