We’re not expecting the finished version of Android 14 to roll out for another two or three months, but the beta version has just had a big update, with Android 14 Beta 3 now here, complete with new lock screen customization options for Pixel phones.
These features – spotted in Beta 3 by Mishaal Rahman – were previously teased at Google I/O 2023, and they allow you to change the colors, size, and style of the lock screen clock, as well as choosing which shortcuts to display on the lock screen.
For the clock, you can choose from a number of digital options along with one analog one, while for the shortcuts, you have a choice of mute, device controls (for smart home devices), Google Wallet, camera, do not disturb, video call, flashlight, and a QR code scanner.
Here’s a quick screen recording showing off the new lock screen clock options in Android 14 Beta 3. pic.twitter.com/L8cjWsVls0June 7, 2023
You can place one in the bottom left corner and one in the bottom right, or choose not to display shortcuts. Disappointingly though you’re limited to those options, so you can’t have truly custom shortcuts.
Still, this should be a handy update, and bring the Pixel series more in line with what’s possible on the iPhone 14, along with the other best iPhones, especially since iOS 16 introduced a similar feature. And while this implementation isn’t currently supported by other Android handsets, some manufacturers have been offering similarly capable lock screen customization for a while, anyway.
Interface tweaks and a new tutorial
This isn’t the only new feature in the Android 14 Beta 3 though, as Rahman also reports that there’s a new tutorial for gesture navigation, and there are various small interface tweaks, such as a new charging indicator, themed icons now having more vibrant colors, and more rounded buttons in the screenshot preview.
So the enhanced lock screen customization is definitely the headline feature, but there are a few other things that users might appreciate too.
Notably though, this beta has been released on the schedule Google previously set, which means we should be on target for a finished release, likely in August or September. As such, there shouldn’t be too long to go now, and we’d recommend most users wait until the final version is ready, since betas always have bugs.
That said, if you really want the latest Android 14 beta now and you have a compatible phone, you can head to our how to download the Android 14 beta guide for full step-by-step instructions.