Round-up of Android announcements at Google I/O 2023

With Google I/O 2023 now underway, here’s a round-up of the key Android-related announcements so far. As expected, there’s a strong emphasis on AI functionality alongside a strong line-up of privacy and productivity improvements for customers and developers.


  • New AI enhancements for messages app

Android Studio

  • Studio Bot – Generative AI coding assistant for Android Studio (think GitHub Copilot), available in preview in Android Studio Hedgehog today
  • Android Device Streaming from Android Studio – allows you to connect to run your app in Android Studio on remote physical devices (Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet for now) hosted by Google. Waitlist available, preview release later in 2023
  • View Android Vitals crash reports from Android Studio – Android Studio ‘App Quality Insights’ panel now includes Android Vitals, so you no longer need to go to the Play Store Console to view. Available in Android Studio Hedgehog today
  • All new Android Studio logo!

Jetpack Compose

  • Compose for Android TV – Now write apps for Google’s TV platform, using Compose. Available in alpha today
  • Glance library – Use Compose to write Android widgets. Previously available in alpha, now progresses to beta from today
  • Horizontal and vertical pager
  • Flow layouts
  • More Material 3 goodness – new components, and tweaks to existing ones
  • Modifier performance enhancements – new architecture, ~22% gain in text performance
  • Accessibility Test Framework support for Compose – coming soon, sneak peak shown in the “What’s new in Android Accessibility” video


  • Work continuing on new K2 compiler
  • Now runs on WebAssembly – write Android features and use WebAssembly (WASM) to deploy to the web

Play Store

WWDC 2023 starts June 5

As expected, Apple has announced the dates for its annual developer conference, Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) for 2023.

The event kicks off June 5, and will run for a week. Like last year, there’ll be a special one-day event at Apple Park for developers and media. This will then be followed by the release of a series of videos online for the remainder of the week, covering new frameworks and technologies.

“Apple will host a special all‑day event for developers and students on June 5 at Apple Park. Watch the keynote and State of the Union videos together, meet some of the teams at Apple, celebrate great apps at the Apple Design Awards ceremony, and enjoy activities into the evening,” Apple said in its WWDC announcement.

“WWDC is one of our favourite times of the year at Apple because it’s an opportunity to connect with the talented developers from around the globe who make this community so extraordinary,” Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations said in a statement. “WWDC23 is going to be our biggest and most exciting yet, and we can’t wait to see many of you online and in person at this very special event!”

Speculation is mounting that Apple will use this year’s WWDC to unveil its new mixed-reality headset, alongside a new realityOS. It’ll also likely see the unveiling of the next versions of iOS, iPadOS, macOS and watchOS.

Registered developers can sign up now to go into the draw to win tickets to the one-day event at Apple Park, while students can enter the Student Challenge with the chance to win a number of prizes.

The event rounds out a busy conference season for the tech giants, with Google holding Google I/O on May 10, and Microsoft hosting its Build event May 23 to 24.

Apple to require use of Xcode 14.1 for App Store submissions

Apple's iPad and iPhone, digital

Apple has today announced it will soon require the use of Xcode 14.1 for App Store submissions.

From April 25, submissions to the App Store will need to be built using Xcode 14. This applies to both updates for existing applications and submissions of new applications.

“When building your app, we highly recommend taking advantage of the latest advances in iOS 16iPadOS 16 and watchOS 9,” Apple says.

The announcement follows Google’s recent announcement that it will require apps to target Android API 33 by August 31 this year for submissions to the Play Store.

Apple kicks off iOS 16.5 beta

Now that iOS 16.4 has been released, Apple has kicked off the next series of betas for iOS 16.5, iPadOS 16.5, macOS 13.4, tvOS 16.5 and watchOS 9.5.

At this stage the betas don’t appear to include any significant changes. According to official release notes, the iOS release contains bug fixes for Matter and other system apps while some platforms such as watchOS don’t have any notable changes.

Developers can download the betas today via the Apple Developer portal, or by opting in to the beta program on an iOS device.

This round of betas is likely to be one of the last before the next major updates are announced at WWDC, which itself is likely to be announced any day now.

Apple rolls out iOS 16.4, macOS, watchOS and tvOS updates

apple logo

After rolling out the first beta of iOS 16.4 in February, Apple has now released the final version of iOS 16.4 alongside a suite of updates for macOS, watchOS and tvOS.

OS 16.4 includes support for new Unicode 15 emojis, as well as manual and automatic updates for Matter accessories and a series of bug fixes across Apple’s default system apps.

There’s also new support for OAuth and other types of authorisation requests from SwiftUI, but perhaps the most notable feature included in 16.4 are the changes made to Safari and WebKit. Push notification support is being added for web apps. However, push notifications will only be supported for web apps added to a user’s home screen. In total, Apple says 135 new features are included in WebKit as part of Safari 16.4.

And notably for developers, from iOS 16.4 onwards you’ll be able to opt-in to developer betas directly from the Settings app as long as you’re signed in with the Apple ID used to enrol into the Apple Developer program.

Google to enforce August 31 Target API deadlines for Play Store apps

black android smartphone

Google has announced that they’re simplifying the deadlines for Android developers to target the most recent version of Android when submitting apps to the Play Store.

In a post to the Play Console community forums, and an email sent to developers registered with a Play Store developer account, Google says apps will be required to target API level 33 by August 31, 2023. This applies to both new apps and also updates to existing apps on the Play Store.

For those unable to meet the deadline, Google will allow developers to apply for a one-time extension until November 1, 2023. No further extensions will be granted after this date. The extension application form will appear in the Play Console later this year, before the August deadline.

If an app in the Play Store targets Android 30 or lower after August 31, it will only be visible to customers running the same or older versions of Android that the app targets. For example, if the app targets Android 29 then the app would only be visible to those running Android 10 or lower.

wearOS developers also need to be aware that apps must target API 30 by the August deadline.

Google says this new streamlined approach will be in place for each year moving forward, so you can expect API 34 (the upcoming Android 14 release) to be a requirement come August 31, 2024.

Google releases second Android 14 developer preview

selective focus photography of person holding turned on smartphone

From Dave Burke, over on the Android Developers blog announcing the second Android 14 developer preview:

Today, we’re releasing the second Developer Preview of Android 14, building on the work of the first developer preview of Android 14 from last month with additional enhancements to privacy, security, performance, developer productivity, and user customization while continuing to refine the large-screen device experience on tablets, foldables, and more.

Android delivers enhancements and new features year-round, and your feedback on the Android 14 developer preview and Quarterly Platform Release (QPR) beta program plays a key role in helping Android continuously improve. The Android 14 developer site has lots more information about the preview, including downloads for Pixel and the release timeline. We’re looking forward to hearing what you think, and thank you in advance for your continued help in making Android a platform that works for everyone.

The second developer preview of Android 14 brings a number of changes from the first preview, including a new permission dialog when an app tries to access a user’s photo library, improvements in the UI and API interface for the new credentials manager, optimisations to Android’s memory management system when an app is running in the background:

Several seconds after an app goes into the cached state, background work is disallowed outside of conventional Android app lifecycle APIs such as foreground services, JobScheduler, or WorkManager. Background work is disallowed an order of magnitude faster than on Android 13.

There are also a number of changes to the APIs the alternate app marketplaces can use, as well as new Android settings menus for regional settings.

As noted on Twitter, Google also released a swathe of library updates including Lifecycle 2.6.0, RecyclerView 1.3.0 and a number of release candidates for other libraries.

Google continues to target platform stability for June, and is likely to announce more consumer-oriented changes in Android in May at Google I/O. For now the beta program remains unavailable, so the only way to install Android 14 is to flash it onto selected devices. Google warns that this preview build is not ready for daily use yet.

Apple rolls out peer group benchmarks for developers

Stock Graph

Apple Developer News:

Starting today, you can put your app’s performance into context using peer group benchmarks, which compare your app’s performance to that of similar apps on the App Store. Now you’ll have even more insights to help you identify growth opportunities.

Peer group benchmarks provide powerful new insights across the customer journey, so you can better understand what works well for your app and find opportunities for improvement. Apps are placed into groups based on their App Store category, business model, and download volume to ensure relevant comparisons. Using industry-leading differential privacy techniques, peer group benchmarks provide relevant and actionable insights — all while keeping the performance of individual apps private.

Having checked out the benchmark data for some of the apps I ship or work on, it’s evident Apple still has a way to go if they want these benchmarks to be on par with the data that’s available for Android developers via the Google Play Console. Where Google allow developers to create peer groups containing specific apps, Apple’s approach is based on your apps category, monetisation strategy and download count.

Google’s approach allows for comparison to your actual market competitors, Apple’s is far more generic and less meaningful. But given Apple’s stance towards privacy, and the clear emphasis on protecting individual app privacy it’s hard to see that changing.

On the flip-side, it’s fascinating to be able to compare some metrics and see how well your app is performing against other apps. It adds a valuable context to some of the metrics already available in App Store Connect.

Apple rolls out iOS 16.4 beta 1

NASA Visualization Explorer Now Available For All iOS Devices

Apple is back with a new round of betas today, this time for iOS 16.4, iPadOS 16.4, macOS 13.3, tvOS 16.4, and watchOS 9.4. Apple hasn’t released any betas since iOS 16.3 reached general availability in January.

iOS 16.4 beta 1 includes a number of changes, including support for new Unicode 15 emojis, manual and automatic updates for Matter accessories.

There’s also new support for OAuth and other types of authorisation requests from SwiftUI, but perhaps the most notable feature included in 16.4 are the changes made to Safari and WebKit. Push notification support is being added for web apps. However, push notifications will only be supported for web apps added to a user’s home screen. In total, Apple says 135 new features are included in WebKit as part of Safari 16.4.

And notably for developers, from iOS 16.4 onwards you’ll be able to opt-in to developer betas directly from the Settings app as long as you’re signed in with the Apple ID used to enrol into the Apple Developer program. Otherwise you’ll only be able to opt-in to the public beta program. Apple will cease issuing configuration profiles in future releases of iOS.

First Android 14 developer preview released

selective focus photography of person holding turned on smartphone

Google has today rolled out the first Android 14 developer preview, making it available for download immediately.

In a similar fashion to the path taken with Android 13, Android 14 will go through a series of developer previews before reaching beta in April, platform stability in early June and reaching production-ready status sometime in late July or early August.

While Google is no doubt keeping some features up its sleeve for Google I/O or announcement later this year, for developers there’s a number of important changes that you need to be aware of. They include:

  • Changes to the declaration of services, including limiting the types of services that can be permitted
  • Context-registered broadcasts have some minor changes when an app is cached
  • A new SCHEDULE_EXACT_ALARM permission for setting exact alarms
  • Requirement to declare if receivers are exported or unexported
  • Changes for apps using dynamic code loading
  • Apps with a targetSdkVersion lower than 23 can no longer be installed to protect against malware
  • Credential manager and passkeys support
  • OpenJDK 17 support

In addition, users will be able to increase their font size up to 200%. Currently Pixel devices allow customers to enlarge their fonts by 130% – so developers will want to test to ensure screens are still functional at the larger font size.

“Android 14 continues our work to improve your productivity as developers, along with enhancements to performance, privacy, security, and user customization,” Dave Burke, VP of Engineering wrote. “This preview is just the beginning, and we’ll have lots more to share as we move through the release cycle.”

The Android 14 SDK can now be installed in preview builds of Android Studio Giraffe. You can also flash Pixel devices with Android 14, but keep in mind you may need to use developer support images to downgrade.