Google starts rolling out Android 14 on Pixel devices with Beta 5 launch

A mouthful of upside down cake.

Android 14

Google surprised all by dropping the fifth Android 14 beta for Pixel devices this week. Beta 5 is the last scheduled update in the beta program that brings with it numerous fixes and optimisations, meaning enthusiasts may tinker and provide critical feedback before the imminent Android 14 launch.

The changelog is significant, to say the least. Key highlights include fixes for incorrect audio playback, excessive battery consumption, and numerous display glitches. Apart from this, the new beta also bumps the security patch level to August 2023, addressing various vulnerabilities.

Of note, according to eagle-eyed folks at 9to5Google, the update also removes a clock face from the all-new lock screen customisation feature. Android 14 has since introduced eight unique clock styles to the lock screen, a place where Android has been limited in terms of functionality.

Besides providing a fresh visual aesthetic, it also grants users the ability to add shortcuts on top of lock screen for quick access to certain apps. Nonetheless, it appears the handwritten-looking lock screen has been removed in the new beta, and it’s likely to remain gone forever, seeing as we are so close to the final launch.

Speaking of the final Android 14 launch, there’s no release date in sight, though it should be imminent. Bear in mind that Google is known for secretly pushing release dates to the right without informing anyone, so that could mean as early as next week, or next month.

old timeline via gsm arena
Hmm, can you spot the difference? via GSMarena

If you own an eligible Pixel device and are enrolled in the Android Beta program, the update is available over-the-air. If you’re not already, you can still choose to participate, here.

For your convenience, here is the rather impressive changelog down below:

  • Fixed an issue where after unlocking a device using a PIN, TalkBack provides incorrect audio.
  • Fixed an issue where Wi-Fi scanning was consuming too much battery.
  • Fixed an issue where some pictures would glitch with extra shadow blocks.
  • Fixed an issue where in some cases, the fingerprint sensor icon wouldn’t appear as expected.
  • Fixed an issue where voice over Wi-Fi wasn’t enabled by default.
  • Fixed an issue on Pixel Fold devices where the device loses antenna ranging session information and cannot recover it.
  • Fixed an issue where an extraneous white bar would appear in some apps.
  • Fixed a background color issue with the UI used to add a shortcut to the home screen.
  • Fixed a launcher issue that was causing frequent crashes and other quality issues.
  • Fixed an issue on Pixel tablets where user interaction during the transition from screen saver to low-light clock causes a SysUI crash.
  • Fixed a Pixel Fold issue where tapping would fail to wake the device.
  • Fixed a Pixel Fold issue where the system buttons would have inconsistent positions after folding and unfolding.
  • Fixed an issue causing SysUI crashes when removing an app pair in landscape.
  • Fixed an issue the launcher doesn’t fully render after setup.
  • Fixed an issue where the system displayed an incorrect mobile connection type.
  • Fixed an issue where navigating back to exit an app leads to users no longer being able to open the app.
  • Fixed an issue where wallpaper previews were sometimes blank.
  • Fixed an issue where the system theme changes from yellow to pink after rebooting.
  • Fixed an overscroll issue with ScrollView.
  • Fixed an issue where certain color palettes were difficult to see when the lock screen was activated.
  • Fixed an issue where users couldn’t enable battery sharing if a work profile exists on the device.
  • Fixed an issue where a tablet screen inappropriately turns off when docked.
  • Fixed an issue where the device policy manager was preventing notifications from appearing.
  • Fixed an issue where group notifications couldn’t be expanded.
  • Fixed an issue where the lockscreen didn’t properly display the clock.
  • Fixed various camera issues that were causing crashes and reductions in quality.
  • Fixed an issue with power consumption during video playback.
  • Fixed a Weather clock rendering issue.
  • Fixed an issue where the lock screen customization preview didn’t match the end result.
  • Fixed an issue that was causing the wallpaper selection screen to crash.
  • Fixed an issue where Pixel devices weren’t connecting with some routers.
  • Fixed a toast search result issue where the color was too similar with the background color.
  • Fixed an issue where tapping a notification before using facial unlock does not open the notification.
  • Fixed an issue on Pixel Fold where two clocks were displayed at the same time when in widescreen.
  • Fixed an issue where widgets would overlap and stack incorrectly.
  • Fixed an issue where closing the PiP window doesn’t stop YouTube playback.
  • Fixed an issue with switching call audio sources.
  • Fixed an issue where after unlocking a device, only the background appears.
  • Fixed an issue with dragging folders to remove them.