Android 14: Interesting Facts and Insights from the Android Team

Reddit has conducted an ‘Ask Me Anything (AMA)’ session between the Google Android Team and users. Users have come with several questions, out of which three topics are highlighted in the session. All credit goes to the answers given by Dieter Bohr and Dave Burke of the team yesterday evening for the questions regarding Android 14.

What’s the team’s favorite new feature that debuted in Android 14?

Dave responded to the first query by acknowledging that his favorite aspect of Android 14 is the enhancement in performance and energy economy, which were made possible by four key measures described in a blog post on the Android developers website in connection with the launch of the system’s AOSP operating system. Dave particularly emphasizes the enhancements made to ART (Android RunTime) with Android 14, adding that the development team has implemented optimizations that lower code size on average by 9.3%, which in turn saves 50–100 MB and 500–1000 MB of code without hurting speed.

These enhancements could also be available for Android 12 and Android 13-powered smartphones through an upgrade to Project Mainline.

The most underutilized Android feature that more people need to try?

The first of the two innovations in Android 14 that the Android Team believes more people should test is Ultra HDR. Recently introduced, the Google Camera is expected to revolutionize how consumers consume HDR video from smartphones. The next one is the brand-new sharing sheet in Android 14, which the development team had to continuously improve in order to make sharing simpler with all the buttons in the proper places.

Dieter states that this is a typical characteristic that users won’t notice, at least consciously, immediately, but that will change with time in their daily experience.

SOS/SMS support through satellite feature:

Support for SOS/SMS via satellite, a capability that longtime competitor Apple just added to iOS and on which Google is attempting to catch up. This functionality allows users to use a satellite connection to send SOS or SMS in an emergency while they are in areas that are not serviced by a cell network or Wi-Fi. As of now, they are hidden and unavailable to third-party apps. Google has already integrated the new Telephony Satellite Interface into the source code of Android 14.

It appears that the project is already rather well underway. However, we anticipate that there may be updates in this area as early as some of the QPRs for Android 14. It is also important to note that not all cell phones running the most recent version of the green robot’s operating system will have the capabilities; instead, they will rely on hardware for use.

Lossless USB audio:

The final query relates to a function that is currently available in Android 14 and will soon come to the new Pixel 8 series, which is the lossless USB audio feature. A user requested more details on this feature, and Dave Burke reacted that he too personally requested the feature from the development team. Dave explained that this is a feature that avoids the audio mixer and any processing effects to ensure that the audio has the best quality within the parameters of the original track, and said that the most recent Android version supports this feature.

This now shifts to app developers, third-party manufacturers, and Google itself, as they must provide support for this mode inside the hardware abstraction layer of their devices in order to take advantage of its benefits.

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