Skip to main content

Google just announced Android 15. Here’s everything that’s new

The Android 15 logo on a smartphone.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Android fans, it’s time to start your hype engines. Google just released the first developer preview for Android 15 — kicking off the release of the next big Android update.

This is just the first step in a months-long process of Android 15’s rollout, which will see numerous developer previews and betas before the final release later this year. So, what’s new, when is Android 15 officially releasing, and should you download it? Here’s everything you need to know.

What’s new in Android 15

A photo of many Android figurines on a white wall.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Google says Android 15 focuses on three main areas: privacy/security, supporting creators and developers, and maximizing app performance.

Starting first with privacy and security updates, Google has increased the Android AD Services to extension level 10. In normal words, that means new under-the-hood tech that “improves user privacy and enables effective, personalized advertising experiences for mobile apps.”

A more user-facing change is the addition of partial screen sharing. Now, you can record a specific part of an app rather than the entire screen. Additionally, Google is adding more fitness and nutrition data types to its Health Connect platform, and there are increased security measures for files to keep you safer from malware and unwanted file modifications.

The Android 15 logo on a smartphone.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Android 15 also introduces some camera changes. Specifically, low light improvements “give developers control to boost the brightness of the camera preview.” Similarly, Android 15 will allow you to have more precise control of the camera flash. And if you’re a music creator, Android 15 adds UMP support to virtual MIDI apps — allowing more functionality with composition and synthesizer apps.

Regarding app performance, Android 15 upgrades the Android Dynamic Performance Framework (also known as ADPF). On “supported devices” running Android 15, this ADPF upgrade adds a new power-efficiency mode that will improve “long-running background workloads.” There are also new thermal thresholds that should reduce thermal throttling.

As you can see, a lot of what’s new in Android 15 is focused on behind-the-scenes improvements. Google will almost certainly announce additional features in future developer previews and betas, but at least right now, all signs point to Android 15 being a very timid upgrade over Android 14.

Android 15 release date

A timeline of the Android 15 release date, showing its developer previews, betas, and final release date.
Google

That’s what’s new in Android 15. But what about its release date? Developer Preview 1 is available starting today. A second developer preview is expected in March, followed by numerous beta releases between April and July.

Based on the timeline above, the final release is lining up for August or September. It’s always possible things will get delayed as the months progress, but this is what we’re currently expecting.

Should you download Android 15 right now?

The Android 15 logo on a yellow background.
Digital Trends

So, with Android 15 Developer Preview 1 here, does that mean you should rush out and download it on your phone? Almost certainly not.

As the name suggests, Developer Preview 1 is intended for developers and not for everyday use. Developer previews are often riddled with bugs, especially the very first one for a big Android update like this. Unless you’re a developer who needs to test their apps with Android 15, we’d recommend waiting — either for the final release later this year or the public beta program when it launches around April or May.

If you are a developer — or you want to throw caution to the wind and play with Android 15 anyway — you can flash the developer preview onto any Google Pixel 6, Pixel 7, or Pixel 8 series device, in addition to the Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet.

Editors' Recommendations

Joe Maring
Joe Maring is the Section Editor for Digital Trends' Mobile team, leading the site's coverage for all things smartphones…
Android 15 has a clever way to make notifications less annoying
The Lock Screen on the Google Pixel 8 Pro.

This year's Google I/O 2024 was kicked off with one of the rare keynotes where Android did not see most of the limelight. AI -- and more specifically, Gemini -- was the talk of the show, and even the Android section of the keynote was filled with all the intelligent features coming with Android 15. The second beta of Android 15 rolled out just a few hours after the keynote, and it brings many more features that weren't discussed onstage. One of them is "Adaptive Vibration," which seems exclusive to Pixel phones for now.

As the name suggests, Adaptive Vibration is designed to fine-tune the vibration strength of incoming notifications based on the environment or where your phone is located. Android Authority discovered the feature under the Sound & vibrations menu in Android 15 's settings.

Read more
Google’s new AI features look like my worst nightmare
Google's Gemini logo with the AI running on a smartphone and a PC.

The Google I/O 2024 keynote was AI-heavy. Very AI-heavy. We all knew it would be, but I went into it hoping the often-exciting company would show me what I really wanted: AI with personality. Alas, once again, the AI on show all did a variation of the same old things, with absolutely no fun, excitement, or joy in it at all.

This was absolutely when Google needed to roll out its very own version of R2-D2 at I/O to fire up our imaginations about AI, given the overload about it recently. But what we got instead was the computer from Star Trek, and oh, how monotonous and uninspiring it was.
Google’s AI life is not my life

Read more
Google Pixel 9: news, rumored price, release date, and more
Front and rear profile of leaked Google Pixel 9 renders.

The Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are Google's latest and most powerful devices, but it won't be that way for long. Rumors of the Google Pixel 8a mean this pair of flagships will be supplanted as the latest Google phones fairly soon — but they'll be able to hold on to the title of "most powerful" for a little while longer. The Google Pixel 9 range, while definitely on the way, isn't due to arrive any time soon.

But when it does, it's sure to be a pair of blockbusters. Leaks for the Pixel 9 family are a little thin on the ground at the moment, but it seems as if Google is planning on making some big changes this time around. If leaks are correct, we expect a new look and some exciting new AI features that go beyond what we've seen before.

Read more