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.

Apple updates App Store pricing tiers

Apple's iPad and iPhone, digital

Apple announced late Friday a number of upcoming changes to App Store pricing tiers in countries across the world. Prices will increase in Colombia, Egypt, Hungary, Nigeria, Norway, South Africa, and the United Kingdom while they will decrease in Uzbekistan on February 13.

Prices in Ireland, Luxembourg, Singapore, and Zimbabwe won’t increase, but there will be changes to the proceeds shared with developers based on local tax changes.

By February 13, proceeds to developers will then increase in Cambodia, Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia, Singapore, South Korea, Tajikistan, Thailand, and Uzbekistan.


The App Store’s commerce and payments system was built to empower you to conveniently set up and sell your products and services at a global scale with 44 currencies across 175 Storefronts. Periodically, we update prices on the App Store in certain regions based on changes in taxes and foreign exchange rates. This is done using publicly available exchange rate information from financial data providers to help ensure prices for apps and in‑app purchases stay equalized across all storefronts.

Google announces Play Console tweaks to make it easier to send changes for review

black android smartphone

Google is today announcing an upcoming change for the Play Console that’s designed to make it easier to know what modifications need to be reviewed when publishing.

From the Android Developer blog:

One challenge you’ve shared with us is a lack of predictability and control over the app review process. Previously, it was hard to predict which changes would be sent to Google for review, and which changes would be published immediately. There was also no way to send multiple changes for review together, for example, if you wanted to update your app at the same time as one of your store listing screenshots.

As a result of your feedback, we’re making some changes to give you more flexibility and control over the app review process.

When publishing app changes today, it’s often difficult to know what changes need to be reviewed by Google’s Play team and which ones can be published immediately.

It’s also not possible to update screenshots and an app update together at present. But Google plans to address this soon with a new update to the Play Console.

Firstly, all app metadata including screenshots, Store listing and Data safety form information will show in the publishing overview if you have managed publishing turned on (it’s off by default). This allows you to publish the changes only when you need to – they will no longer publish immediately when you click save.

In addition, you’ll also soon be able to remove items that have already been sent for review or that are ready for publishing. Once removed, they’ll be moved back to a new “Changes ready to send for review” section on the publishing overview screen.

Apple rolls out iOS 16.3, iPadOS 16.3, watchOS 9.3, tvOS 16.3 and macOS 13.2 release candidates

Apple has overnight rolled out release candidates for the following platforms:

  • iOS 16.3
  • iPadOS 16.3
  • watchOS 9.3
  • tvOS 16.3
  • macOS 13.2

The release candidates are available to download now for developers via the Apple Developer Center. The updates are expected to be released to the general public next week.

Apple announces revised MacBook Pro, Mac mini with M2 chips

As predicted by recent rumours, Apple has overnight announced updates to the MacBook Pro and Mac mini line including new M2 Pro and M2 Max chips.

Building on the unprecedented power efficiency of Apple silicon, battery life on MacBook Pro is now up to 22 hours — the longest battery life ever in a Mac.2 For enhanced connectivity, the new MacBook Pro supports Wi-Fi 6E,3 which is up to twice as fast as the previous generation, as well as advanced HDMI, which supports 8K displays for the first time. With up to 96GB of unified memory in the M2 Max model, creators can work on scenes so large that PC laptops can’t even run them.

Apple Newsroom

The MacBook Pro gets a reasonable spec bump this time around, with the M2 models offering up to 12-core CPUs, 38-core GPUs and 96GB of unified memory.

Mac mini with M2 and M2 Pro delivers faster performance, even more unified memory, and advanced connectivity, including support for up to two displays on the M2 model, and up to three displays on the M2 Pro model.

Apple Newsroom

In light of recent rumours that work on an iMac with a larger display has been paused again, Apple says the mini can be “paired with Studio Display and Magic accessories” to make a “phenomenal desktop experience that will take users’ productivity and creativity to the next level.”

It’s also exciting to see the mini get the M2 Pro chip. The M1 Pro chip was never made available on the first iteration of the Apple Silicon mini.

There’s still no word on the promised Apple Silicon Mac Pro – but given today’s announcement was meant to be made late last year, it seems Apple’s running behind schedule.

The updated models are available for purchase now, but shipping times will vary depending on your country. They’ll ship starting January 24 in the US, but for those in the Asia-Pacific region (countries including Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, and New Zealand) won’t be available until Feb 3.

Twitter suspends third-party clients

Twitter on Samsung tablet screen

In yet another sudden move, Twitter has now selectively suspended popular third-party clients without warning or notice.

It feels like the end of an era – for the early years of the iPhone, Twitter clients were a thriving, fertile playground for exploration of touch-centric UI elements and paradigms. Functionality that would eventually become a platform standards debuted in popular third-party Twitter clients, such as pull-to-refresh in the Tweetie app.

What bothers me about Twitterrific’s final day is that it was not dignified. There was no advance notice for its creators, customers just got a weird error, and no one is explaining what’s going on. We had no chance to thank customers who have been with us for over a decade. Instead, it’s just another scene in their ongoing shit show.

Craig Hockenberry (Twitteriffic)

While it’s been a bumpy few years now for third-party clients, it certainly seems like now it’s the end of the road. It’s a disgrace the way this ban has been imposed given the role third-party clients have served for Twitter over the years.

And if you’re in the market for a Mastodon client – the team at Tapbots are racing to get Ivory, their new Mastodon client out the door as soon as possible.

Android Studio Electric Eel released

Android Developers Blog:

Today, we are ⚡️electrified⚡️ to announce the latest stable release of the official IDE for building Android applications: Android Studio Electric Eel (2022.1.1)!

This release includes updates and new features that cover across design, build & dependencies, emulators & devices, and IntelliJ.


  • Compose Preview updates automatically
  • Compose Preview device spec
  • Layout Inspector recomposition rendering highlights
  • Visual Linting
  • Universal Problems panel

Build & dependencies

  • Improved Sync performance with parallel project imports
  • Download impact in Build Analyzer
  • Upgrade Assistant post-upgrade report and rollback support
  • SDK Index integration
  • Baseline Profile fix for App Bundles

Emulators & devices

  • New “Desktop” category & Desktop AVD
  • Resizable Emulator (Experimental)
  • Physical Devices Mirroring (Experimental, Opt-in)


  • IntelliJ Platform 2022.1 Update

It’s a new year, and now a new stable version of Android Studio. First announced in May last year at Google I/O 2022, Electric Eel brings a number of highly-anticipated changes for Android Developers working with Jetpack Compose such as automatic updates, and the new Layout Inspector that helps show where recompositions are being triggered. It has been in preview since I/O.

This will help developers – especially those learning Compose who might not yet understand its intricacies – when investigating problems related to excessive or unexpected recompositions occurring.

Google’s announcement today follows Apple’s own rollout of its next round of software betas for its products earlier in the week as teams come back from end of year holidays.