Pixel update gives us another taste of the March 2024 Feature Drop

The Porcelain Google Pixel 8 Pro on the basement stairs

What you need to know

  • Google is rolling out Android 14 QPR2 Beta 2 for eligible testers at a near 536MB download size.
  • The beta aims to correct some false battery information users discovered, as well as odd biometric crashes.
  • There are still some lingering issues with the Pixel Fold's internal display and weather information from the At a Glance widget.

As we progress toward the next quarterly feature drop, Google is bringing its next beta to enrolled users. As detailed by Android Developers, Android 14 QPR2 Beta 2 is rolling out now for the Pixel 5a (5G) up to the Pixel 8 Pro, including the Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet.

All devices a part of the program will begin downloading the OTA update version AP11.231117.006. Users on Reddit report the download is around 536MB on the Pixel Fold and the latest Pixel 8 series.

Google is looking to solve a few "top issues" with Beta 2, and those fixes are as follows:

  • Fixed an issue where battery usage information that was reported in system settings was sometimes incorrect. (Issue #312121998)
  • Fixed an issue where the fingerprint icon on the lock screen would sometimes display before other information had loaded in always-on display mode. (Issue #311265905)
  • Fixed an issue that sometimes caused the biometric prompt to crash, causing it to be dismissed before a user could interact with it.
  • Fixed an issue that sometimes caused the Internet Quick Settings tile to indicate that there was no Wi-Fi connection, even when the device was connected to a Wi-Fi network.

Android 14 review

(Image credit: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

As usual, Google is alerting users to some potential problems they may face with the experimental software such as various instabilities. Additionally, you may encounter problems with your battery or performance issues.

Moreover, the company is aware of some pesky lingering problems. Some Pixel Fold devices are suffering from the inner display not turning on if the device is unlocked in its closed state. Another problem is that Google Assistant's At a Glance weather widget displays information for the wrong location. Keep these problems in mind as you re-enter the testing grounds.

Be advised that it may take up to five days before your enrolled device picks up the update. However, you can manually check to see if you have it available by heading into your Settings > System > System updates. If you're not in the beta and would like to be, you can check the eligibility of your device and begin signing up.

Elsewhere, Mishaal Rahman discovered a new addition with Beta 2, as Google introduced an "Internet" panel. At the bottom is a "Share Wi-Fi" button, which lets users easily produce a QR code that others can scan for access to their home internet. Alternatively, you can opt for the "Nearby" option to share your network's credentials with those over Nearby Share.

Additionally, Google has seemingly dropped the "Restricted" battery optimization mode in favor of an "allow background usage" toggle. Opening its sub-menu unearths two specific modes users can choose from: Optimized and Unrestricted for apps to better fine-tune how such applications engage with our devices' battery.

Google's Android 14 QPR2 Beta 2 finally brings Material 3's switchers to the Android settings.

(Image credit: Google News / Telegram)

Furthermore, Beta 2 is finally moving utilizing Google's latest Material 3 design language switches within Android settings, per Google News on Telegram. The post adds the company has been slow rolling out this new design form, but the latest beta seems to bring it into full effect as users await its stable release in March 2024.

Android 14 QPR2 Beta 2 comes almost three weeks after Beta 1.1 rolled out. That update came only six days after the initial beta, as it sought to fix several app-related bugs, as well as some system improvements.

Those who have downloaded Beta 2 state it includes Google's December 2023 feature drop for Pixels. The update includes the company's Gemini Nano on-device AI model, several AI camera features, and the long-awaited Watch Unlock for Pixels and the Pixel Watch.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.