Google’s Pixel Tablet has garnered significant attention in the Android tablet market, and with the upcoming Android 14 release, Google seems to be focusing on improving stylus support. While stylus input is currently supported by various Android devices, the core Android system lacks robust compatibility. However, Android 14 promises to address this limitation and provide users with a more enhanced stylus experience.
Although the API diff isn’t up yet, I spotted new key code constants in the KeyEvent documentation: KEYCODE_STYLUS_BUTTON_PRIMARY, KEYCODE_STYLUS_BUTTON_SECONDARY, KEYCODE_STYLUS_BUTTON_TERTIARY, and KEYCODE_STYLUS_BUTTON_TAIL.
Respectively, these refer to the primary button on… pic.twitter.com/OoNPygyAU9
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) June 8, 2023
As observed by Mishaal Rahman, Google has introduced several notable improvements for stylus functionality in Android 14. Users will now have access to new settings upon connecting a smart stylus. These settings include the ability to designate a default note-taking app and the option to ignore stylus button presses, among other features. These user-facing enhancements aim to streamline and personalize the stylus experience for Android device owners.
Behind the scenes, Google has made further advancements in stylus support. Android 14 is expected to provide better compatibility for styluses with multiple buttons. The system will now recognize buttons labeled “Primary,” “Secondary,” “Tertiary,” and “Tail.” Notably, the Android message specifically mentions that the “tail” button does not typically function as an eraser. Instead, the message hints at the possibility of assigning this button to launch the user’s preferred note-taking application. These underlying improvements signify Google’s commitment to enhancing the overall stylus experience on Android devices.
Impact on Pixel Tablet:
Although these welcome stylus enhancements won’t be available upon the Pixel Tablet’s initial release, they hold significant potential for future usability. While Google does not offer an official stylus for the Pixel Tablet, the device supports USI 2.0 stylus options. Consequently, the improved stylus controls introduced in Android 14 are likely to benefit the Pixel Tablet in the long run. Users can anticipate a more refined and efficient stylus experience on the Pixel Tablet as these enhancements become available.
Android 14 brings promising improvements to stylus support on Android devices. With enhanced user-facing settings and advanced recognition of stylus buttons, Google is actively addressing the limitations of stylus functionality within the core Android system. Although the Pixel Tablet won’t initially benefit from these upgrades, its compatibility with USI 2.0 stylus options positions it to leverage these future enhancements effectively. Android 14’s dedication to better stylus support ensures a more seamless and tailored experience for users embracing stylus input on their Android devices.