Android 15 beta 2 released

Google released Android 15 beta 2 today, and with it, they unveiled some more of the new features coming to Android later this year when the final release lands. Android 15 comes with something called a private space, an area with an extra layer of authentication where you can keep applications and data hidden away, such as banking applications or health data. It’s effectively a separate user profile, and shows up as a separate area in the application drawer when unlocked. When locked, it disappears entirely from sight, share sheets, and so on.

Another awesome new feature is Theft Detection Lock, which uses Google “AI” to detect when a phone is snatched out of your hands by someone running, biking, or driving away, and instantly locks it. Theft like this is quite common in certain areas, and this seems like an excellent use of “AI” (i.e., accelerometer data) to discourage thieves from trying this.

There’s also a bunch of smaller stuff, like custom vibration patterns per notification, giving applications partial access to only your most recent photos and videos, system-wide preferences for which gender you’d like to be addressed as in gendered languages (French gets this feature first), and a whole lot more.

Developers also get a lot to play with here, from safer intents to something like ANGLE:

Vulkan is Android’s preferred interface to the GPU. Therefore, Android 15 includes ANGLE as an optional layer for running OpenGL ES on top of Vulkan. Moving to ANGLE will standardize the Android OpenGL implementation for improved compatibility, and, in some cases, improved performance. You can test out your OpenGL ES app stability and performance with ANGLE by enabling the developer option in Settings -> System -> Developer Options -> Experimental: Enable ANGLE on Android 15.

↫ Android developer blog

You can install Android 15 beta 2 on a number f Pixel devices and devices from other OEMs starting today. I installed it on my Pixel 8 Pro, and after a few hours I haven’t really noticed anything breaking, but that’s really not enough time to make any meaningful observations.

Google also detailed Wear OS 5.

Later this year, battery life optimizations are coming to watches with Wear OS 5. For example, running an outdoor marathon will consume up to 20% less power when compared to watches with Wear OS 4. And your fitness apps will be able to help improve your performance with the option to support more data types like ground contact time, stride length and vertical oscillation.

↫ Android developer blog

Wear OS 5 will also improve the Watch Face Format with more complications, which is very welcome, because the selection of complications is currently rather meager. Wear OS 5 will also ship later this year.

One Response

  1. 2024-05-16 12:43 am