A change in operating system brings with it new ways to personalise and utilise your smartphone. Android 14 introduces several features that push Google’s OS forward, and in this comparison guide we’ll take you through what separates it from Android 13 to enhance your experience.
More customisable lock screens
Android 13 expanded upon the Dynamic Theme feature, which opened up more personalisation options when changing your phone’s colour scheme. This would also affect the lock screen, but these tweaks pale in comparison to what Android 14 can do.
There are multiple clock faces to choose from, such as a traditional analogue clock for a more vintage feel, and modern digital clocks. Shortcuts can also be added to the bottom of the lock screen for easy access to apps, including the camera and Wallet.
Artificial intelligence is at the heart of the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, powering many of their features. One such feature is AI-generated wallpapers, which blow the door wide open when it comes to customisation on Android 14.
If you have an idea in mind, all you have to do is tell the AI what to create. Dynamic Themes on Android 13 are fantastic for creating unified colour schemes across your phone’s menus, but if you want something a little more unique, Android 14’s wallpaper generation features on the Pixel 8 series are well-equipped to deliver.
A wider range of accessibility options
Android 14 offers a much greater selection of accessibility options than its predecessor. Chief among these options is the notification flash feature; a useful tool if you’re hard of hearing. With it, you can set your phone’s camera or screen to flash when receiving a notification, and the colour of the flash can also be changed if the standard white light is too distracting.
This version of Android also includes deeper scaling tools for users with impaired vision. Android 13 offered 130% font scaling, but Android 14 significantly expands on that number with a 200% scaling option, as well as nonlinear scaling of headers so that they don’t look huge when adjusting the font size.
More ways to personalise your phone’s security
A recurring theme of Android 14 is personalisation, and while there are larger updates that offer sweeping changes to your Android experience, it also introduces some smaller features that can make a big difference.
If your phone is set to unlock via a PIN number, you might have noticed the need to tap ‘Enter’ on older Android versions before you can access the device. Android 14 provides additional ways to adjust this to your liking, such as the ability to automatically unlock your phone when successfully entering a 6-digit or more PIN number.
For extra security, you can also disable the soft animation that plays when tapping the screen, so that people around you can’t tell which numbers you have pressed.
Improvements to battery efficiency
Updates to power draw and processing mean that Android 14 phones have improved battery life compared to previous iterations.
This efficiency is largely driven by smarter handling of smaller tasks that are running in the background, giving your smartphone a bit of extra firepower throughout the day.
Greater control over permissions
Being asked if you want to give permission to apps is a common sight on smartphones, and on Android 14 this is also the case. However, Google have added the ability to grant access to specific files alongside the standard ‘Allow’ option, enabling you to state which ones you’d like to share.
Enhanced malware protection
One of the biggest differences between Android 14 and 13 is how they tackle potential malware on your phone.
Once Android 14 is installed, any apps that were built for Android 5.1 or older will no longer be accessible. The aim of this is to stop the installation of apps that aren’t updated to work with later Android versions, thereby reducing the chance of harmful software plaguing your phone.
Many of the most popular apps on the Play Store are frequently updated to support newer iterations of Android, so this change will only impact much older apps.
A hub for all things health
Google’s Health feature has existed across several previous versions of Android, but it functioned as a separate app. On Android 14, Health Connect is built directly within the Settings menu, and provides a more centralised space from which to track your fitness.
Health Connect will also pull in data from other fitness apps you have installed, putting everything in one easy-to-access place.
As you’ve seen, Android 14 has a lot to offer across its many features, whether you’re new to the Android world or were a fan of Android 13. If you are curious about Google’s own Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro handsets, our comparison guide will take you through their features step-by-step.
Will Android 14 improve performance?
Phones with Android 14 can benefit from faster performance and improved battery life. This is achieved by reducing the amount of background activity, which can negatively affect how fast your device runs.
Is Android 14 better than 13?
Android 14 comes with multiple enhancements that can benefit a wide range of users, such as deeper accessibility options like 200% font scaling and customisable lock screens.
Another significant addition to Android 14 is Google’s commitment to 7 years of updates on Pixel 8 devices. If you want to pick up a Pixel 8 phone, or you have one already, you’re also getting long-term peace of mind.