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Android 14 Developer Preview 2 Hints at New Features for Pixel Tablet and Pixel Fold

Android 14 Developer Preview 2 introduces a new set of features for the upcoming Pixel Tablet and Pixel Fold.

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Google Pixel Tablet

With the recent revelations, it’s evident that both the Google Pixel Fold and Tablet are coming soon. And to top things off, Android 14 looks set to bring more features tailored for these devices – a clear sign of Google getting ready for their imminent arrival.

The Google Pixel Fold has been a much-anticipated device that, unfortunately, underwent several delays and cancellations over the years. Fortunately, during this period of time, Google was continually advancing its software to support not only its own devices, such as the various models of Pixel Folds and Tablets but also other major brands’ large-screen devices.

The Android 12L release was the first to introduce optimization for larger screens, and since then, there have been many more advancements made in the realm of foldable and tablets with Android 13 and 14. Just from the second preview of version 14 alone, 9to5Google has uncovered a wealth of new features that will be ideal for both Pixel Fold and Tablet models. Not only that, but they were even able to uncover some insights into how exactly these devices are going to function!

As Android 13 QPR3’s June release approaches, it remains unclear whether these features will accompany the Pixel Feature Drop in June or be exclusive to Android 14.

Improved Desktop Mode

With Android 13 QPR2 Beta, we got to see a remarkable makeover of “desktop mode,” something Google has been experimenting with on their platform for quite some time. When Desktop Mode is activated on Android, all your applications are displayed in movable windows that can be manipulated and resized as desired.

The previous beta unveiled a pill-shaped control bar at the top of each application, which has now been upgraded to show many similar controls as with the Recent Apps view. With this new addition, you can take screenshots and select or close an app window quickly and easily– plus change its size or placement in no time flat.

The aesthetic of this design is undeniably modern and resembles that of the upcoming Pixel Tablet or Fold. It is quite evident that the feature would make a world of difference in the success of its tablet companion by utilizing it with an external keyboard accessory. Nevertheless, nothing hasn’t been definitively linked to confirm whether these products are connected yet.

Pixel Fold Face Unlock 

In addition, Android researcher Kuba Wojciechowski has noticed a new string of text that could indicate more details regarding the operation of Face Unlock on Pixel Fold. It seems like it will only enable when the device is folded! Powerful and practical, this security feature ensures your device remains safe at all times.

Wojciechowski points out that the lack of a dual-pixel sensor in the Pixel Fold’s inner selfie camera (IMX355) is why Face Unlock can’t be used on this device, which is a key feature offered by both the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.

If you’re looking for a quick way to unlock the Pixel Fold when it is unfolded, your best bet would be to use either the side-mounted fingerprint sensor or Watch Unlock – if that ever takes off.

Lockscreen Notes

Folks at 9to5Google have been intently scrutinizing the Pixel Tablet’s ability to accurately take notes with its stylus. Pressing a button on the device will bring forth an app, which we believe is Google Keep Notes (although it has yet to be confirmed), that appears in a bubble and allows you to quickly jot down whatever comes to mind.

Google recently released the Android 14 Developer Preview and included a comprehensive update to their public-facing developer docs. One of the new APIs, ACTION_CREATE_NOTE, is used for swiftly launching a note-taking app – even on the lock screen! To ensure secure data handling, developers are encouraged to implement necessary safeguards.

This functionality should emulate the Google Camera app’s capacity to capture images without unlocking a device. With that same notion in mind, you can use the Pixel Tablet to craft new notes while your screen is locked, yet older notes demand authentication before they’re displayed. In Google Camera’s case, it also enables users to preview and remove newly taken pictures, but not any of those taken when the phone was secured – protecting all past captures from sight.

Dual Shade Notification Window

To cap it off, Android 14 Developer Preview 2 introduces a new flag named “dual_shade.” Although the code for this feature is yet to be included, its title implies that we are potentially on the verge of experiencing an upgrade in our notification shade.

Tablets and foldable now use a singular, large drop-down window containing notifications on the right side, along with quick settings to the left. You can take a look at this design in this preview video of Pixel Tablet’s software around the 0:43 mark.

At present, we can only imagine what could be in store for us with the “dual_shade” feature. It’s possible that this new technology could distinguish between notifications and quick settings according to which direction you slide your finger on the screen. Just like iOS displays either Control Center or Notification Center, depending if you have swiped from left to right or vice versa, dual_shade may work similarly.

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