Since February 2023, Android 14 has been undergoing beta testing, with Google initially aiming for an early September release of the stable version for compatible Pixel smartphones. However, it appears that the tech giant’s plans have hit a hurdle, as the next major Android version is reportedly set to debut on the same day as the Pixel 8. Ahead of the highly anticipated Made by Google event on October 4th and the public release of Android 14, the OS development team has announced that the beta program for Android 14 QPR1 will kick off on September 18th.
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In an announcement made on the r/Android_beta subreddit, the team overseeing the beta program revealed that Android 14 beta 5.3 marked the final patch for the OS. They are now focusing on the OS’s first Feature Drop, expected to be released this December. The beta program, commencing on September 18th, will build upon the foundation of Android 14’s platform release, incorporating “the latest bug fixes and enhancements to stability and performance.”
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If you currently have a Pixel enrolled in the beta program running Android 14 beta 5.3, it will receive the QPR1 beta update next week, effectively skipping the public release of the OS. To switch from running a beta OS on your Pixel, you will need to opt out of the program. While your Pixel remains enrolled in the beta program, it will continue to automatically receive new beta OS updates.
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But what if you wish to exit the Android 14 beta program without the need for a data wipe and instead receive an OTA update to transition to the final public stable build when it becomes available? The process is as follows: opt out of beta testing for Android 14 before September 18th, without installing the Android 13 OTA update that may appear. Instead, wait for the imminent public release of Android 14 and the corresponding OTA update. Once it’s available, install the OTA to seamlessly switch to the OS’s public release channel without the hassle of data loss.
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Another option is to opt out of the beta program after Android 14’s QPR 1 beta becomes active on September 18th. Similar to the previous method, disregard the OTA update that appears for download later on and await the release of Android 14’s stable version. When the OTA becomes accessible on your phone, use it to transition to the public release of Android 14. Google notes that this is the sole opportunity to exit the Android beta program without undergoing a data wipe. The next exit window will open in December 2023, coinciding with the conclusion of the Android 14 QPR 1 beta cycle.
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If you’re comfortable with a complete factory reset and don’t mind losing all your data on your Pixel, you can leave the Android beta program at any time. Depending on when you choose to exit, your phone will receive an OTA to revert to either Android 13 or Android 14.
Admittedly, the entire process may seem somewhat disorganized, and many users may wish that Google had implemented a smoother system for running the Android beta program by now. It’s worth noting that support for the Pixel 5 is scheduled to end in October 2023, making it ineligible for the Android 14 QPR1 beta.