Android 14 QPR3 Beta 2 Update Gets Touchy With New Camera and Lock Screen Tricks

Just when you thought Android 14’s feature set was solidifying, Google’s gone and thrown another beta curveball our way. Android 14 QPR3 Beta 2 (try saying that three times fast) delivers an assortment of under-the-radar additions and tweaks, keeping Google’s perpetually-updateable OS…well, perpetually updating.

For the camera nerds, there’s a new “allow camera software extensions” toggle buried in the Security settings. Enabled by default, it essentially gives Android the ability to provide its own basic camera functionality when device makers don’t supply advanced vendor extensions. Good news if you’re rocking an ultra-budget handset with a barebones camera app.

Android 14 is also taking a peek at potential satellite messaging support, because why have a party if Apple’s Emergency SOS isn’t invited? The beta contains a hidden “satellite messaging” menu, though it’s clearly non-functional at this stage.

But the star of the show may be Android’s new “glanceable hub” for bringing widgets back to the lock screen – a comeback I initially reported on earlier this year. The latest beta confirms you’ll be able to quickly glance at and interact with widgets from the lock screen or launcher, not unlike Windows Phone’s beloved Live Tiles.

Speaking of glancing, Google gave the “touch sensitivity” menu a nice illustrative diagram in this beta. It may seem trivial, but these little UI flourishes go a long way in making Android’s dense settings feel more user-friendly.

Finally, physical keyboard warriors get some new accessibility perks like “sticky keys” for easier keyboard shortcuts and “bounce keys” to ignore rapidfire repeated presses. Handy options, though they’ll have to be toggled on before “slow keys” joins the party in a future release.

Between satellite texting, improved camera controls, and widget-y lock screens, it’s shaping up to be an eclectic grab bag for Android’s next big update. Eclectic in a good way, that is – assuming all these beta experiements don’t end up half-baked.

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jerrywanint
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