Android keeps getting better and better with every release, so it’s with eager anticipation that we await each update. Here’s all we know so far about the generation that’s due next – Android 14.
When will Android 14 be released?
While there’s no official release date yet for Android 14, we expect it to appear in Q3 2023. Google has been a little erratic over the past few years with its releases, but they usually fall after the summer. Here’s when the last full versions made their debuts:
Android 13 – August 2022Android 12 – October 2021Android 11 – September 2020Android 10 – September 2019
What will Android 14 be called?
Google has a rather whimsical approach when it comes to the names it gives each version of Android. These were traditionally based on deserts, but this trend stopped when Android 10 came out in September 2019 and the company went with the number instead. This hasn’t stopped the internal codenames making their way into the public though, replete with its confectionary connotations. For instance, here’s how the numbered Android versions have been affectionately called in-house at Google:
Android 10 – Quince TartAndroid 11 – Red Velvet CakeAndroid 12 – Snow ConeAndroid 13 – Tiramisu
As you can probably tell, each version starts with the next letter in the alphabet, meaning Android 14’s desert of choice will begin with U. While this seems a rather difficult letter to make a pudding reference, 9to5Google has reported that Google engineers have dubbed it Upside Down Cake. Bit of a stretch, which is probably why the company now sticks with version numbers instead. With Android 14, Google is over halfway through the alphabet anyway.
What new features will we see in Android 14?
There isn’t much known yet about the kind of new features that we’ll see when Google pulls back the covers on Android 14. It could well end up being another iterative update as Android 12 brought quite a visual overhaul, leaving Android 13 to add a few things mostly behind the scenes. But, there are a few things that have begun to leak out about Android 14.
In a tweet back in September 2022, Google’s Senior Vice-President for Android, Hiroshi Lockheimer, stated that his team were ‘designing for satellites’.
Wild to think about user experiences for phones that can connect to satellites. When we launched G1 in ’08 it was a stretch to get 3G + Wifi working. Now we’re designing for satellites. Cool! Excited to support our partners in enabling all of this in the next version of Android!
— Hiroshi Lockheimer (@lockheimer) September 1, 2022
Presumably this means being able to make emergency calls via satellite coverage, as we’ve seen in the iPhone 14 range. Whether this will work with existing phones or only with new ones remains to be seen, although we suspect the latter.
Predictive Back Navigation
If you’ve ever been frustrated by tapping the back button or using the swipe gesture to navigate to a previous page but find you’ve quit the app instead, then Android 14 could fix this problem.
With apps all applying the back gesture differently, there’s not always a joined up behaviour that the user can trust. With the new predictive back navigation, you will now see a sneak peak of the home screen appear before you finish your command, so you’ll know whether you want to do that or not. Sounds a bit complicated, but in operation it should be simple and save you from inadvertently leaving an app. The feature was actually built for Android 13, but it seems that time ran out before that version launched, so it should now make its proper debut in Android 14.
Nearby share could be restricted to Google-licensed phones
This one won’t affect too many people, but Google has confirmed that the predecessor to Nearby Share – Android Beam – is being removed from AOSP (Android Open Source Project). This is only significant because Nearby Share relies on Google Mobile Services, which means manufacturers that are not signed up to Google’s licensing agreements (such as Huawei), may no longer be able to wirelessly share data via NFC between devices. Most people won’t experience this, but it is worth pointing out.
Will your phone get Android 14?
Most Android phones released in the last year or so should make the transition to Android 14, although how quickly this happens relies on the manufacturers as they implement the upgrades. The only way to be sure is to check on the manufacturers website to see if your handset is listed.
Should you find that’s not the case, then you can always peruse our roundups of the best budget phones, best mid-range phones and best Android smartphones to see if you fancy upgrading to one that will.