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Everything you need to know

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We are now firmly on the road to Android 15, with Google releasing the first developer preview on February 16, 2024. This is not typically when Google releases developer previews and betas; usually, that’s on a Wednesday. But Google did mention late last year that it was moving away from its typical release schedule and will release updates, betas, and previews when they are ready.

That is a week after Android 14 started last year, with the first developer preview dropping on February 8, 2023.

In this article, we are going to tell you everything you need to know about Android 15 and update you throughout the developer preview, beta, and stable stages of the life of Android 15 until Android 16 launches in late 2025.

What will Android 15 be called?

Publicly, Google has dropped dessert names from new versions of Android. However, it is still used internally, and Android 15 is using the letter “V”. So Android 15 is referred to internally as Android V or Vanilla Ice Cream. This follows Upside Down Cake for Android 14 and Tiramisu for Android 13. Here are the most recent versions of Android and their dessert names. Wonder what Android 16 will be with “W” next year?

  • Android 10 – Quince Tart
  • Android 11 – Red Velvet Cake
  • Android 12 – Snow Cone
  • Android 13 – Tiramisu
  • Android 14 – Upside Down Cake
  • Android 15 – Vanilla Ice Cream

When will Android 15 be released?

Typically, Google will put out a developer preview or beta every month until August. Then, in either August, September, or October, the final stable version will start to roll out. This has moved around a bit in recent years, being as early as mid-August for Android 13 in 2022 or mid-October for Android 12 in 2021 and Android 14 in 2023. Here are the stable release dates for previous Android versions:

Google has, in the past, released new versions of Android well ahead of the new Pixel release. So don’t think that Google is waiting for the Pixel 9 announcement to release Android 15; that’s not happening.

What’s the developer preview and beta schedule?

The first developer preview launched on February 15, 2024. We typically get a new developer preview or beta just about every month. The full schedule is below.

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We’re expecting two developer previews in February and March. Then, the beta cycle begins in April, with four betas each month until July. After that is the final release, which Google is not adding a month for this time around; it could be as early as August or as late as October, as we’ve seen in recent years.

  • Developer Preview 1 – Released on February 16, 2024

What devices will get Android 15?

Right now, we can only speak to the Google Pixel range of smartphones. Google says that the Pixel 6 and later will be the only devices on the schedule for getting Android 15. Here’s the complete Pixel list:

  • Google Pixel 6
  • Google Pixel 6 Pro
  • Google Pixel 6a
  • Google Pixel 7
  • Google Pixel 7 Pro
  • Google Pixel 7a
  • Google Pixel Fold
  • Google Pixel Tablet
  • Google Pixel 8
  • Google Pixel 8 Pro

We’ll need to wait until the fall to see what devices from other manufacturers will get updated to Android 15. For the developer preview, you’ll need to flash the image onto your Pixel device.

What features is Android 15 bringing?

So far, Android 15 is very developer-focused, hence the “developer preview” state. So the majority of the changes are under-the-hood changes that developers and OEMs will be able to take advantage of on their apps and their phones. But here’s a short list of what we have so far.

User Privacy and Security

As with every new Android release, Google is focusing on protecting user privacy and security with a few pretty major changes. First up is the Privacy Sandbox on Android. Android 15 brings this to extension level 10. That will incorporate the latest version of the Privacy Sandbox on Android. It’s part of Google’s work to develop new technologies that improve user privacy and enable effective, personalized advertising experiences for mobile apps.

Next up is Health Connect. This is the app that allows you to sync your health data between different apps like Google Fit, Fitbit, and Samsung Health. Android 15 brings extensions 10 around Health Connect by Android, which brings support for new data types across fitness, nutrition, and more.

Android 15’s FileIntegrityManager gets new APIs that will tap into the power of the fs-verity feature in the Linux kernel. With fs-verity, files can be protected by custom cryptographic signatures that will help you ensure that they haven’t been tampered with or corrupted.

Finally, Google is adding partial screen sharing. Allowing you to share or record just an app window rather than the entire device screen.

Supporting Content Creators

It’s obviously essential for Google to support content creators; after all, they do own YouTube. But with Android 15, Google is adding better in-app camera controls that can be used in other apps. Developers will get better support for using features of high-end cameras, like the 200-megapixel camera on Galaxy S24 Ultra.

Android 15 is also extending UMP support to virtual MIDI apps. This enables composition apps to control synthesizer apps as a virtual MIDI 2.0 device just like they would with a USB MIDI 2.0 device.

Performance

Google is also making some changes to improve the performance and quality of apps across all of the Android devices on the market. The Android Dynamic Performance Framework is getting updated. Which now has a new power-efficiency mode for hint sessions to indicate that there associated threads should prefer power saving over performance.

GPU and CPU work durations can both be reported during hint sessions, which is going to allow the CPU and GPU to adjust the frequencies together to best meet workload demands. Thermal headroom thresholds are also added, which will interpret possible thermal throttling status based on headroom prediction.

More to come

Generally, the first couple of updates for a new version of Android are geared towards developers. Give them more time to get their apps ready for the final release of Android 15 by releasing some of the APIs now. The APIs won’t be final until the June beta release, however.

User-facing features will likely come in the first beta, which is set for April.

When will my phone get Android 15?

It’s tough to really say right now when your phone might get updated to Android 15, especially since we’re still so many months away from the stable release. However, Pixel devices should be first in line to get the update. The Pixel 6 and newer should be updated this time around, with support for Pixel 5a getting dropped. Samsung has also been pretty quick to roll out updates for new versions of Android, and it’ll likely come with One UI 7 around October or November.

As for other manufacturers, we’ll have to wait until this Fall to know for sure.

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