The release of Android 14 is right around the corner with the hardware event for Google’s Pixel 8 and 8 Pro, and you’d think I’d be gushing about the battery improvements, or the cross device improvements for app developers such as the display adaptability tools, but no. Here are the three of the features I’m most excited about and they’re centered around the privacy and security improvements to the operating system!
Only share certain photos and videos
In a world where we constantly click and curate memories, our photo libraries are brimming. On Android 13 and prior, the permission choices were quite binary: allow an app to view all or none. But, Android 14 is changing that with “Select Photos Access,” a feature that lets you cherry-pick the photos and videos you’re comfortable sharing with apps. It’s a step towards more granular privacy control, and I think it’s one of the best additions on the horizon.
Data sharing updates
Apps installed in the background – a.k.a. ‘Bloatware’
The term ‘bloatware’ has become pretty subjective, and there are two camps of people here. First, those who, like me, think any non-Google app pre-installed on a device counts as such. The other camp is everyone who believes that Google should also not be exempt from this. Android 14 is set to introduce the “Apps installed in the background” feature. It will give you a dashboard showing you apps that have been downloaded without your explicit permission so you can remove them at once.
Of course, I’m also excited to use my Pixel 8 as a web cam, clone apps without the need for a third party service and interested in trying out the new Repair Mode feature, but these privacy improvements are where my mind is at as we move to the newest version of Android next month! Let me know in the comments if you’re excited about any of these or something else entirely with the upcoming event.