Behavior changes: all apps

The Android 14 platform includes behavior changes that might affect your app. The following behavior changes apply to all apps when they run on Android 14, regardless of targetSdkVersion. You should test your app and then modify it as needed to support these properly, where applicable.

Make sure to also review the list of behavior changes that only affect apps targeting Android 14.

Core functionality

Schedule exact alarms are denied by default

Exact alarms are meant for user-intentioned notifications, or for actions that need to happen at a precise time. Starting in Android 14, the SCHEDULE_EXACT_ALARM permission is no longer being pre-granted to most newly installed apps targeting Android 13 and higher—the permission is denied by default.

Learn more about the changes to the permission for scheduling exact alarms.

Context-registered broadcasts are queued while apps are cached

On Android 14, the system can place context-registered broadcasts in a queue while the app is in the cached state. This is similar to the queuing behavior that Android 12 (API level 31) introduced for async binder transactions. Manifest-declared broadcasts aren't queued, and apps are removed from the cached state for broadcast delivery.

When the app leaves the cached state, such as returning to the foreground, the system delivers any queued broadcasts. Multiple instances of certain broadcasts might be merged into one broadcast. Depending on other factors, such as system health, apps might be removed from the cached state, and any previously queued broadcasts are delivered.

Apps can kill only their own background processes

Starting in Android 14, when your app calls killBackgroundProcesses(), the API can kill only the background processes of your own app.

If you pass in the package name of another app, this method has no effect on that app's background processes, and the following message appears in Logcat:

Invalid packageName: com.example.anotherapp

Your app shouldn't use the killBackgroundProcesses() API or otherwise attempt to influence the process lifecycle of other apps, even on older OS versions. Android is designed to keep cached apps in the background and kill them automatically when the system needs memory. If your app kills other apps unnecessarily, it can reduce system performance and increase battery consumption by requiring full restarts of those apps later, which takes significantly more resources than resuming an existing cached app.

MTU is set to 517 for the first GATT client requesting an MTU

Starting from Android 14, the Android Bluetooth stack more strictly adheres to Version 5.2 of the Bluetooth Core Specification and requests the BLE ATT MTU to 517 bytes when the first GATT client requests an MTU using the BluetoothGatt#requestMtu(int) API, and disregards all subsequent MTU requests on that ACL connection.

To address this change and make your app more robust, consider the following options:

  • Your peripheral device should respond to the Android device's MTU request with a reasonable value that can be accommodated by the peripheral. The final negotiated value will be a minimum of the Android requested value and the remote provided value (for example, min(517, remoteMtu))
    • Implementing this fix could require a firmware update for peripheral
  • Alternatively, limit your GATT characteristic writes based on the minimum between the known supported value of your peripheral and the received MTU change
    • A reminder that you should reduce 5 bytes from the supported size for the headers
    • For example: arrayMaxLength = min(SUPPORTED_MTU, GATT_MAX_ATTR_LEN(517)) - 5

New reason an app can be placed in the restricted standby bucket

Android 14 introduces a new reason an app can be placed into the restricted standby bucket. The app's jobs trigger ANR errors multiple times due to onStartJob, onStopJob, or onBind method timeouts. (See JobScheduler reinforces callback and network behavior for changes to onStartJob and onStopJob.)

To track whether or not the app has entered the restricted standby bucket, we recommend logging with the API UsageStatsManager.getAppStandbyBucket() on job execution or UsageStatsManager.queryEventsForSelf() on app startup.

mlock limited to 64 KB

In Android 14 (API level 34) and higher, the platform reduces the maximum memory that can be locked using mlock() to 64 KB per process. In previous versions, the limit was 64 MB per process. This restriction promotes better memory management across apps and the system. To provide more consistency across devices, Android 14 adds a new CTS test for the new mlock() limit on compatible devices.

System enforces cached-app resource usage

By design, an app's process is in a cached state when it's moved to the background and no other app process components are running. Such an app process is subject to being killed due to system memory pressure. Any work that Activity instances perform after the onStop() method has been called and returned, while in this state, is unreliable and strongly discouraged.

Android 14 introduces consistency and enforcement to this design. Shortly after an app process enters a cached state, background work is disallowed, until a process component re-enters an active state of the lifecycle.

Apps that use typical framework-supported lifecycle APIs – such as services, JobScheduler, and Jetpack WorkManager – shouldn't be impacted by these changes.

User experience

Grant partial access to photos and videos

Android 14 introduces Selected Photos Access, which allows users to grant apps access to specific images and videos in their library, rather than granting access to all media of a given type.

If you don't use the photo picker yet, we recommend implementing it in your app to provide a consistent experience for selecting images and videos that also enhances user privacy without having to request any storage permissions.

If you maintain your own gallery picker using storage permissions and need to maintain full control over your implementation, adapt your implementation to use the new READ_MEDIA_VISUAL_USER_SELECTED permission. If your app doesn't use the new permission, the system runs your app in a compatibility mode.

Changes to how users experience non-dismissible notifications

If your app shows non-dismissable foreground notifications to users, Android 14 has changed the behavior to allow users to dismiss such notifications.

This change applies to apps that prevent users from dismissing foreground notifications by setting Notification.FLAG_ONGOING_EVENT through Notification.Builder#setOngoing(true) or NotificationCompat.Builder#setOngoing(true). The behavior of FLAG_ONGOING_EVENT has changed to make such notifications actually dismissable by the user.

These kinds of notifications are still non-dismissable in the following conditions:

  • When the phone is locked
  • If the user selects a Clear all notification action (which helps with accidental dismissals)

Also, this new behavior doesn't apply to notifications in the following use cases:

  • CallStyle notifications
  • Device policy controller (DPC) and supporting packages for enterprise

Data safety information is more visible

To enhance user privacy, Android 14 increases the number of places where the system shows the information you have declared in the Play Console form. Currently, users can view this information in the Data safety section on your app's listing in Google Play.

We encourage you to review your app's location data sharing policies and take a moment to make any applicable updates to your app's Google Play Data safety section.

Learn more in the guide about how data safety information is more visible on Android 14.

Accessibility

Non-linear font scaling to 200%

Starting in Android 14, the system supports font scaling up to 200%, providing low-vision users with additional accessibility options that align with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

If you already use scaled pixels (sp) units to define text sizing, then this change probably won't have a high impact on your app. However, you should perform UI testing with the maximum font size enabled (200%) to ensure that your app can accommodate larger font sizes without impacting usability.

Security

Minimum installable target API level

Starting with Android 14, apps with a targetSdkVersion lower than 23 can't be installed. Requiring apps to meet these minimum target API level requirements improves security and privacy for users.

Malware often targets older API levels in order to bypass security and privacy protections that have been introduced in newer Android versions. For example, some malware apps use a targetSdkVersion of 22 to avoid being subjected to the runtime permission model introduced in 2015 by Android 6.0 Marshmallow (API level 23). This Android 14 change makes it harder for malware to avoid security and privacy improvements. Attempting to install an app targeting a lower API level will result in an installation failure, with the following message appearing in Logcat:

INSTALL_FAILED_DEPRECATED_SDK_VERSION: App package must target at least SDK version 23, but found 7

On devices upgrading to Android 14, any apps with a targetSdkVersion lower than 23 will remain installed.

If you need to test an app targeting an older API level, use the following ADB command:

adb install --bypass-low-target-sdk-block FILENAME.apk

Media owner package names might be redacted

The media store supports queries for the OWNER_PACKAGE_NAME column, which indicates the app that stored a particular media file. Starting in Android 14, this value is redacted unless at least one of the following conditions is true:

  • The app that stored the media file has a package name that is always visible to other apps.
  • The app that queries the media store requests the QUERY_ALL_PACKAGES permission.

Learn more about how Android filters package visibility for privacy purposes.