Google released the Android 14 Beta 4 on Tuesday as the company prepares for the final release of the operating system update. The new version mostly includes bug fixes but also introduces a nifty feature to make unlocking easier.
The Beta 4 has a new “auto-confirm unlock” feature in settings, which unlocks the phone automatically once you dial in the correct PIN of six digits or more. Previously, you had to tap enter to confirm after keying in the PIN code. In the settings menu, Google warns that auto-unlocking is a “slightly less secure” method than having to confirm the action.
In earlier beta versions, the Ring volume and Notification volume sliders were tied to each other, so you couldn’t raise the ring volume without raising it for notifications. As Android researcher Mishaal Rahman noted, in the latest update, these two controls are now fully separate.
The “ring volume” and “notification volume” sliders are now completely separated in Android 14, with no way to merge them again. In older betas, the separation was controlled by a DeviceConfig flag, but that flag’s no longer in use. pic.twitter.com/iHJ8JLo73O
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) July 11, 2023
Other improvements in the Android 14 Beta 4 include new default profile pictures, support for the beta version on tablets and foldable, a better widget picker for tablets, and more prominent placement of the slipt screen option in the long press menu. The new update is immediately available to download for Google phones including Pixel 4a and newer.
Google released the first developer beta for Android 14 in March and the first public beta in April. According to the timetable released by the company earlier this year, the new operating system would reach stability in July with the final version coming out after that. It is likely that the search giant will release the stable version of Android 14 next August.
Android 14 update includes an upgrade to the back gesture, per app language settings, a screenshot detection API, and a new photo picker for letting users give an app access to only select photos.