@MishaalRahman@androiddev.social
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MishaalRahman

@MishaalRahman@androiddev.social

The best source for Android OS news. Senior contributor to Android Central, Android Authority, and Android Police. Podcast: AndroidFaithful.com.

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MishaalRahman, to random
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Today, OnePlus has launched the latest version of its Android 14-based operating system, OxygenOS 14.

The changes in OxygenOS 14 fall under 4 broad categories: "Trinity Engine", Safety and Security, Better Usability, and Aquamorphic Design.

Here's a summary of the new features in OxygenOS 14 🧵

MishaalRahman,
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"Trinity Engine" is OnePlus's overaching branding for the 6 performance-enhancing features in OxygenOS 14, including "CPU-Vita", "RAM-Vita", "ROM-Vita", "HyperBoost", "HyperTouch", and "HyperRendering".

Unfortunately, we don't really know what exactly has been done to improve performance. Companies rarely go into detail when talking about this kind of thing, but all you need to really know is the end result.

MishaalRahman,
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CPU-Vita: Uses "industry-leading arithmetic scheduling technology" to balance performance and power consumption. It "identifies the heat sources of each module" in the phone to reduce load, heat generation, and performance degradation. OnePlus says this helps improve battery life by 20 mins.

MishaalRahman,
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RAM-Vita: A "memory performance acceleration technology" that addresses lock contention, background process killing (big if true, need to test DKMA benchmark), app launching and switching speeds, and more. The "smoothness of the overall basic device's performance model in daily scenarios" has been improved by 10%, and a 16GB RAM phone can "easily keep more than 40 apps active in the background", whilst commonly used apps can stay in the background for 72 hours.

MishaalRahman,
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ROM-Vita: Uses an "industry-leading I/O vitalization technology", "efficient compression algorithm", "file fragmentation preventing", "storage acceleration", and other technologies to reduce performance degradation after extended use. Claims will help phones "run without lag" after 48 months of use, and that new phones with 256GB of storage save up to 20GB of space through compression and file deduplication.

MishaalRahman,
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HyperBoost: Addresses high power consumption and unstable frame rate caused by demanding mobile games through a "reasonable arrangement of graphic elements rendering, AI machine learning, and intelligent performance regulation." Claims of reduced power consumption by 3% and reduced probability of long frame times by 10%.

MishaalRahman,
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HyperTouch: Adopts "full-link optimization of the touch control underlying logic and full-scene mis-touch prevention optimization" to improve overall touch responsiveness and multi-finger touch response speeds. Claims mis-touch rate and unresponsiveness rate are lowered "with 0 touch breakage in games" and a "5% improvement in both smoothness and responsiveness."

MishaalRahman,
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HyperRendering: Applies low-power super-resolution to games to improve the picture quality.

(A lot of these claims need testing, but it's kind of impossible to do since you can't only test with these changes turned on/off. OnePlus, if you're reading this, please share some benchmarks/graphs!)

MishaalRahman,
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Under Safety and Security, OnePlus touts the following improvements in OxygenOS 14:

StrongBox support: Android 9 introduced support for an implementation of the KeyStore that's backed by an embedded Secure Element (eSE).

MishaalRahman,
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On Pixel phones, this eSE is the Titan security chip, and it's used for things like verifying the integrity of the partitions and verifying your lock screen PIN. OnePlus says OxygenOS 14 now implements StrongBox, allowing the built-in embedded Secure Element to support "strong level password management functionality through NFC."

MishaalRahman,
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Auto Pixelate 2.0: Sensitive information in screenshots such as receipts, vehicle license plates, IDs, boarding passes, and now contact details and numerical strings can be automatically censored.

MishaalRahman,
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Safety Center: The unified Security & Privacy settings that Google introduced in Android 13 is now available for all OnePlus devices running OxygenOS 14. Some OnePlus devices like the OnePlus 11 already have this on OxygenOS 13 since it's part of GMS, but now it'll be available to every OnePlus device.

MishaalRahman,
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Photo Permission Management: This also isn't OxygenOS 14-specific, but OnePlus is highlighting Android 14's security feature that lets you grant partial access to photos and videos.

MishaalRahman,
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Device Security Engine 3.0: A "device-level algorithm" that "provide[s] a foundation for [a] trusted device interconnection based on Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) OS." This "ensures effective device security reinforcement to prevent malicious cracking and decompilation" (!?) and "continuously evolves to guard against illegal attacks to enhance system security." I don't really know what this does, to be honest.

MishaalRahman,
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Now, here are some of the new features in OxygenOS 14 that users like you may actually find useful in your day-to-day. These fall under the "Better Usability" category and include:

Fluid Cloud: Integrates different notification types like Bubbles, Capsules, and Pop-up Windows to provide a unified style for displaying notifications in the status bar. Works across smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches.

MishaalRahman,
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File Dock: A floating sidebar that you can save text, images, and files to for quick access across apps. With "one long press on your screen", it identifies various types of content you can transfer to the file dock, which can then be transferred across apps and even across (other OnePlus) devices.

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MishaalRahman,
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Smart Cutout: A new feature in the gallery app that lets you cutout content within photos so you can quickly process/edit/share them. Multiple subjects can be recognized and individually cutout.

Notes 2.0: A revamped version of the OxygenOS Notes app that adds a to-do list and a notebook. (Doesn't support Android 14's new AppClips API/Notes Role, though, which I think could've been nice to see on the OnePlus Pad which supports stylus input).

MishaalRahman,
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Multi-Screen Connect 2.0: This feature automatically connects your OnePlus phone with the OnePlus Pad, and it's been improved in OxygenOS 14 to make device discovery easier, faster, and more stable.

MishaalRahman,
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Clone Phone: This app helps you transfer data from your old phone to your new phone, and it now has a better onboarding experience that supports quicker discovery and setup. Also now syncs more settings like your wallet with all cards and watch settings (though this likely only works when transferring between OnePlus devices). Also integrates with your Google One storage now for backups.

MishaalRahman,
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Finally we get into the design changes in OxygenOS 14, which OnePlus dubs as Aquamorphic Design 2.0. Their new design includes changes in animations, colors, and music.

20 sets of Aquamorphic-themed ringtones (calls, alarms, and notifications) have been added, as well as a new "Go Green AOD" which dynamically changes its imagery based on your step count to encourage you to reduce your carbon footprint.

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MishaalRahman,
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There are other changes in OxygenOS 14 that OnePlus didn't highlight in their announcement/briefing. There are also all the other changes in Android 14 that OxygenOS 14 inherits that OnePlus didn't bring up, but you can just search my feed to find out what the new OS brings.

Just out of curiosity, I asked OnePlus if they planned to adopt Android 14's webcam feature, but I was told that they don't think the performance is good enough at this time.

MishaalRahman,
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I have a OnePlus 11 running OxygenOS 14 in hand, so I plan to familiarize myself more with the new OS as it's been quite a while since I last used OxygenOS! Let me know if you're interested in a review (or something to that effect) of OxygenOS!

MishaalRahman,
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@linuxct oops, my bad, will correct

MishaalRahman,
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"OnePlus plans to roll out the official build of OxygenOS 14 first on the OnePlus 11 5G in mid-November and then bring OxygenOS 14 to more eligible devices later."

Source: https://community.oneplus.com/thread/1427813089402683400

MishaalRahman, to random
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If you pre-order the Pixel 8 Pro in the U.S., you'll allegedly get a Pixel Watch 2 as a pre-order bonus!

Source Kamila Wojciechowska on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Za_Raczke/status/1706278725673726203

MishaalRahman,
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@kashif @NoDoy no, it didn't come with a free Pixel Watch in the U.S. IIRC

MishaalRahman, to random
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ICYMI: Kamila Wojciechowska published the full spec sheet of the Pixel 8 series a few hours ago, and apparently, both devices will receive 7 years of updates!

It's likely they'll get 7 years of security updates but maybe only 5 years of OS updates, but that's still a huge improvement over the current 5 years of security + 3 years of OS updates!

Source: https://twitter.com/Za_Raczke/status/1706190950232445368

MishaalRahman, to random
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Android 14 adds an opt-in developer setting to make the nav bar background color transparent by default in apps.

Android 15 may take things a step further by forcing all apps that target SDK 35 or higher (ie. Android 15+) to have a transparent nav bar!

MishaalRahman,
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This is hinted at by a recent AOSP commit, which adds a new aconfig flag under the "windowing_frontend" namespace named "nav_bar_transparent_by_default" that "make[s] [the] nav bar color transparent by default when targeting SDK 35 or greater".

MishaalRahman,
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aconfig is a new way to define feature flags at build time. It's similar to the DeviceConfig API, which lets Play Services remotely toggle flags, but aconfig also allows configuring flag values based on the build ID, setting certain flags to be read-only, and even gate the availability of new framework APIs while they're under development.

References: https://www.xda-developers.com/android-14-transparent-navigation-bar/

https://android-review.googlesource.com/c/platform/frameworks/base/+/2750643

MishaalRahman, to random
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You can now opt out of automatically receiving Google System Updates. Depending on your country, you'll be able to access the "system services updates" page under Settings > Google > More (the three-dot menu).

Google System Updates are comprised of updates to the Google Play Store app, the Google Play Services app, the Android WebView, and Project Mainline modules (via Google Play System Updates).

Screenshot credits: Nail Sadykov

MishaalRahman,
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While you can opt out of these, you'll still get system updates from non-Google sources as well as app updates through Google Play. Furthermore, Google says automatic updates may still happen to address severe security or safety issues or to comply with legal obligations.

MishaalRahman,
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This page likely isn't actually new, however Google's "what's new in Google System Updates" page was just updated in the last few days to mention this setting.

MishaalRahman, to random
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PSA: That critical vulnerability in the WebP codec you heard about recently (CVE-2023-4863) should be patched on Android devices that declare the 2023-10-06 security patch level.

Yes, there seem to be plans for a 2023-10-06 SPL in addition to a 2023-10-01 and 2023-10-05 SPL.

This blog post by Ben Hawkes goes into great detail about the WebP vulnerability: https://blog.isosceles.com/the-webp-0day/

MishaalRahman,
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The 2023-10-01 SPL will denote builds that fix all vulnerabilities in AOSP components that'll be disclosed in the upcoming October 2023 Android Security Bulletin, while the 2023-10-05 SPL will denote builds that fix the above plus any vulnerabilities discovered in the kernel and vendor components (like from Qualcomm, MediaTek, etc.) YYYY-MM-01 and YYYY-MM-05 SPLs are what we usually see every month.

MishaalRahman,
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Due to the severity of the WebP 0-day and the media attention it's gotten, however, Google and OEMs are rushing to get a fix out. That's why the 2023-10-06 SPL seems to exist, as it will allegedly comprise all the above fixes and patches for CVE-2023-4863. So if your device receives an update and the SPL reads as "2023-10-06", then it's protected against the WebP 0-day. Otherwise, you'll have to wait for it to receive the 2023-11-01 (November 2023) SPL.

MishaalRahman,
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(This information comes to me from a source who informed me about a recent Partner Security Advisory.)

This is not the first time for a -06 SPL, by the way, but it is rare. There was a 2016-09-06 SPL, for example: https://source.android.com/docs/security/bulletin/2016-09-01#2016-09-06-details

MishaalRahman, to random
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If you're curious about what's new in the Android 14 QPR1 beta but you don't want to run unstable software, I made a roundup of every new feature and change I spotted in Beta 1: https://www.androidcentral.com/apps-software/android-14-qpr1-beta-1-every-new-feature

By the way, I heard that the Google Pay issue was resolved in the last 24 hours, so you should be able to make contactless payments now if you're on Android 14 QPR1 Beta 1.

MishaalRahman, to random
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Update to my previous post about the LTS period for the Linux kernel being shortened to 2 years from 6 years:

Apparently, this isn't a new revelation. Jonathan Corbet, the editor of LWN who gave the talk at OSS Europe which sparked this topic to enter the news cycle, said on Mastodon that this decision was "made public something like a year ago."

https://social.kernel.org/notice/Aa0CngDmkO7VXqmadU

Greg K-H talked about this 7 months ago: https://social.kernel.org/notice/ASRAXyzFbeMkyBskcK

(Thanks to Luca Weiss for the correction!)

MishaalRahman,
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I recommend reading this thread with comments by Greg K-H for some analysis of how this might impact Android devices: https://social.kernel.org/notice/ARWvggnOvXny0CUCIa

MishaalRahman, to random
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The revamped At a Glance widget that Google announced earlier this month is starting to roll out as well. I've heard from at least 3 users who have gotten it, though I don't see it on any of my own devices yet.

Let me know if you see the new widget!

image/png

MishaalRahman,
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For context, as part of September 2023's Android Feature Drop, the Google App's At a Glance widget is getting a visual revamp and new features. The widget will surface helpful information like weather alerts, travel updates, and event reminders. (Note: this is not the same At a Glance widget found on Pixel devices.)

MishaalRahman,
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@ErikDegenerik no, it won't

MishaalRahman, to random
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Some BIG news dropped this week that could have a major impact on Android security: The LTS (long-term support) period for the Linux kernel is being cut down from 6 years to 2 years.

Ron Amadeo has a good summary of the situation on ArsTechnica: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2023/09/linux-gives-up-on-6-year-lts-thats-fine-for-pcs-bad-for-android/

(Instead of maintaining 6 different LTS versions for 6 years each, I wonder why the number of supported LTS versions wasn't just reduced down to, like, 3?)

MishaalRahman,
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Google never publicly announced this, but a little fun fact: Since 2021, Google has actually required that Android devices perform bi-yearly LTS (minor) updates for the first 2 years after the release of the OS. Afterwards, they have to perform a yearly LTS update while the OS version is still in Google's support window.

You can sometimes see this in the Android Security Bulletin, where a "minimum kernel version" is listed for a particular Android OS version.

MishaalRahman,
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As for why LTS updates are important for Android security, it's because it's not always possible (http://kroah.com/log/blog/2018/02/05/linux-kernel-release-model/) to identify when a bug fix is a security fix. Google tries to ID these for SPL compliance, but they can't catch them all, leading to times where a fix landed on upstream Linux months before it made its way to Android devices.

MishaalRahman,
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@nathanchance thanks for your input!

MishaalRahman,
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@z3ntu oh fascinating, thanks for sharing the post

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