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Android 14 adds lock screen customization, accessibility, and more

Google launched Android 14 in NYC today at its Made By Google event. Android 14 has new customization, accessibility, and more, the company said. Pixel devices are getting Android 14 today, and Samsung Galaxy, iQOO, Nothing, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Sharp, Sony, Tecno, Vivo, and Xiaomi devices will get it later this year.

The company is adding new device customization options. The updated customization picker in Android 14 makes it easier to switch wallpapers and quickly change what you see. The new software update lets users set lock screen shortcuts for their favorite apps and tools, such as QR reader or Google Home, for one-tap access.

Fonts, widgets, colors, and formats are available in new lock screen templates. Google says these templates use AI to adjust to your situation. If bad weather is coming, your lock screen will highlight your weather widget.

Google says a monochromatic theme makes minimal colors look sleek across your device, making it easier on the eyes.

Google announced in May that it was creating generative AI wallpapers with prompts. The Pixel 8 and 8 Pro will get this feature first, the company announced today. Google’s AI-generated wallpaper feature lets users choose from pre-set suggestions.

The new software update improves camera and photo quality. After supporting HDR video in Android 13, Google added Ultra HDR to Android 14. The company claims the new enhancement enhances photo colors and displays high-definition photos without affecting image quality.

Google announced that Android 14 has new features for low-vision and hard-of-hearing users. Android 14’s magnifier is more intuitive with pinch-to-zoom from 100%. A new “Magnifier Settings” panel lets users adjust magnifier size. There, users can also choose how much of the screen to magnify. You can enable the new “Keep on when switching apps” setting to keep the magnifier on when switching apps.

A new “Quick Settings” title lets you quickly change the font size of your device’s text, which improves readability with nonlinear font scaling that enlarges larger font sizes slower. Google says this feature prevents large text from getting bigger than needed and lets users read their screen without text cutting off or disrupting the page layout.

Android 14 has a dedicated hearing aid setup flow that simplifies hearing aid connection. Route audio to different outputs and access hearing aid controls from a shortcut are also easy.

Activating “Flash notifications” will flash visual light when a notification is received. Google is adding the new notification option because notification sounds, rings, and alerts don’t work for everyone.

You now have more data control with the update. If an app shares your location with third parties after you grant permission, you will be notified. Google claims you can then make a more informed decision about granting access. Android 14 also recommends a six-digit PIN for device security. After entering the correct 6-digit or longer PIN, your device will unlock without you pressing “enter”.

Other features of Android 14 include automatic video call framing and one-tap Google Home controls.

 

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