Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
Ever since I flashed Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on my HTC Desire Z, I’ve been keen to try the latest and – supposedly best – version of Android as soon as possible. When Google began publicly testing official Android developer previews and betas, I quickly signed up and it’s become an annual tradition for me. New developer preview? On my second phone! Out of the developer preview and into the beta? On my main phone! That’s how I ended up with the Android 14 beta on my Pixel 7 Pro and all the bugs have made me regret it ever since.
How was your experience with the Android 14 beta?
A bit buggy, but not a deal breaker.
It was relatively stable.
I don’t have Android 14 Beta installed.
Before I continue, I know that we are talking about a beta and beta software is by definition full of bugs – testing is crucial to get to the stable release. I also know that mistakes are a coincidence. I don’t recall seeing any notable problems with a previous beta version that I flashed on my Pixel phones in the last five years. That’s very fortunate, but betas are said to be significantly more stable than early developer previews. However, I guess all my karma was used up and I had to deal with a multitude of annoyances and bugs from day one with the Android 14 beta.
Betas are meant to be buggy, but if any of these issues are a problem, stay away.
So consider this a public announcement if you’re considering joining the beta. If any of the issues listed below are a problem for you, you should stay away from them.
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority
My biggest issue with the Android 14 beta is the audio playback bug. It’s so common that I can’t listen to music or podcasts anymore because the whole experience is beyond frustrating. When the display is off, the audio may continue playing normally for a few minutes, then it will choppy every second or few seconds at a random cadence. Even if I could get used to it, the unpredictability is painful.
Audio playback is choppy and cuts out erratically and frequently when the display is off.
This happens with both the speaker and Bluetooth earbuds when “Now Playing” is on or off (disabling “Now Playing” fixes the issue for some people, but not for me) and with Spotify and PocketCasts and YouTube or other audio files (even WhatsApp voice notes). ). Sometimes it starts the moment I start hearing something, sometimes it gives me a few minutes of quiet, then it’s triggered. The only way to avoid it? Leave the display on.
The video above shows it in action. I’ve uploaded a slightly longer version to Google Drive in case you’re happy to torture your ears in 4K for almost two minutes. When I turn off the display, the music playback becomes unbearably choppy, then resumes normally when I unlock the phone. Also, there is a random error at the beginning of the video where the playback randomly skips a second when I unlock the phone; I would say that happens every third time.
The latest Android 14 beta 2.1, which is supposed to fix some audio-related bugs, didn’t fix any of that. I would say that both issues seem to be less frequent since the update, but they still occur.
Frequent freezing and app crashes, charging issues and slow camera are some of the other bugs I noticed.
Another problem I face is charging my Pixel 7 Pro. Every day I wake up to the message that there is a problem with the charging accessory (it’s a documented bug) even though my phone is fully charged. I’m using the same charger and cable as before but the notification keeps me nervous and wondering if it’s just a fake notification or if there’s really something wrong with my Pixel’s charging.
I can’t recall it ever completely freezing in the six months I’ve owned the Pixel 7 Pro. I was fortunate to have a very stable experience. But this has happened at least four times in the last few weeks. That’s bad freezing too; where you can’t even force a reboot by holding the power button for ten seconds. Nothing works and you just have to wait for it to crash and restart on its own. Beta 2.1 was released yesterday and is meant to reduce these, so we’ll see.
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority
Other issues I’ve noticed are the overall slowness of the camera, especially when zooming or recording video. Now playing didn’t work but the latest beta 2.1 seems to have fixed the problem for now. The speaker also popped randomly, which is a fun experience alongside the choppy audio playback. This is also supposed to be fixed in beta 2.1 and I haven’t noticed it since yesterday.
Most if not all of these bugs will certainly be fixed when Android 14 is officially released, but I wouldn’t install the beta until then.
So yes, Google is obviously working to fix any issues before the Android 14 versions reach platform stability and are available to everyone. However, I hope that the audio playback issue will be fixed as soon as possible and not until August. Otherwise I’ll have to reset my phone and go back to the stable version of Android 13.
In the meantime, if you’re on the sidelines thinking about testing the beta, I’d recommend you stay away. Unless you like living dangerously.