Android 14 is now available to the masses as public beta testing began earlier this week. In customary Google fashion, the first beta build comes after the company released two Developer Preview builds intended for app makers to test their software and iron out compatibility issues. Bugs and instability are synonymous with beta builds, but we'd hoped Google would iron many of them out in the developer betas. We couldn’t have been more sorely mistaken, and here’s every issue we found in Android 14 Beta 1 so far.
Bug: com.android.qns crashes on boot
Right off the bat, booting into Android 14 Beta 1 shows us an annoying app crash dialog box for a service called com.android.qns. A little digging reveals this is a rather widespread issue, happening on almost every Pixel booting into the new beta. Google has acknowledged this in-your-face flaw, but it appears to be a critical service linked to cellular connectivity. One affected redditor reported the inability to place or receive calls.
Fix: Power cycle
Some people had some luck restoring their cellular network connection after power-cycling the phone once (switching off and then on again, different from a soft reboot). The service crash dialog box reappears, but cellular connectivity does, as well. On our personal devices, we saw the crash dialog, but didn’t see the absolute loss of cellular network connectivity.
Bug: Cellular connection type missing from status bar
Somewhat related to the issue with com.android.qns, there are widespread reports of a missing indicator for the cellular network type in the status bar. Usually, the cellular network strength indicator is accompanied by a small icon showing whether the phone is using a 4G or 5G network. With this missing, it can be rather challenging to know whether things like file downloads will take a minute or a few seconds. Some reports show longer handover durations from Wi-Fi to cellular and vice versa, or unstable cellular connections. However, these appear to be isolated one-off cases.
Fix: Disappear to reappear
Some Android 14 Beta 1 users on Reddit have identified a neat way to repair the cellular connection icon in the status bar. It entails switching off Wi-Fi on your Pixel and then turning off the Use SIM toggle momentarily before turning it on again. The option is located under Settings -> Network & internet -> Internet -> Gear icon beside your SIM name.
This fix worked on one of our affected devices, but only until we locked the screen. You may see another crash report for com.android.qns after the process, tying the service to cellular connectivity, but it is inconsequential. It appears to be a rather temperamental bug and your experience may vary vastly.
Bug: Wallpaper & style app is unusable
When the beta dropped, we immediately wanted to find any new wallpapers but could not access Wallpaper & style settings. A bug in the dynamic theming toggle for icons caused this, and appears to be rather widespread as well. The applet is currently inaccessible by long-pressing the home screen or through the Settings app.
Fix: Bite the bullet
You can still change wallpapers from the Photos app and dynamic theming for icons isn’t broken either. However, the only known workaround is rather tedious, entailing clearing the app data for the Pixel Launcher or switching off dynamic theming for icons before updating to Android 14 Beta 1 in the first place. There’s an entry for this problem on the Google Issue Tracker as well, so hopefully this will be addressed with a patch.
Bug: Fingerprint unlock doesn’t work
If you have fingerprint unlock set up, you may not be able to use it on the latest Android 14 beta. Although it is working on our devices, several users say the fingerprint unlock is broken on the lock screen, and they are forced to use the PIN or Pattern they previously set up as a failsafe. It appears to be a problem with the Android OS’s biometric unlock system, because registering new fingerprints and using the scanner to unlock apps with standalone biometric security features works just fine.
Fix: Use a different unlock method
This widespread issue also seems to appear and disappear erratically for many people. Most commonly, the issue appears after a reboot, but the scanner works soon afterward. Users have filed a bug report, but there’s no temporary fix in sight, except perhaps switching to face unlock. It is less secure, but still works without a hassle. If you’re comfortable with a PIN or pattern unlock, we suggest disabling fingerprint unlock so you aren’t reminded constantly of its broken state.
Bug: Text selection impossible in Recent Apps view
One of our favorite Pixel features allowed selecting on-screen text from the Recent Apps view. However, the Android 14 Beta 1 update seems to have introduced an issue in this. The system detects text in the Recent Apps view like Google Lens, but doesn’t allow user selection or any related actions like copying the text.
Fix: Wait for Beta 2
Google has acknowledged the problem on Issue Tracker, and could recreate it in the Developer Preview build. However, it has declared the issue obsolete saying it doesn't show up on the internal development build, which is slightly ahead of the public beta. It could be a temperamental issue we are facing, but there's reason to hope it will be fixed soon.
Bug: Adaptive brightness doesn't adapt
One of the annoying bugs is the adaptive brightness setting simply refusing to work. We haven’t experienced it personally, running the latest beta, but Reddit users say the issue is prevalent enough for Google to take notice and issue a fix. We don’t see a bug report, though, so the hope is slim.
Bug: Apps are misbehaving
On Android, one of the fundamental functions you expect is apps running without errors. However, the Android 14 beta is having issues with running critical apps like BHIM UPI (a payment service in India), Google Pay, PayTm, Google One VPN, etc. Popular games like Clash Royale and Clash of Clans are also crashing for a few users.
It is an exercise in futility to compile a complete list of apps that aren’t working on the latest beta, mostly because some apps work for some people, while they don’t for others. If you try uninstalling apps, you may notice the UI freeze for a few moments before responding to your touch inputs. The responsiveness also remains laggy for a few minutes after uninstalling.
Bug: Notification shade glitches
A couple of Reddit users say the status bar flickers constantly for a few moments after pulling down the notification shade. This issue is rather prevalent, but hasn’t showed up on our devices yet. It could be a problem with the pull-down animation or with the notification shade’s UI implementation itself. The Google Issue Tracker has a record dedicated to the problem, so hopefully a fix is in this very leaky pipeline.
Bug: AOD and Ambient Display not working while wirelessly charging
This could be related to the fingerprint sensor issue on the lock screen, but at least one of our phones refuses to switch to the ambient display while wirelessly charging. If you place an unlocked Pixel down to charge, it would normally auto-lock after the stipulated duration — this still seems to happen on Android 14 Beta 1, but instead of the AOD appearing once locked, the wallpaper only goes dim. It's as if the device gets stuck on the lock screen when placed on a charger.
How the screen looks while wirelessly charging
If you lock the screen and then initiate wireless charging, a screensaver or AOD may not appear, but the indicator for the fingerprint scanner remains. This could risk pixel burn-in of the OLED display during the time it takes to charge most Pixel phones wirelessly. This issue seems to have gone unreported so far, but we are seeing it on one of our Pixel phones here at Android Police. We also noted a peculiarly blank settings page for Ambient Mode, a Google Assistant feature.
Facing these prominent issues and many other sporadic ones with everyday apps and critical features can be nightmarish, and Google has a lot of work queued up to fix these before rolling out the next update.
Although this is a collection of everything wrong with Android 14 at the moment, make no mistake, the OS update packs a ton of useful features and behind-the-scenes optimizations for a safer and enjoyable user experience — if you want to see for yourself without risking these bugs, we did a hands-on with Android 14 Beta 1. We will continue updating this post as we discover more pertinent annoyances, Google’s acknowledgments, and their fixes. Hopefully, the list stays short and none of these make their way to the stable version of Android 14 later this year.