As Google settles into its design philosophy with Material You, Android 14 has primarily been an iterative update, refining features and tools from the previous version. After a slight delay in the Android 14 launch, Google has accelerated its development cycle and is gearing up to release the first feature update in December. Here’s everything you need to know about the Android 14 QPR1 update.
When does the Android 14 QPR1 Update come out?
Before discussing the features, it is important to note that the update is scheduled for release in December and will support Google devices spanning from the Pixel 5 series to the latest 8 and 8 Pro.
Integrating Weather in the Clock app
For people who frequently travel between countries, keeping track of time and weather at their destination becomes essential. However, juggling between the Weather and Clock apps can be time-consuming. With this in mind, Google is integrating weather forecasts into the Clock app, which will allow users to view weather conditions for multiple time zones or locations, including their current one, directly from the Clock widget or app.
Use your phone as a webcam
Apple’s implementation of Continuity Camera has garnered much attention in recent months since it essentially allows users to turn their phones into webcams, thus significantly improving the image quality.
Similarly, Google plans to enable Android devices to function as wired webcams for various desktop systems. And although the system lacks wireless functionality, the fact it can work with any operating system is a welcomed addition.
Helping you update your phone
Keeping your phones and apps updated can be cumbersome, requiring users to navigate between different apps like the Play Store and Settings. Now, to address this, Google plans to debut a new Software Updates panel in Android 14 QPR1. This panel simplifies the updating process by providing easy access to system updates, Google Play system updates, and app updates.
New Battery Cycle count
Battery health is one of the most requested features on Android since it not only helps users track battery health but also aids refurbished phone buyers in assessing the device’s condition. With the December feature update, Google will introduce a cycle count in battery settings, thus enabling users to evaluate their battery health.
New lock screen clock
Android 14 has already introduced a slew of new lock screen clocks, which allow users to customize their lock screen. And Android 14 QPR1 will introduce a new Metro lock screen clock, offering a multicolored design that complements Material You or the chosen color scheme.
Optimization for the Pixel Fold
Pixel Fold has been one of the most interesting phones to have come out this year, thanks in part to its different take on the folding design when compared to Samsung, which has dominated the market in the West. But, just like any first-generation product, the software support for the Pixel Fold is still under active development.
However, to fix the app optimization issues, the December update will introduce a new aspect ratio section in system settings, allowing users to choose between full-screen and letterboxed display modes for specific apps.
AI features for the Pixel 8 series
When Google first announced the Pixel 8 series, most AI features were still under development. However, in the December update, the company is introducing a more intelligent Google Assistant integrated with Bard. This enhancement will not only allow users to ask tailored questions depending on the app and file but will also enable them to use the Assistant as an AI chatbot, thus helping in planning trips, creating shopping lists and much more.
However, it is important to note that although both the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro will gain access to the new Google Assistant, other upcoming AI functionalities like Recorder features, next-gen Magic Eraser, and improved Smart Reply in Gboard remain exclusive to the Pixel 8 Pro.