The beta release adds support for third-party password managers
While strong passwords can truly secure your online accounts, they inherently come with a few drawbacks — they are hard to remember and can end up in the hands of bad actors. Google, Apple, and other tech giants want to replace passwords with passkeys, which eliminate most of the drawbacks of traditional passwords. With Credential Manager, Google wants to offer you an easy way to access passkeys on Android, and some of its user-facing changes could be just around the corner.
Multiple Google Assistant speakers were excluded from receiving the upgrade
Google has been upgrading some devices to its custom-built Fuchsia OS, and the assumption was that the Zircon-powered software would make its way to Assistant smart speakers as well. Google recently pushed Fuchsia OS to more second-gen Nest Hub units to bring parity with the first-gen Hub and the Nest Hub Max, so everything seemed to be going well. Now, Google appears to be pumping the brakes on its Fuchsia rollout.
If your iMessage was a big mistake, there are ways to unsend that text. Here's how
We've all sent messages and suddenly realized, "Ahhh! I need to take that back!" From disastrous autocorrects to heat-of-the-moment misfires and shooting a message to the wrong person, our texts sometimes need a redo button.
The beta program is nearing its end
We were apparently too focused on Samsung's new Galaxy Flip 5, Fold 5, and Galaxy Watch 6 announcement, because Google just dropped what may be the last Android 14 beta update. Beta 4.1 is currently rolling out to eligible Pixel phones, and it could very well mark the last pre-release update before Android 14 debuts as a stable build next month.
Three easy ways to disable Safe Mode
If your Android device runs slow, freezes, or crashes, you can diagnose and isolate the root cause by putting it in Safe Mode. Doing so lets you identify if a third-party app is the source of your problems. Occasionally, these apps can unintentionally run in the background or have critical bugs that need to be addressed by their developers. Booting your Android smartphone or one of the best Android tablets with Safe Mode temporarily deactivates your installed third-party apps. This is an excellent first step toward getting your device back to normal.
The last pre-Material Design operating system is finally dead
It seems like yesterday to many of us, but Android 4.4 KitKat was launched in 2013, a whopping 10 years ago by this point. In a way, over the course of a few years, it became Android's Windows XP — it wouldn't go away completely despite Google's best efforts, and was present on a lot of hardware, even after Android 5.0 Lollipop and subsequent versions were released, with the Android 14 Beta the latest in line. It's pretty much gone by this point, and a distant memory, but it was one of the most stable and solid Android versions to be released. Now, though, it's finally completely dead.
Notetaking with a Bluetooth stylus will be a breeze on Android 14
Android 14 has so far introduced a ton of big and small changes, like new lock screen customization options, faster phone unlocking using a PIN, notification flashes, and much more. Besides these changes, Google’s upcoming smartphone OS has added a few native features for a connected stylus. And now, we have a live demo of how Bluetooth styli will work with note-taking apps on an Android 14 tablet.
File transfers are way easier than you'd think
Although the top Android phones have a minimum of 128GB of storage as standard, it may not be sufficient for everyone. Perhaps you'd like to back up photos to free up storage space or move music to your desktop that you downloaded on your phone. Because of Android's open and transparent nature, there are many ways to do it. You can use a USB cable, Bluetooth, a third-party app, or a local wireless connection.
Apps using Windows Subsystem for Android can connect to other network devices
The Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA) has a firm place in the heart of Android lovers because it allows us to run mobile apps on the desktop operating system as though they were native programs. The experience isn’t comparable to stock Android yet, but we are getting there slowly with Microsoft’s updates, growing geographic availability, and support for more apps. Microsoft’s latest update for WSA adds a few noteworthy new features, greatly aiding interoperability with Windows programs and other devices on your network.
But new Threads features still arrive for iOS first
There aren’t a lot of things in the tech world that can be as polarizing as the Android vs. iOS debate. Both sides have some committed fans who will fight tooth and nail to diss the other. In our experience, some of the best Android flagships can easily give Apple iPhones a run for their money on several fronts. And there is one eminent person who endorses that view and believes that Android is now better than iOS: the head of Instagram and Threads, Adam Mosseri.
You can only read so much Discover clickbait
Google's Discover page is a key part of an Android phone's homescreen. It is the leftmost homescreen panel on most phones and a great source to discover new content and stay up to date with the latest world happenings and topics that interest you. Google Discover was initially a Pixel-exclusive. However, the homescreen panel has become a part of most premium and budget Android phones. If your phone doesn't provide access to Discover from the homescreen, you can access it from the Google app.
Starting in Android 14, pausing the work profile actually means it's paused, instead of turned off
The idea behind Android’s work profile is that you can easily separate your work from your personal life without having to carry a second smartphone around. All your work apps reside in a dedicated container that can easily be turned off at the end of the day, either manually or on a timer through Android’s Digital Wellbeing app. Starting in Android 14, though, Google’s making some key changes to how the work profile, well, works.
Get ready for app stores claiming 'update ownership' over the software they install
Most people with Android phones get all their apps from Google Play, but Google’s app store is not the only repository of Android apps. There are a handful of great alternatives to Google Play, such as APKMirror (run by Android Police founder Artem Russakovskii). While downloading Android apps from outside Google Play is easy thanks to sites like APKMirror, there is a greater risk of things going wrong. If you choose the wrong APK, for instance, you could unintentionally install the wrong version of an app for your device, or an update that removes some functionality. That’s why, in Android 14, the OS will warn you when you try to sideload an update to a core Google app.
Moving between your personal and work profiles is becoming as simple as a swipe
Android’s work profile makes it possible to separate your personal and work life on a single device, and Google’s done a lot to make the work profile feel as integrated as possible. For example, when you have a work profile enabled, the Android launcher adds a separate tab (shown above) that contains all your work apps. In Google’s own apps, you can easily switch between your personal and work profiles by tapping your avatar and then selecting a button in the pop-up dialog. Now, Google’s making it even easier to switch between your profiles.
There are 108 new additions in total
Emoji are the de facto standard for emoting in conversations (and wallpapers) without using words. Thanks to the Unicode Consortium, the body dedicated to maintaining the international standard for symbols used in conversations, we now have an adequate selection of emoji to pick from. The catalog keeps expanding annually, and this year’s draft with 108 new emoji is now under consideration.
Try Android 13, it has a lot of great features, we're sure it'll be great
There are two kinds of Android phone owners out there. We have the kind of people who eagerly take an update to the next Android version as soon as it's available, and then we have the kind that will just ignore the update until it becomes too hard to ignore. There are an awful lot of people in the latter crowd, and if you don't have a friend or relative who does this, then it's probably you. Android's distribution numbers are already bad enough because of uncommitted OEMs, and these people definitely drag the stats even lower. Good news, though — Google is coming up with ways to entice them into updating, and this latest one is looking great.
Turn any old computer into a sleek fast Chromebook
E-waste is a problem as people buy and replace more devices for themselves and their families. Keeping devices for longer is a great way to reduce e-waste, but that can be difficult when your Windows or macOS device feels underpowered and laggy. You could replace it with one of the best Chromebooks, but Google created another way to make your old computer new again. This operating system, called ChromeOS Flex, can help breathe new life into your old device. Let's look at what ChromeOS Flex is, how to use it, and how it compares to normal ChromeOS.
Update Google Play Services to experience new features firsthand or fix the existing bugs
Google Play Services is one of the core components of the Android operating system that is crucial to the whole experience. It handles everything from allowing you to manage your Google accounts to ensuring your Google apps work together. It provides specific functionality between your installed Android apps and the operating system. Google's apps and many third-party apps rely on them to offer unique cloud services, targeted user ads, and more. And like smartphones, the best Android tablets also benefit from Google Play Services.
Iterative improvements refine the big update that was Android 12
As we all look forward to this year's big next release, Android 14, we shouldn't forget about what's currently running on our phones in a stable version. Android 13 came out in August 2022, and only shortly after, the Google Pixel 7 Pro and the smaller Google Pixel 7 were the first phones to launch with the new OS.
It’s no Space Impact but hey, you can nerd out all over your spacecraft stats
The fourth Android 14 beta landed yesterday mainly to clean up any remaining bugs as it nears its stable release. But along with a long list of fixes, there is a little surprise hiding in this beta update that many Android devotees eagerly wait for every year — the Easter egg. Android 14’s new space-themed game is a big departure from Android 13’s Easter egg and will keep you occupied as you hunt for a nearby star.