Android 15 Beta 2
Android 15 Beta 2 LogoOfficial Android Developers Website

The Android 15 Beta 2 has been rolled out and is now available for development, testing, and feedback from the public.

Android 15 Beta 2 (Android 15) is available on Google Pixel for testing purposes, along with 11 other technology partners like OnePlus and Xiaomi.

"Android 15 is a solution for exploring new features and APIs and testing Android 15 behaviour changes." The application comes with a host of new features and updates aimed at increasing performance and security for an improved user experience.

New Android logo
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What are some key developments?

Camera and media features: These see some important changes and updates. For instance, direct and offload audio playback "now invalidates previously open direct or offload audio tracks when resource limits are reached." Next, it includes a Low Light Boost, which is a "new auto-exposure mode available to both Camera 2 and the night mode camera extension." The API also has a feature that can manage any forms of loudness inconsistencies. This will be useful to users, as they will no longer have to adjust volume settings themselves while switching between applications.

Connectivity: The platform support for satellite connectivity has been expanded to include "some UI elements to ensure a consistent user experience across the satellite connectivity landscape."

Security and Privacy: The features added to Android 15 are heavily focused on security and privacy. 'Private space' is a new feature of Android 15 that allows users to create a separate space on their device where they can store sensitive and personal apps away from third party access, using an "additional layer of authentication". For secure financial transactions, the Android 15 also introduces a new "wallet role that allows tighter integration with the user's preferred wallet app." To address issues of app privacy, the release has added additional support for apps "to detect that they are being recorded."

In terms of app controls, the new developments also provide for apps to highlight only the most recently selected photos and videos when partial access to media permissions is granted. Further changes have been introduced to "prevent malicious background apps from bringing other apps to the foreground, elevating their privileges, and abusing user interaction." Another interesting introduction is a new set of APIs that perform permission checks on content URIs for safer access.

All these additions are eventually geared towards developing "new technologies that improve user privacy" and enable "effective personalized advertising experiences for mobile apps."

Developer productivity and tools: The Android 15 adds developer tools like "additional controls to help apps tune automatic language switching to their use case." It also contains new features for archiving and so on.

 Internationalization: In a move to promote global access and integration, Android 15 now comes with the "font file for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean (CJK) languages, NotoSansCJK," which is now a variable font. It remains to be seen if any other languages or language related modifications will be added over time.

 Performance & Battery: The Android Dynamic Performance Framework (ADPF), is a "set of APIs that allow games and performance intensive apps to interact more directly with power and thermal systems of Android devices." This feature is designed to improve performance, speed and efficiency.

 Health Connect: This app stands updated and contains a new and improved set of features through "a secure and centralized platform to manage and share app-collected health and fitness data. The update adds support for new data types across fitness, nutrition, skin temperature, training plans, and more."

Customised Attention Management and Vibration Modes: Apps can now customize the "Attention Management (Do Not Disturb) rules and decide when to activate or deactivate them." Android 15 also customises the level of vibration depending on the outside environment and "supports setting rich vibrations for incoming notifications by channel."

 A Work in Progress

The release of Android 15 is still in testing mode and will likely undergo further modifications and updates. Even so, it has introduced some significant additions that will shape the user experiences for the better. The long term objectives of this release are clear. As stated by Dave Burke, VP of Engineering, Android's work is to "build a platform that helps improve your productivity, minimize battery impact, maximize smooth app performance, give users a premium device experience, protect user privacy and security, and make your app accessible to as many people as possible — all in a vibrant and diverse ecosystem of devices, silicon partners, and carriers."