Android 15 Update: Latest Leaked and Upcoming Features

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Ross Jukes
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Last updated: May 9, 2024
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Google consistently releases early versions of its new Android updates so that developers and users can try the new features before they are officially released. The tech giant released the first test build of Android 15 at the end of February. On March 21, they released a second developer preview. The first public beta was rolled out on April 11, showcasing a more stable version of the upcoming software compared to its initial previews.

Many improvements will be made to Android 15 to make the user experience better on the newest Android devices. These improvements will focus on areas like security, speed, and camera functionalities. While many of the new features are already being tested, it’s anticipated that Google may still have some additional capabilities that haven’t been revealed yet.

Android 15: Code names and release date

Google has moved away from using dessert-themed code names for its public Android releases, starting with Android 10. Even though this has changed, the company is still calling things by their treat names. For example, Android 15 is known as Vanilla Ice Cream within Google. This amusing nod to older ways of naming things is a fun fact for people who know about Android’s past.

Android 15 will be released in a planned way, starting with the first developer test in February. Before the final version is stable, Google wants to release a total of six updates. This includes two previews for developers in February and March, as well as four test versions from April to July. In the past, new versions of Android have come out in August, like Android 12 and 13. But Android 14 came out for all Pixel phones in October, which means that Android 15 could come out at any time between August and October. This schedule gives developers and early adopters a lot of time to try and get used to the new features and improvements that will be in the next release.

Leaked and the Potential Features of Android 15

Based on different leaks and information that’s out there, here are some features that Android 15 might have:

Battery health percentage 

Battery health on the phone screen

Battery health tracking started with Android 14, and Android 15 is likely to take it a step further by making it easy for users to find this information. The new update may display the anticipated percentage of battery capacity compared to the phone’s initial purchase. This update would provide users with a clear understanding of how much their battery has degraded over time.

Lock screen widgets

Lock screen widgets

With Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, lock screen widgets were allowed, but with Android 5.0 Lollipop, this feature was taken away. It was iOS 16 that first added lock screen apps, and Android 15 is likely to do the same, but with a twist. Recently discovered information suggests that the return of lock screen apps might only be available on tablets, especially Pixel tablets. More details are needed to confirm these speculations, but current information suggests that lock screen widgets might soon be making a comeback, increasing the tablet user experience.

Private Space

Private Space

“Private Space” a new feature in Android 15, lets users hide apps and data directly on their devices, just like Samsung’s “Secure Folder.” You can get to it by going to Settings > Security & privacy > Private Space. This is where users can change privacy settings like locking the private space or adjusting notification visibility. To protect your privacy, Google suggests using a separate Google account with Private Space. Users can also quickly add apps to Private Space through the Pixel Launcher, which makes things easier for them and makes them safer.

Satellite Messaging

Satellite Messaging option

Google announced that Android 15 will support satellite messaging which will make it easier to talk to people when regular cell service doesn’t work. It’s still not clear exactly how the service will work. With this service, users could send texts directly from the Android Texts app even if there aren’t any cell towers nearby, as long as they could see the sky. With this function users can stay in touch with others in an emergency situation even if they are in the most remote places.

App archiving option

App archiving option on the phone

Like iOS’s “offload apps” function, Android 15 will add a feature called “app archiving” that lets users get rid of apps without losing their data. This feature, which appeared in Developer Preview 2 and was confirmed in the first Android 15 beta, effectively removes most of the app’s working files while retaining a stripped-down version and a clickable home screen icon. When tapped, this icon brings up the app again through Google Play, so users can easily resume where they left off without taking up extra room.

App pairs feature

App pairs feature

Android 15 is set to streamline multitasking with a new feature called App Pairs which allows users to save and quickly launch their preferred split-screen app combinations. In earlier versions, users had to choose which apps to split-screen each time. With Android 15 users can make these pairs and save them as an app pair. After you save it, a special icon for the paired apps will show up on the home screen. When you tap this icon, the two apps will open right away in their split-screen setup, making the process easier and making Android devices more productive.

Bluetooth auto-on

Bluetooth auto-on

With Android 15, Bluetooth beacons will be used on a huge network of Android devices to improve the Find My Device network. Google is adding a function called “Bluetooth auto-on” to fix the issue of Bluetooth being turned off, which makes this network less effective. This new setting will automatically reactivate Bluetooth the day after it’s paused, preventing it from staying off until manually toggled. While only system apps can control this setting without user intervention, there may be restrictions that affect its availability on some devices. This feature takes a similar method to iOS, which manages Bluetooth settings to keep ecosystem connectivity going without turning off all radios.

Powered Off Finding API

Powered Off Finding API features

The Powered Off Finding API is a new feature in Android 15 that allows you to track the location of compatible devices even when they are off. Only devices running Android 15 and integrated through Google Play Services will be able to use this feature, which is part of the Project Mainline “Tethering” module. The API allows devices to emit Bluetooth beacons enabling nearby Android devices to locate them, similar to a capability on iPhones.

For this feature to work it needs certain hardware that keeps the Bluetooth controller running even when the device is off. To use this mode, phones must support the Bluetooth Finder HAL. It will first be available on the Google Pixel 9 and it may also be available on the Pixel 8 line which has the right hardware. By enabling users to monitor their phones even when not plugged in, this new feature enhances device safety.

NFC wireless charging

Phone in wireless charging

Support for NFC wireless charging is coming soon to Android 15, which will make it easier to charge small smart devices. While Qi wireless charging needs bigger antennas, NFC wireless charging only needs a lot smaller ones. This makes it perfect for small devices like earbuds, styluses, smartwatches, and tracker tags. However, devices must have an antenna that can handle both communication and charging tasks in order to use this feature. This update could make charging technology on Android smartphones a lot more flexible and easy to use.

Voice activation for digital assistants

Voice digital assistants on phone

With Android 15, all digital assistant apps will again be able to use wake words, which were taken away with Android 12. The new “voice activation” feature utilizes privacy-preserving “adaptive sensing” technology, allowing apps like ChatGPT and Amazon Alexa to respond to commands even when the screen is off. This update makes it possible for any app set as the preferred assistant to have hands-free activation, which used to only work with Google Assistant and Samsung’s Bixby. This makes it easier for users and safer.

Desktop mode with flexible windowing options

Desktop mode with flexible windowing options

Android 15 will add new windowing options to its desktop mode to make it better. Now, app screens will have a handle that opens a menu with the app’s name and icon, as well as full-screen, split-screen, and freeform modes. In freeform mode, windows have a title bar with buttons to close and expand that make switching between modes easy. Users can easily move and resize these windows. Resizing briefly hides app content so that it can be seen more clearly. You can also snap windows to the edges of the screen to easily switch between tasks, and by dragging the top handle, you can quickly change full-screen apps to freeform or split-screen.

Smart adaptive screen timeout

Smart adaptive screen timeout on phone

An adaptive timeout feature that smartly controls your device’s screen activity is likely to be added to Android 15. The goal of this new feature is to make the screen turn off sooner when the device is not being used. This way, users can get the benefits of longer screen timeouts without sacrificing security or battery life. There are still no details on how this feature will work, and it may only be available on Google’s Pixel phones. By changing screen activity based on user engagement, this adaptive approach could make devices much more useful.

New location privacy HAL

A new Location Privacy Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) API is coming soon to Android 15. This API will give users more control over their location settings, which will protect their privacy. With this new API, users can control how their mobile carrier can ask for location data for reasons that aren’t emergencies. This is another step that Google is taking to improve the privacy settings on Android devices so that users have more control over their personal data.

As the next Android update gets closer, users should keep in mind that Google usually only gives new versions to Pixel devices and a few partners at first. People who want to use the newest features and improvements will have to wait calmly for their device’s manufacturer to release the necessary over-the-air (OTA) updates and make sure they work with their current model. To find out when these updates will be available for your device it’s important to keep up with announcements from your manufacturer.

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Ross Jukes
Ross Jukes
Ross Jukes is an accomplished American copywriter with a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and a minor in Creative Writing. Based in the United States, Ross is a language expert, fluent in English and specializes in creating compelling and engaging content. With years of experience in the industry, he has honed his skills in various forms of writing, including advertising, marketing, and web content. Ross's creativity and keen eye for detail have made him a valuable asset in the field of copywriting, where he continues to excel and innovate.

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