Google Rolls Out Android 15 Beta With Features Focused on Privacy, Security

Android 15 Beta

After unveiling AI advancements for Android during the I/O keynote, Google rolled out the second beta edition of Android 15, delineating its fresh features. The US-based tech giant also disclosed the roster of supported devices for Android 15 beta 2. For context, Google initially introduced the first developer preview of Android 15 in February, followed by the inaugural public beta version of the OS.

Google elaborated on several novel functionalities slated for Android smartphones through these releases. These encompass satellite connectivity support for messaging apps, smoother tap-to-pay experiences, screen record detection for privacy, and augmented app compatibility for foldable smartphones’ cover screens.

Highlighted below are the key features introduced in the second beta of Android 15:

Private Space: Introducing a distinct user profile, Private Space conceals apps, files, and media, both user-generated and downloaded. Google clarified that when Private Space is locked, the contained apps remain inactive. Users can opt for either the device lock or an alternative authentication method to unlock this space. Apps within Private Space are segregated within the launcher and remain concealed from “recently viewed apps,” notifications, and settings when the space is locked. This feature aims to provide users with a secure enclave for storing sensitive applications under an additional layer of authentication.

Theft Protection: Google announced a suite of features designed to safeguard Android devices against theft. These include Theft Detection Lock, Factory Reset Protection, and more. Utilizing AI, the theft detection lock feature identifies suspicious motion indicative of theft and automatically locks the device screen. Even in the absence of an active internet connection, prolonged disconnection prompts the screen to lock. Furthermore, Factory Reset Protection prevents unauthorized access to the device by requiring the original Google account credentials for setup. While the device lock feature is integrated into Android 15, Factory Reset Protection remains exclusive to Android 15-powered devices.

Limited Media Access: With Android 15, apps can access only the most recently selected photos and videos when partial gallery access is granted. Google asserts that this refinement enhances the user experience for apps frequently requesting access to multimedia content.

Secure Background Activity: Google has implemented a code flag to block malicious background apps from elevating other apps to the foreground. This addresses instances of “task hijacking,” wherein malicious apps launch another app’s activity and overlay themselves on top, misleading users into believing they are interacting with the primary app.

Multitasking: Android 15 enhances multitasking capabilities for tablets and large-screen devices. Users can now pin the taskbar to the screen for swift app switching or save preferred split-screen app combinations for expedited access.

Picture-in-Picture (PiP): Android 15 improves the transition when the device enters PiP mode for a smoother experience.

Widgets Preview: Developers can now showcase a personalized preview of the widget within the widget picker with Android 15. This allows users to preview widgets before placing them on the device screen.

Predictive Back: This feature enhances the navigation experience with gesture navigation by providing informative animations indicating where the gesture action will lead. For example, swiping on the bottom left will display a back arrow on the side of the screen, indicating that this action will navigate to the previous menu.

Vibration Effects: Android 15 supports setting “rich vibrations” for incoming notifications, allowing users to distinguish between different types of notifications without needing to check their device.

Android 15 Public Beta 2: Compatibility: The new Android 15 beta version is available on select Google Pixel devices, including Pixel 8-series, 7-series, 6-series smartphones, Pixel Fold, and Pixel Tablet. Additionally, Google stated that Android 15 beta is available on select devices from other original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) such as Honor, iQOO, Lenovo, Nothing, OnePlus, OPPO, Realme, Sharp, TECNO, vivo, and Xiaomi.