Joe Hindy / Android Authority
- Android 14 has a new security feature that protects against memory bugs.
- The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro do not have compatible hardware to support the feature.
- We might see it debut on the Pixel 8 series before it hits other Android phones.
Google has released the first Android 14 developer preview, and code sleuths are busy discovering new features from the software update. One such feature coming to Android 14 is a security update that likely targets Google’s upcoming Pixel 8 series.
Found by Mishaal Rahman from XDA Developers, the feature is called Advanced Memory Protection. It’s designed to protect compatible phones from memory security bugs, which Google says accounted for more than 60% of high-severity security vulnerabilities and millions of crashes seen by users through 2022.
If you’re running the Android 14 developer preview right now or when you get a future release, you’ll find the feature under Settings > Security & Privacy > More security settings. Enabling it will enable memory tagging on supported devices running Android 14.
As Mishaal explains, Memory Tagging Extension (MTE) is a mandatory hardware feature on ArmV9 processors, which protects against memory breaches that can compromise the security of your device. New Android 14 feature enables memory tagging extension on ArmV8.5+ compatible devices.
The Pixel 7 and 7 Pro feature the Tensor G2 chip which consists of ArmV8.2 processor cores (Cortex X1, Cortex A78 and Cortex A55) instead of ArmV9 cores. This means phones won’t be able to take advantage of the new feature when it ships with Android 14. However, Google’s next set of flagships, aka the Pixel 8 series, could be the first to get the new memory protections. if they feature ArmV9 cores like most other Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and Gen 2 Android flagships.