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InfoQ Homepage News Android 14 Beta 1 Hits the Block

Android 14 Beta 1 Hits the Block

Now available to developers, the first beta of Android 14 focuses on privacy, security, performance, developer productivity, and user customization. In addition, it improves user experience with large-screen devices on tablets and foldables.

To better protect sensitive data, Android 14 introduces the new accessibilityDataSensitive attribute. This attribute can be used by apps to enable access to specific data and views only to Google's and third-party services meant to help users with disabilities.

If an app uses these new attributes, its visibility will be in fact limited to apps that declare the isAccessibilityTool attribute. Play Protect is the mechanism responsible for scanning apps when they are downloaded from the Play Store and making sure they use the isAccessibilityTool attribute only if they are actually meant to help people with disabilities.

Google says that there are two main use cases where apps can benefit from this new feature: protecting user data from third-party access and preventing critical actions being carried through, such as authorizing a payment using a credit card. The importance of this feature cannot be underestimated, since it brings fully under developer control which data an app considers sensitive and thus protected from general external access.

Additionally, Android 14 beta improves a number of system UI elements, including a new, more prominent back arrow and a customizable share sheet.

Apps can add custom actions to the system share sheet creating a ChooserAction which will be shown to the user when Intent.EXTRA_CHOOSER_CUSTOM_ACTIONS is invoked. This will have the effect of displaying a separate row of app-specific actions on top of the cross-system action row.

The new share sheet makes it also easier to go back to the invoking app and add new items to those being shared. Finally, the UI has been improved by allowing you to scroll, in case you are sharing a large number of images, and to mix text and images.

Android 14 beta 2 will become available during Google I/O next month, and beta 3 in June. Android beta 4, coming in July, will be the final beta before the official release.

For a full list of all changes in Android 14 beta, do not miss this Twitter thread by Mishal Rahman, co-host of the All About Android show,

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