Android 14 Preview 1 came out yesterday, and while Google is doing its best to hide the consumer-interesting features of this early release (either because they’re not finished, or for a big reveal at I/O), that’s not stopping the internet from find interesting features. ‘App Cloning’ is a new feature apparently hidden in the Preview 1 build and Mishaal Rahmanwriting for XDAmanaged to activate it.
The function takes advantage of the Android multi-user system to have two copies of the same app but with different data, allowing you to log into each with different accounts. Some apps support multiple accounts and some don’t, but this feature would support all multiple accounts. Each app could handle multiple accounts the same way, with one icon for account number one and a second icon for account number two. Under the hood, the whole function looks a lot like Android for Workbut without the complicated work profile setup process and with the ability to choose which apps to duplicate.
You may have seen this feature in some Android skins and third-party applications, so it’s coming into real Android as part of the normal upstreaming process. As he explained Dan Sandlerresponsible for Android system user interface, at Google I/O, the System UI team feature cycle is thick “We see a paradigm in nature, take it, learn about it, make it more secure, and then contribute it to the framework for everyone to use in Android.”
There are many features of this feature that have not yet been completed. There’s no clear cut way to create a cloned app other than finding the right settings screen. Once this is done, the Android launcher cannot distinguish between the cloned and original apps: the icons will have the same name and the same icons. Android for Work it gives duplicate job icons a small briefcase-shaped badge, but there’s no such thing here.
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