What you need to know
- Android 14 QPR3 Beta 1 is now available for eligible devices, bringing with it the Circle to Search feature for beta testers.
- Google acknowledged that Circle to Search accidentally rolled out to non-beta users first, and the issue has now been rectified.
- Today's update brings Google Play Services version 23.50.14 and includes February security patches, with minimal release notes.
The Android 14 QPR2 beta, which will hit the stable channel next month as the March 2024 Feature Drop, has wrapped up successfully, and now a new beta program is kicking off.
Android 14 QPR3 Beta 1 (build AP21.240119.009) is hitting eligible devices today, as per Google's Reddit announcement. Though the June Pixel Feature Drop goodies are still on the way, beta testers can now check out the fresh Circle to Search feature, recently released to Google Pixel 8 users on the stable channel.
Google explained that the AI feature accidentally landed on non-beta users first. "Beta users should always get the latest features before, or at the same time, as the rest of the public," the company said. "This issue has been corrected in Android 14 QPR3 Beta 1."
The feature remains exclusive to the Pixel 8 series. Meanwhile, the latest QPR release is spreading its wings to all eligible devices in the beta program. That means if you're rocking a Pixel 5a, Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, Pixel 6a, Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro, Pixel 7a, Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro, Pixel Fold, or Pixel Tablet, you're in for a treat.
Today's update includes Google Play Services version 23.50.14, and the fresh firmware brings along those February security patches that recently dropped on the stable channel. The release notes keep it short and sweet, mentioning only one known issue (for now): your Google app's Assistant At a Glance widget might show weather information for the wrong place.
As usual, this update will hit your eligible device through OTA (over-the-air) in the next few days. If you're feeling adventurous and can't wait, jump into the Android Beta Program, and in your Pixel's Settings, head over to System, then tap System update to install it.
If you're done with the beta program and want the stable Android 14 QPR2 release, simply go to g.co/androidbeta, opt your device out, and dodge today's QPR3 Beta 1 update. But if you jump the gun, install QPR3 Beta 1, and then bail on the program, your device will be wiped clean, taking all your data with it.
The Google Pixel 8 Pro stands out for its stock Android and AI features, such as Circle to Search. That's one of the reasons why it's topping the charts as one of the best phones this year.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.