Nope, no stable version yet
Samsung's Android 14 update is almost ready to make its public debut, but it appears the smartphone giant has a few more kinks left to iron out. Today, the company has started rolling out the ninth iteration of its One UI 6 beta for the Galaxy S23 series. Initially making its appearance in the US, this update is set to grace other markets shortly.
You can view device controls in a centralized dashboard as well
Many of us have smart home devices that make life simpler through automation. That being said, these devices can add up over time, and it can become a hassle to manage them all. Even products by the same manufacturer can be challenging to synchronize, schedule, and automate, depending on the tasks. Home Assistant, an open source home automation platform, is making it easier for some homeowners by consolidating multiple devices. Now, it’s supporting Android's built-in smart home device controls, too.
Using a password manager makes this easier
If you're like most people, you probably kept the random password on the bottom of your home router. While that random password is pretty safe, it's probably pretty hard to remember. If you already have your login details on your Android phone or tablet, there's no need dust off and flip over your gateway.
The 2022 OS came with some much-needed refinements
Android 13 was released in August 2022 and became available on all the best phones over time, including the flagship Google Pixel 7 and Google Pixel 7 Pro, which were both launched with it preinstalled. The release is as good as obsolete due to its successor, Android 14, which launched in October 2023 and offers thoughtful enhancements to a solid existing system. It's slowly making its way to all recent Android phones. You might still want to learn everything there is to know about Android 13 and all the quarterly feature drops it received while it was still getting new updates.
The future of gestures on Android is here. Here's how to use it
Android 14 is full of new features, most found behind the scenes. A couple of years after Google gave us a new look for our favorite smartphones with Material You, the last two upgrades have focused on upgrading elements you might not think about every day. Security, privacy, and speed are three aspects that Android 14 excels at, but Google didn't stop there. A new addition to gestures could change how you think about swiping between apps on your new Pixel 8 Pro, but you need to activate predictive back gestures to see it in action.
It's fairly easy once you get past the initial setup process
ChromeOS is an excellent and lightweight operating system that lets you stay secure while browsing online. Typically found on Chromebooks, these are primarily online-only devices that are limited in their overall capabilities. Whether they are the best or even the most affordable Chromebooks, all have one thing in common: less software compatibility than Windows. Many developers make fully featured apps on Windows that you can't get on ChromeOS via a Chromebook. If you're ready to switch from ChromeOS to Windows, we show you how to get started in the guide below.
The flaw was blamed on the Emergency SOS feature
If you’ve ever experienced an unexpected emergency in the digital age, you likely know the benefits of having a phone on you in these moments. An immediate connection to the outside world can be the difference between instant emergency care and an increasingly severe situation. However, Google may have made it too easy to send out a call for emergency services. After a reported spike in these calls, the situation has since been remedied.
Reducing background activity by 50% without sacrificing functionality
We've talked about it before, but Android 14 really seems to make a difference when it comes to performance. With the advent of Feature Drops, major OS version bumps aren't as packed to the brim with user-facing changes as they once were. But Android 14 has several major improvements that users will surely notice even if they're not visual upgrades or new functionality: Google has changed the way the system handles RAM and processor workloads, and the end result should be significant performance gains.
Look for a Chromebook Plus moniker when you hunt for a new ChromeOS device
Chromebooks are often referred to as low-cost alternatives to Mac and Windows computers. Google has been toying with an idea to better distinguish between low-end and high-end Chromebooks. The search giant recently announced the Chromebook Plus program to set the ground rules for manufacturers to earn the premium tag and deliver a better experience to ChromeOS users.
Apple's Focus modes allow for unprecedented control over distractions. Here's how to use one
Are you feeling a bit distracted these days? Is a new remote work situation or job creating problems with task management? Apple added a productivity feature to iOS and related platforms called Focus. Focus allows you to customize certain modes for work, studying, or other activities to avoid distractions. If you haven't tried it, we recommend incorporating it into your most productive times. Focus is more useful than the usual sleep modes or just leaving messages on read.
Things are looking pretty familiar to start
Xiaomi phones are really impressive. Besides boasting some of the best camera specs of any smartphone line on the market, the sheer quality of the company's internals as well as its ability to keep up with modern trends like foldable phones pushes it towards the front of the pack. It’s unfortunate for some of our readers that these products aren’t usually sold in Western markets, because with the right branding, they could really catch on.
Having to worry less about what's on your phone is a win in our book
Android is about as open as operating systems get these days. Compared to iOS, which allows very little wiggle room for non-Apple authorized customization, Android users can do almost anything to their phone — for better or worse — with a little bit of tinkering. One of the ways people can utilize the openness of their smartphone is by sideloading apps outside the Google Play Store, which can obviously be a bit dangerous regardless of whether you’re as careful as they come with technology or not. Malware can come in all shapes and sizes, so Google has taken the steps to finally roll out an enhanced version of Google Play Protect, which we mentioned was being worked on last month.
A version for the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro is 'coming soon'
The Pixel 8 and 8 Pro have several advertised features that are yet to launch, such as Zoom Enhance, Video Boost, and the ability to use the temperature sensor to check a human's temperature. We're expecting most of these to come as part of the December Pixel Feature Drop due out in about a month and a half. Testing for this new version is already underway, as Google has opened up the Android 14 Quarterly Platform Release 1 (QPR1) beta program. Today, the next major update for Pixel phones just got one step closer to release.
Finally plugging a massive corporate data loophole
Sharing files from Android devices was a rather janky affair, sometimes involving cloud storage or third-party apps, until Nearby Share burst onto the scene and simplified the process. It came even closer to Apple’s AirDrop in terms of function with support for sharing files, folders, and text to Windows computers introduced earlier this year. However, convenient data sharing is the bane of corporate data security, and with billions of people using Android for work, the concerns are amplified greatly. Google is finally addressing this concern with an update disabling Nearby Share by default on Android devices when you enable a work profile.
Moving content between apps is easy — when you know how to do it
Android 14 is here, and while Google kept its best features exclusive to its Pixel lineup, plenty of new features are coming to your phone soon. While some of this update's best content is hidden behind the scenes, you'll find some crucial new tools perfect for multitasking, especially if you haven't upgraded to one of our favorite foldables. Whether you're rocking a Google Pixel 8 Pro or a Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra running the One UI 6 beta, here's how to drag and drop between apps on Android 14.
The company could make Chromebooks updateable beyond their official end-of-life date
Google’s Chromebooks have carved out more than a niche for themselves, having long become a viable alternative to Windows laptops and MacBooks for many. The one caveat that’s attached to Chromebooks is their limited software support, though. While Google vows to update the latest and greatest Chromebooks for up to 10 years from the moment sales start, this still leaves far too many current devices becoming obsolete before the hardware dies. Google might fix this by bringing ChromeOS Flex to those machines.
SafetyNet Safe Browsing API — the backbone of Android's fortified security
Ensuring security in our digital lives is crucial, given the vast amounts of information we interact with every day. From accessing our bank details to exploring new websites or responding to messages, we need to feel protected. Android has taken many steps to shore up these areas over the years, and now it's gearing up to enhance your sense of security with the introduction of Android Safe Browsing.
These under-the-hood memory management tweaks might be game changers
Android's has historically pushed the limits with cutting-edge developments. But when new systems are implemented, they have a tendency to break existing functionality, so updates can sometimes decrease battery life and performance. Android 14 is bucking these trends by focusing more on refinement than new features, and there are a handful of changes that should help with memory management in particular.
Use these tips to become a Chromebook power user
Computers should be simple and easy to use for everyone. Windows and macOS devices are okay in this regard but have some complexities that sometimes make them difficult to use. Chromebooks have a streamlined user experience that is almost as easy as using the Google Chrome browser. This is because the operating system used on Chromebooks, called ChromeOS, is based on Google Chrome.
It's time to replace your boring old wallpaper
Wallpapers make a surprising difference to your user experience and set the tone of your device. Whether you opt for a picture of your loved ones, an abstract design, your favorite band, or a scenic landscape, your choice of wallpaper can impact your mood. So, if you feel like you've outgrown your old desktop background, it might be time for a wallpaper refresh.