Google has officially released the first beta of Android 15, the next major version of its mobile operating system. This initial beta-quality release is now available as an over-the-air update for Pixel devices enrolled in the Android Beta Program. The OTA update weighs around 637MB on our Pixel 7a and 581MB on our Pixel 8.

Android 15 Beta 1 introduces several new features and enhancements aimed at improving productivity, delivering a premium app experience, protecting user privacy and security, and ensuring accessibility across a diverse ecosystem of devices.

One of the notable changes in this beta is the edge-to-edge display of apps by default on Android 15 devices. Applications will now appear behind the system bars and gesture navigation areas, with the system bars becoming transparent or translucent, allowing content to be displayed behind them.

Google has also added official support for app archiving and unarchiving at the OS level. This feature allows users to remove an app’s APK and cached files while preserving user data. Archived apps will be displayed with a special UI treatment, and tapping on them will prompt the responsible installer to unarchive the app.

In the realm of security and privacy, Android 15 introduces the E2eeContactKeysManager, an API that facilitates end-to-end encryption (E2EE) in Android apps by providing a centralized way to store and manage cryptographic public keys for contacts.

Accessibility improvements include support for Braille displays using the HID standard over USB and secure Bluetooth, allowing smooth operation with TalkBack, Android’s built-in screen reader. Additionally, Android 15 brings changes to prevent malicious background apps from elevating their privileges or abusing user interaction, further enhancing user control and protection against malicious apps.

Users can provide feedback and report bugs through the Android Beta Feedback app on Pixel devices or by participating in the Android Beta community on Reddit.

Android 15 Beta 1 is available for the following devices:

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

Of course, developers can get it on the Android Emulator too. Users already enrolled in the Android 14 Beta Program or running Android 15 Developer Preview 2 will receive the update over-the-air. As Google moves through the release cycle, more details and announcements are expected to be shared at the upcoming Google I/O event in May.

Dwayne Cubbins
1128 Posts

My fascination with Android phones began the moment I got my hands on one. Since then, I've been on a journey to decode the ever-evolving tech landscape, fueled by a passion for both the "how" and the "why." Since 2018, I've been crafting content that empowers users and demystifies the tech world. From in-depth how-to guides that unlock your phone's potential to breaking news based on original research, I strive to make tech accessible and engaging.

Next article View Article

Gboard adds new permission pop-up windows in latest beta update

Google continues its commitment to modernizing the design of its Android apps, with recent focus on implementing elements of its in-house Material Design 3 language for a more polished...
Apr 12, 2024 2 Min Read