The first beta of Android 14, which is now available to developers, focuses on privacy, security, productivity, developer productivity and user personalization, infoq reports. It also improves the user experience on large-screen tablets and foldable devices.
To better protect sensitive data, Android 14 introduces the new accessibilityDataSensitive attribute. It can be used by apps to allow access to specific data and views only on Google and third-party services.
If an app uses it, its visibility will be 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 only use the isAccessibilityTool attribute if they are actually intended to help people with disabilities.
According to Google, there are two main use cases in which apps can benefit from this new feature: protecting user data from third-party access and preventing critical actions, such as authorizing a credit card payment. The importance of this feature cannot be underestimated, as it puts entirely under the developer’s control which data an application considers sensitive and thus protected from general external access.
A number of elements of the system UI have been improved in the Android 14 beta, including a new, more visible back arrow and a custom share sheet.
Apps can add custom actions to the system share sheet. This will result in a separate row of app-specific actions being displayed on top of the row of cross-system actions.
The new share sheet makes it easier to return to the app that triggered it and add new items to the shared ones. The user interface has been improved, allowing you to scroll in case you’re sharing a large number of images, and to mix text and images.
Android 14 beta 2 will be available during Google I/O next month, and beta 3 in June. Android beta 4, which will appear in July, will be the last beta before the official release.