Google released its Android 14 Beta 2 shortly after yesterday’s I/O opening keynote, fixing some of the lingering issues that plagued the previous beta versions.
Apart from bug fixes, the latest beta also hints at a long-awaited feature for stock Android users: more control over the Wi-Fi hotspot functionality, as shared by Mishaal Rahman on Twitter.
Android 14 Beta 2 prepares a new “speed & compatibility” page for WiFi hotspot settings, where you can explicitly choose the frequency for your hotspot. Previously, at least on Pixel, you could only select “extend compatibility” to enable the 2.4GHz band. pic.twitter.com/hHowHBZHwC
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) May 10, 2023
Stock Android has always been limited in terms of how you can configure your hotspot. For example, you can’t choose which frequency band your hotspot uses: 2.4GHz or 5GHz. This can affect the compatibility, range and speed of your hotspot. Some Android OEMs, such as Samsung and OnePlus, have already added the option to choose the frequency for the hotspot to their custom OS skins. But Google has been lagging behind in this regard. Until now, that is.
An upcoming setting in Android 14 would allow users to select the hotspot’s preferred frequency band. The setting is currently inaccessible to standard Android 14 Beta 2 users and requires root access to enable it. But it shows that Google is working on this feature and may make it available in the future.
The hidden setting, called Speed & compatibility, appears under the Wi-Fi hotspot settings. It gives you three options: 2.4GHz, 5GHz and 6GHz. The 2.4GHz band is the oldest and most widely supported standard, but it offers lower speeds and more interference. The 5GHz band is newer and faster, but it has less range and compatibility. The 6GHz band is the newest and fastest standard, but it is only supported by some recent modems and devices.
We’re uncertain if the feature will make its way to the stable Android 14 build.