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The Google Pixel 8a may not get one of Android 15’s coolest features

The back of the Google Pixel 8a.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

One of the most highly anticipated new features in Android 15 may not be available on the recently launched Google Pixel 8a. If true, it’s bad news for anyone who just purchased Google’s newest budget handset.

Android Authority reports that the least expensive Pixel 8 model will not support the Auracast feature in Android 15. This feature allows users to share their phone’s audio with multiple Bluetooth devices — making it a lot easier to share a song or video with friends/family without disturbing other people around you.

To support this claim, Android Authority dug into firmware that mentioned Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) Audio, which the Auracast is built on top of. When compiling an Android build, the site confirmed support for the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, but not for the less expensive Pixel 8a.

As Android Authority rightly notes, “this doesn’t mean it can’t be added later, but it’s curious that it’s only missing for the Pixel 8a and not the Pixel 8 or Pixel 8 Pro.” It dug further, however, and said one of its sources said that Google intends for LE Audio broadcast to only support “leading phone[s]” in the Pixel lineup.

Android 15 logo on a Google Pixel 8.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Android 15 could be released to the public as early as next month, perhaps at the next Made by Google event on August 13. Currently being beta tested, Android 15 has several new and updated features that folks are excited about. Besides audio sharing, the update includes all-new partial screen sharing, a notification cooldown, easier Bluetooth controls, satellite connectivity, better PDF experiences, and more.

The Pixel 8a was announced and released in May. The handset’s starting price is $499, which is $200 less than the Pixel 8 and $500 less than the Pixel 8 Pro.

In addition to Android 15, next month’s Google event could feature the arrival of the Pixel 9 series, which includes the Pixel 9, Pixel 9 Pro, and all-new Pixel 9 XL. The Pixel Fold 2, along with more Google AI features, are also expected.

Bryan M. Wolfe
Bryan M. Wolfe has over a decade of experience as a technology writer. He writes about mobile.
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