The media player doesn’t see any drastic changes in Android 14, but one such tweak to the output switcher gives you a handy one-tap shortcut for muting audio.
With Android 14 (we’re seeing it on Beta 5.x, but it was presumably introduced earlier), tapping the speaker icon at the left of the volume bar lets you immediately mute audio. Another tap, which takes less effort than dragging, will unmute to about a sixth of the full range. It would be useful if that instead returned you to the previous increment.
We’re seeing this shortcut work with on-device speakers, Bluetooth headphones, the Pixel Tablet’s Dock speaker, and other Cast targets (Nest Hub, etc). A similar action would be useful in the system volume slider.
In comparison, Android 13 has no such one-tap gesture and you can only mute by sliding all the way down or trying to carefully tap the very left of the bar, which even then does not get you all the way to 0%.
This joins how there’s now a “Speakers & Displays” heading in the output switcher, while the Android 14 media player radiates a wave when you play/pause and the lava lamp-esque animation. Google has a penchant for constant redesigns of the media player, so maybe we’re due for one next year. It’s at a pretty good state right now.
More on Android 14:
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