Android 14 Beta adds a handy feature to make your battery last longer

The Android 14 logo on a Google Pixel 7
(Image credit: Tom's Guide/Google)

The Android 14 Beta 3 is now here, and with it comes a bunch of new features that we could see roll out to all Android phones following its full release later this year. One such feature that's just been spotted by Android Police involves a small tweak to Battery Saver mode that could seriously help extend your phone's battery life. 

It's called wallpaper dimming, and just as the name implies, it makes your phone's wallpaper dimmer than the rest of the UI when Battery Saver is switched on. Your app icons and At a Glance widgets remain unaffected. Before this tweak, the only way to access wallpaper dimming was through Extreme Battery Saver, which slows down your phone's processing and pauses most apps to save power, or the Digital Wellbeing service's Bedtime mode.

How noticeable the effect is will depend on how vibrant your phone's wallpaper is. As for the benefits to your battery life, in theory, if the pixels on your home screen are operating at a lower brightness than normal, that should translate to a small amount of power savings. By making the Android OS more energy efficient, this feature could prolong the usable battery life of your devices. 

That's an impressive feat given that several Android phones already top our list of the best phone battery life. (Note: If you're currently having issues with your phone running out of juice, here's how to check Android battery health.)

Wallpaper dimming isn't the only new feature spotted in this third beta release. It also adds support for font scaling up to 200% by default. This will allow developers with visual impairments to tweak their apps to scale enough for them to see clearly without impacting the app's usability, according to Google. The beta also gives developers the tools to provide users with permissions to their media content, a feature available on Apple's iPhones since iOS 14, as well as increased transparency for understanding an app's data-sharing practices. 

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Alyse Stanley
News Editor

Alyse Stanley is a news editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing weekend coverage and writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment. Prior to joining Tom’s Guide, Alyse worked as an editor for the Washington Post’s sunsetted video game section, Launcher. She previously led Gizmodo’s weekend news desk, where she covered breaking tech news — everything from the latest spec rumors and gadget launches to social media policy and cybersecurity threats.  She has also written game reviews and features as a freelance reporter for outlets like Polygon, Unwinnable, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. She’s a big fan of horror movies, cartoons, and miniature painting.