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15 Top New Android 15 Features (2024): How to Install, Features, Release Date

The next version of Google’s mobile operating system—Android 15—is on the horizon, with a host of new features and improvements. Google promises productivity enhancements, better privacy and security, and smoother performance. There are also upgrades for foldable and larger-screen devices. Android 15 is only available as a beta for select devices right now, with the final release a few months away. But we have been trying it out, and these are our favorite new features so far.

Google officially dropped the dessert naming back with Android 10, but it still uses codenames internally. Android 14 was Upside Down Cake, and this year’s release is Vanilla Ice Cream.

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How to Download and Install Android 15

Google released the first beta of Android 15 in April, with further releases planned for May, June, and July, ahead of the final public rollout, likely in August or October. These releases enable developers to test the forthcoming version of Google’s mobile operating system, learn about the new features, and prepare their apps or games to work properly. They also give early adopters the chance to get a sneak peek at Android 15.

While the beta releases are more stable than developer previews, you may still encounter some bugs, and you need to jump through a few hoops to install them, so it’s not recommended for everyone. If you are keen to try it, you will need a Google Pixel phone (Pixel 6 or later) or a supported partner device (including select phones from Honor, Nothing, OnePlus, and Xiaomi). You have to sign up for the Android Beta Program. Most folks who sign up for the program will get the beta updates OTA (over-the-air) without wiping their phones, but you won’t be able to quit the beta program without a factory reset. Make sure to back up your Android phone first.

Updates usually pop up automatically, but you can always check whether you have the latest version in Settings System System update by tapping Check for update. Want to get off the beta and go back to Android 14? Go to Google’s Android Beta page, scroll down to find your device, and hit Opt out. This will wipe all locally saved data, so back up your device first. You’ll get an update prompt to go back to the older version.

Folks without a Pixel or supported partner device should watch their phone manufacturer’s website, forums, or social media to learn when to expect Android 15.

Top New Android 15 Features

These are our favorite features and improvements so far, but we won’t know for sure what will make the final cut until Android 15 is released. You can learn more at Google’s developer site. And be sure to read our story on all the new features coming to Android and the Android ecosystem—including Wear OS, Android Auto, and Android TV—in this story here.

Private Space

Courtesy of Google

Android 15 includes a new Private Space where you can keep sensitive apps separate from the rest of your phone. Whether you want to safeguard health data or your banking apps, Private Space keeps them safely behind a second layer of authentication, protected with the same password you use to unlock your device or an alternative PIN. When your Private Space is locked, apps are hidden from the recents view, notifications, settings, and other apps. You can wipe your private space completely too.

More Satellite Connectivity

Courtesy of Google

There’s a significant expansion for satellite connectivity in Android 15. Some RCS and SMS apps should now be able to send text messages via satellite (it was previously limited to emergency use). Google has also standardized the pop-ups and other user interface elements to make it clearer when you are connected via satellite.

Partial Screen Recording

Courtesy of Google

Instead of recording or sharing your entire screen, in Android 15, you can share an individual app without revealing the rest of your screen or incoming notifications. Logins and one-time passwords (OTPs) are automatically hidden from remote viewers. This is already available on Pixels, but now Google has baked it into Android.

Malicious App Blocking

Several updates in Android 15 make life tougher for malicious apps. They can no longer hide behind other apps by bringing them to the foreground or overlay themselves invisibly on top. There are also changes designed to prevent the exploitation of intents, which let you start an activity in another app by describing an action you’d like to perform, as they are often misused by malware. This is behind-the-scenes stuff to keep users safer.

App Archiving

Courtesy of Google

If you haven’t used an app or game for a while, you may be prompted to delete it, but what if you think you might use it again in the future? With app archiving in Android 15, you can offload most of the app by archiving it…

Read More: 15 Top New Android 15 Features (2024): How to Install, Features, Release Date

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