Experienced Android viewers will remember that major, annual updates to Google’s mobile operating system used to come with dessert names attached – until Android 9 Pie in 2018. These days, it’s a bit simpler: Android 13 will replace Android 12 later this year.
While Android releases now stick to numbers in terms of public messaging and branding, food-related names still exist internally at Google as code names. As 9to5Google has seen in the Android Open Source Project code, Android 14 (or Android U) has the code name Upside Down Cake.
If you’ve never had one, an Upside Down cake is exactly what it sounds like: During the making of one, the icing is placed on the bottom of the mold, and the cake batter is then poured on top. After baking, everything is turned over so that the garnish is on top.
Android 13 comes first
Before we get to giving Android 14 a try, there is Android 13 to look forward to. The operating system is currently at the early developer preview stage, which should be followed by a public beta that consumers can get involved in if they want to.
Then the full and finished version of Android 13 will be rolled out to everyone with a compatible handset. Android 12 was launched in October 2021, so its successor should appear about a year later – though it may appear earlier than that. As usual, Pixel phones – including Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro – will be first in line.
We’ve already got plenty of hints about what Android 13 will bring, including features that prevent people from chasing you with smart tags and improved control over notifications. We can also look forward to upgrades to Android 13 on TVs.
Analysis: what we would like to see in Android 14
There is not much to say about Android 14 yet, although the advent of a code name suggests that work on the software has now begun at Google. However, it is unlikely that we will hear anything official about it before 2023.
In terms of what we would like to see in Android 14, at the moment it’s hard to think about how Android and iOS can improve what we already have. Android 13 will introduce minor adjustments to phone customization options and eSIM support, but these are unlikely to revolutionize the way you use your phone.
One area we hope Google continues to push into (and where it may have the advantage over Apple) is artificial intelligence. It seems that phones can become much better at figuring out what apps and tools we need at what times, and repetitive and monotonous tasks (like setting alarms and sharing pictures) can become more automated.
Other than that, we’re just hoping for the usual pile of improvements around users’ privacy, device security, app control, and messaging. Android updates usually include upgrades in these areas, and Android 14 should be the same.