Android 14 is now rolling out to compatible Pixel smartphones, months after Google took the wraps off its next major operating system update. The latest version of Android comes with improvements to security and accessibility features, and adds on-device generative AI tools — including the ability to create unique lock screen wallpapers. While many smartphone manufacturers are yet to announce which of their handsets will receive an update to Android 14, owners of recent Pixel models can download the update right away.
At the Made by Google 2023 event held on Wednesday, Google unveiled its Pixel 8 series of smartphones that run on Android 14 out-of-the-box. Meanwhile the company announced that eligible Pixel smartphones are also receiving the update to Android 14. This means that if you are running a Pixel 4a, Pixel 5, Pixel 5a, Pixel 6, Pixel 7 Pro, Pixel 6a, Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro, Pixel 7a, and Pixel Fold you will be able to download the Android 14 update. The Pixel Tablet will also be compatible with Android 14.
Some of the most noteworthy improvements and changes coming to Android 14 are related to the camera app, with support for “Ultra HDR” images, improved zoom support in third-party apps, and better image capturing in low-light scenarios. Meanwhile, the camera app can also scan documents like a certificate or a shopping receipt, which can then be stored in digital form.
The lock screen on Android 14 has been updated to offer support for increased customisation, bringing the Pixel phones on par with iOS and Samsung’s One UI in terms of customisation. You can now pick custom lock screen clock designs and use shortcuts of your choice on the lock screen. Meanwhile, a generative AI tool built into the operating system can create unique wallpapers for you that can be set on the home or the lock screen, or both.
You can now set a six-digit passcode on Android 14 and the operating system will unlock it as soon as you type it in. The operating system will also support passkeys, which means that you will be able to log into apps and websites without having to type your password.
Users who rely on Android’s accessibility tools will benefit from better font scaling with larger font support, the ability to pinch and zoom across the operating system, and support for connecting hearing aids. You can also enable a setting to flash your screen whenever you receive a notification.
Android 14 also adds support for a new Health Connect API (application programming interface) that will allow apps on your phone to access health information from a central location. Apps will also be able to access information collected by other apps that also have access to the API, according to details shared by Google.
If you want to download the Android 14 update on your Pixel smartphone, you can open the Settings app and tap on System > System update > Check for update > Download and Install. You’ll only need to do this if you haven’t already received a push notification informing you that the update to Android 14 is ready for your smartphone. After the update is downloaded, your phone will begin the installing it — you will need to reboot your phone when prompted, to complete the update process.