Yesterday, Google prioritized artificial intelligence and new gadgets in its keynote at the Google I/O 2023 conference, and today the second Android 14 beta became available for developers. The release was accompanied by a post on the Google Developer Blog detailing the new features of the system.
Android 14 Beta 2 will fix many of the bugs found in the first beta. Google is expanding the camera’s capabilities with native support for 10-bit HDR images for even richer and more vivid colors. The Ultra HDR image format used by Google is fully compatible with JPEG images, allowing applications to display HDR images as SDR if required. Google is also adding support for capturing 10-bit image compression on supported devices.
Android 14 will also give apps and extensions more processing time to improve low-light images. Focus and zoom expansion will now be touch-enabled, and post-view will deliver less-processed images faster.
The new Predictive Back gesture features introduced in Android 14 received additional optimizations for developers in the second beta. Also added support for lossless audio transmission over USB. This means you can connect high-end headphones and amps without mixing, volume control, or sound processing. Google says it’s working with OEMs to enable USB lossless audio for devices launching later this year.
Google is also adding Health Connect to Android 14 as a built-in feature. Health Connect stores your health and fitness data and allows users to control how that data is shared across apps. Health Connect also gains the ability to share exercise programs.
Android 14 also gets a new Location Sharing Permissions dialog that notifies users each time an app wants to share location data with a third party. Users will also be notified if any of the location-enabled apps try to change their sharing methods to share their data with third parties. All these functions are available in the device settings menu.
Android 14 is expected to get a more or less definitive look with the release of Beta 3, which will arrive in June. Google will then release two more beta versions before the final commercial release is ready.