Android 14's Quarterly Platform Update (QPR) 2 beta 3 has no-so-subtly hinted that you'll soon be able to turn normal SIMs into eSIMs for easier card-less transfer and management with only your phone.
A new option called "Convert to eSIM" has appeared, fittingly, in the SIMs menu of the Network and Internet section of the Android 14 Settings app. Evidence of this option had been discovered in an earlier beta, but now it's more easily visible to users without having to dive into any of the OS' code.
The button doesn't do anything right now, but it implies the ability for Android 14, at least on Pixel phones, to take your physical SIM's information and turn it into an eSIM, negating the need for swapping the card between phones after that point.
eSIM conversion is not really needed by most users right now since all major Android phones still have at least one SIM card slot. But if they start following the example of Apple, which has stopped shipping iPhones with SIM trays in the U.S., you may well need to digitize your SIM to move into your next Android device. And having that option built into your phone's software by default, rather than having to rely on your phone maker or cell provider to help you do it, would prove handy indeed.
More to discover
This eSIM converter isn't all there is to be found in this new Android 14 update, as an X/Twitter thread from Android expert Mishaal Rahman shows.
New to the Quick Settings shade is a pop-up menu for Bluetooth device management that appears when tapping the appropriate panel. This should make making new device pairings and swapping between existing ones faster than having to go through the Settings menu every time.
A returning feature for Pixel phones only is the Software updates page, which combines system and app update information in one place. This makes a lot more sense than having updates split between the Google Play Store app and the Settings app, and hopefully will be something other phone brands adopt for themselves.
Rahman showed off the option to have the taskbar on foldable phones and tablets sit pinned as a full bar to the bottom edge of the display or float above it in a smaller bubble in his X thread too. He also showed off a way to invert an app's colors if it doesn't have a dark mode color profile, but I wasn't able to find either of these in the Settings of my Pixel 8 Pro running the new beta.
Android 14 QPR 2 is expected to appear in stable form in March, although it'll roll out to non-Pixel phones at various times after that depending on how fast manufacturers implement the features. Even if this SIM conversion feature is a Pixel exclusive initially, it's a sign of an important coming shift to how we use smartphones, and worth keeping an eye on if you intend to upgrade in the next couple of years.
More from Tom's Guide
Get the BEST of Tom’s Guide daily right in your inbox: Sign up now!
Upgrade your life with the Tom’s Guide newsletter. Subscribe now for a daily dose of the biggest tech news, lifestyle hacks and hottest deals. Elevate your everyday with our curated analysis and be the first to know about cutting-edge gadgets.
Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.