Android is no longer the mess it once used to be. Gone are the days when users mostly spoke in favour of it as an operating system capable of offering insane customisation while ignoring the basic lapses in platform stability, data privacy, user security and generic performance finesse. Today, whether you pick up a feature-loaded midrange Samsung Galaxy A54 or an AI-infused Google Pixel 8, Android smartphones offer a refined and polished user experience while still offering a lot more freedom to customise than an iPhone. With Android 15, it is only going to get better.

Although we have barely had time to warm up to Android 14, which was released worldwide in October 2023, Google is already baking the next version with several under-the-hood improvements. The earliest step in the development process includes the developer preview builds and Android 15 has just hit that stage. By the time October 2024 arrives, we might be seeing a polished version of the world’s most popular operating system ready to hit millions of Android phones.

But the more important bit we are interested in is its feature list. A new Android update has always made us curious as to what lies ahead for millions of Android users around the globe, especially in an era where generative AI is making big strides. Hence, without further ado, we are taking a quick look at everything that the first developer preview of Android 15 has to offer.

Android 15 features: What’s new this year?

android versions history
Image Credits: Guido Coppa via Unsplash

It is worthwhile to note that the earliest iterations of developer previews focus on the core aspects of the Android operating system and don’t focus on the big-hyped features. Hence, we can only know enough about some of the core changes coming to Android 15, and until Google reveals more details at the I/O event later in the year, we will need to keep an eye on developments as and when they happen, including the Android 15 stable release date.

That said, the first developer preview makes it evident that Google wants to focus on three key areas with Android 15, which are privacy and security, system performance and support for creators/developers.

Privacy and security

With extension level 10 applied to Android AD Services, Google says that Android 15 will have stricter privacy norms while ensuring an effective personalised advertising experience for apps. Enhanced security measures will also help with better protection against malware and unwanted file modifications (corruption).

The most visible change here though will be the addition of a partial screen-sharing feature. Similar to Windows PCs, users will now be able to share only specific apps or part of the screen while on video calls, thereby hiding the rest of the screen and its contents.

Faster performance

With an upgraded Android Dynamic Performance Framework (ADPF), supported devices will now offer a new power efficiency mode for apps that will improve the efficiency of long-running background tasks. This should help with greater battery life despite running several necessary apps like WhatsApp, Snapchat, Facebook, health apps and more in the background.

Android 15 will also have new thermal thresholds baked in to reduce thermal throttling, which could benefit mobile gamers in the long run.

Creator/developer-focused updates

App developers on Android 15 get finer control over the camera interface. Apps like WhatsApp, Instagram and Snapchat can now fine-tune their apps to take advantage of low-light modes by dialling up the brightness of the camera preview. Additionally, users will also get better control over the LED flash to better optimise images in low light conditions.

For music creators, Android 15 adds UMP support to virtual MIDI apps, thereby allowing more functionality with music composition and synthesiser apps.

What else is coming to Android 15?

Android 15
Representational Image / Credits: Courtesy Adrien via Unsplash

Over the coming months, Google is going to add more features to Android 15 and once it hits the public beta stage, we will get a fair idea of what’s coming to Android phones later in the year. With all successive versions of Android, we have usually seen minor tweaks to the UI and with Android 15, we expect Google’s designers to refine the user interface to keep it all fresh.

Since generative AI made a grand debut on the Pixel 8 series, we expect Google to integrate its Gemini Nano AI model with the core architecture of Android in a much better way.

Android 15 compatible devices

Being a developer preview, Android 15 can only be experienced on the following devices for now:

– Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 6a

– Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro and Pixel 7a

– Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro

– Pixel Tablet

– Pixel Fold

App developers can also access the Android 15 developer preview via Google’s Android Emulator app on PCs and Macs.

Hero and Featured Image: Courtesy Denny Müller via Unsplash

This story first appeared here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

– When will Android 15 be released?
The Android 15 update is expected to be released to the public as a stable build in October 2024.

– What are the features of Android 15?
Android 15 will focus on several under-the-hood improvements to privacy and security, app performance and improved support for creators/developers.


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