Android 15: All the new features, eligible devices, and release date

Android 15 logo on Pixel 8 next to Pixel 7a and 7 Pro
(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

Google likes to roll out preview builds of its upcoming Android version as soon as possible to give developers — and users — a chance to test out the new features well in advance,. These releases also serve as a way to deliver feedback to the brand over the latest additions heading to Android.

Google introduced the first preview build of Android 15 at the end of February, and followed it up with DP2 on March 21. Google rolled out the first public beta of Android 15 on April 11, following up with the second beta build on May 14 at its annual I/O event. 

I installed the second public Android 15 beta on my Pixel 8 as soon as it became available, and I've been testing it a few days now. While there wasn't a lot of excitement around Android 14, there's plenty of new stuff in Android 15.

That said, a word of caution: the build is much more stable than earlier releases, but it isn't ready to be used as a daily driver as of now. I believe that will change with the next beta release — which is due in June — so if you're itching to try out the new features, you'll only need to wait a little while. With that out of the way, here's what's new in Android 15.

Android 15 release timeline

Android 15 release schedule

(Image credit: Google)

Google has a clearly defined timeline with its Android releases, and that's no different with Android 15. The preview builds ran until March, and we're now in the public beta testing phase of Android 15. With Google planning four builds, the beta window will run until July. 

The stable build follows soon after, and while Android 12 and Android 13 debuted in the month of August, Android 14 was delayed until October last year. That said, it is likely that Google will go back to its usual cadence this year, so a stable build should be available in August — I'll have more to share as we get more details.

While Google doesn't use codenames in public-facing documentation, all Android releases still have internal dessert codenames, and Android 15 is designated Vanilla Ice Cream. Like previous years, you can install the beta on Google devices, but the Pixel 5 series isn't eligible — only the Pixel 6 and upwards will pick up the update. Here's the list of devices:

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

With the second public beta build, the Android beta program is making its way to the  best Android phones, with most major manufacturers getting in on the action. If you have any of the eligible devices listed below, you can get started with Android 15 right now: 

  • Honor: Honor Magic 6 Pro, Honor Magic V2
  • Xiaomi: Xiaomi 14, Xiaomi 13T Pro, Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro 12.4
  • OnePlus: OnePlus 12, OnePlus Open
  • OPPO: Find X7
  • Vivo: Vivo X100
  • iQOO: iQOO 12
  • Nothing: Nothing Phone 2a
  • Realme: Realme 12 Pro+ 5G
  • Lenovo: Lenovo Tab Extreme
  • Sharp: Sharp Aquos sense8
  • Tecno: Tecno Camon 30 Pro 5G

As usual, Samsung devices aren't on the list, and ASUS is a notable omission. If you have a Galaxy phone, you will need to wait several months before you can use Android 15; Samsung tends to roll out the beta once the next version of One UI is ready. 

Private Space gives you an additional layer of security

This feature has been around on several Chinese skins, and I use it quite a bit whenever I'm testing a phone running ColorOS. And with Android 15, Google is integrating Private Space into Android, so it will be available on all devices. 

The feature allows you to lock sensitive apps locked away in a separate section that needs an additional layer of authentication. Once locked, these apps don't show up in the app drawer or the overview menu, and they're squirreled away inside a new user profile. Any data that's generated — photos, videos, and documents — is also hidden. 

Notification cooldown turns down the noise

Android 15 notification cooldown

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

Notification cooldown is a great new feature that lowers the volume of incoming notifications when you get successive notifications from the same app. So if you're in a group chat and start getting constant notifications, Android 15 automatically lowers the volume of subsequent notifications. What's great is that you can select this setting for just conversations, or all apps. As someone who doesn't like getting many notification alerts (I use DND most of the day), this is a great new addition, and one that I will use to good effect.

Keyboard vibration gets its own toggle

Android 15 keyboard vibration toggle

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

Android 15 is adding a system-wide toggle to enable or disable keyboard vibration. You could do this previously by going into a keyboard's settings and toggle the feature individually, but the option to do so at a system-wide level that works across keyboards is a good addition. Google is also integrating a slider that lets you adjust the intensity of haptic feedback, similar to what OPPO and other brands already do.

The brightness slider vibrates now

Android 15 brightness slider in action

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

In a bid to bring better feedback across the system, Google is adding haptic feedback to the brightness slider in Android 15. The effect is very subtle — it's not on the same level as the nav gesture intensity, but it is still great that you get some amount of feedback when adjusting the brightness.

Partial screen recording lets you share only what's needed

Android 15 screen record

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

Google took its sweet time integrating a screen recorder into Android, and by the time it added it, all other brands had their own take on the feature, which was usually better. Anyway, Android 15 is getting an update that lets you take partial screen recording. Instead of recording the entire screen by default, you can now select to record an individual app, and it won't show the rest of the screen and notifications.

Bluetooth tile is actually useful

Android 15 Bluetooth tile

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

Google moved the Wi-Fi and cellular connection tiles to a single tile called Internet, and it is a constant source of frustration as it adds another step if I just want to toggle my home internet on or off. By contrast, the Bluetooth tile — which could have actually benefitted with this functionality — was a standard toggle that turned the Bluetooth radio or on off.

Thankfully, Google is addressing this issue in Android 15, and a short press on the Bluetooth tile now pulls up a dialog box similar to the Internet one — you get to see your paired devices, and you have the ability to easily switch between devices, and there's the option to toggle Bluetooth connectivity. If you want to pair a new device, hitting the + icon at the bottom of the dialog box to pull up the Bluetooth settings page and connect a new device.

Samsung's One UI and Nothing OS already use this system, and it's good to see Google baking it into Android.

Android 15 enables edge-to-edge displays

With Android 15, apps can show content that covers the entire width of the display, so if you have the gesture recognition bar enabled at the bottom of the page, you'll see content on either side of it. This should make content look a little more immersive — particularly when you're using a tablet.

Better continuity and multitasking on foldables

OnePlus Open review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

Google is lifting a feature that debuted on the OnePlus Open that switches whatever action you're doing on the inner screen to the cover screen when you fold a device. This is a very useful feature, and other foldables like the Honor Magic V2 also have it. With it being integrated into Android 15, we should see it heading to even more foldables in the future.

Multitasking is also getting an upgrade, and you can now save split-screen app combinations to launch both at the same time. 

Android 15 should have better optimization

Android 15 home screen

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

Google is making it easier for game and app makers to directly access the hardware, and the Android Dynamic Performance Framework consists of a set of APIs that allow better optimization, and in Android 15, Google is introducing a power-efficiency mode that's designed for "long-running background workloads." This is to ensure any background apps don't utilize more system resources than necessary.

In a similar vein, Google is rolling out new thermal thresholds that should make a difference with throttling. Even the latest phones with powerful hardware struggle with throttling issues in demanding titles, and I'm excited to see if this change makes a difference in real-world use.

And as for the interface as a whole, Google is adding smoother transitions, so Android 15 should feel fluid if you're on a device that has a high refresh panel.  

Android 15 rolls out an HQ webcam mode

Google Pixel 8 Pro camera bar in the porcelain colorway

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

You can use your phone as a webcam, and with Android 15, Google is rolling out an HQ mode that makes a difference to video quality. There's now a toggle that lets you enable HQ mode, and it offers better detail resolution. The only issue is that your device will get noticeably warm, but it is a nice addition nevertheless

Android 15 has an always-active taskbar

The home screen on the large inner display of the Google Pixel Fold

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Android 15 DP2 brings a new feature to the Pixel Fold and Android tablets that enables a persistent taskbar at the bottom of the screen. Other brands offer this feature as standard on their foldables, so it is good to see Google adding it natively in Android 15. 

Android 15 lets you share audio like its the '90s

Nothing Ear (2) earbuds review on red background

(Image credit: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

Another new feature in Android 15 DP2 is the ability to pay the same audio across multiple headphones — no need to share earbuds. The Audio sharing sub-menu is located within the Connected devices page, and it lets you cast music to more than one Bluetooth device at a time. I wasn't able to get this feature to work just yet, but it should be usable in later builds. 

Android 15 features I want to see

Android 15 logo in hand

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

The best part of Android is its sheer diversity; different brands have their own take on what Android should look like, and they roll out custom features that go above and beyond what Google offers on the Pixels. As I get to use all the flavors of Android, these are the features I want to see in Android 15 — that said, it's unlikely Google will include any of these in upcoming builds.

Floating windows

Android 15 wishlist

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

ColorOS and MIUI rolled out floating windows three years ago, and it is a useful utility that lets you maximize screen real estate. Floating windows essentially lets you resize any app so that it fits on the display without taking up its entire width, and it can be overlaid onto another app, making it quite convenient to use. My best use case is launching the calculator in a floating window whenever I need to add up a few things, and it works exceedingly well in this situation.

If Google is looking to add floating windows to Android 15, it should consider looking at ColorOS' implementation and not MIUI. In all its wisdom, Xiaomi thought it best to have floating windows enabled as default, with no way to turn off the feature. This means that whenever you pull down on a notification, it opens in a floating window, and I've had several instances over the years where I inadvertently launched floating windows without meaning to.

Better icon customization

Android 15 wishlist

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

Google introduced themed icons in Android 12 (albeit in beta), and two years after launch, the feature is still half-baked at best. The problem isn't down to Google, but devs — as this feature isn't mandated, most app makers still choose to ignore it, and it makes the home screen look less cohesive. Even well-known services like Evernote don't offer the feature, and while that's more to do with the state of Evernote, it's annoying to not have all icons utilize the feature.

While Google's at it, if it can roll out the ability to change icon shape and size, that would be fantastic. I'm still annoyed at how little customization is available on a Pixel phone in this particular regard, and really needs to do better.

Screen Distance

Android 15 wishlist

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

Screen Distance is a clever new feature in iOS 17 that utilizes the front camera to determine if you're holding your phone too close to your eyes. The goal here is to reduce eye strain, and if the camera detects that you're using your device closer than 12 inches from your face, it triggers a full-screen alert asking you to move your phone or tablet further away.

This feature proved to be quite useful on the iPhone 15 Pro Max, and I found that I had a tendency to hold the phone a little closer at night. Screen Distance is designed to reduce risk of myopia in children, but if you tend to use your phone in bed a lot, it can be quite a handy tool. Google needs to bring a similar utility to Android, and given that it uses the camera to gauge distance, it shouldn't be hard to implement.

Better Always On Display

Android 15 wishlist

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

Google's take on an Always On Display has always been lackluster, and Android 14 doesn't do much to change that. You only get the option to show time and date when choosing an always-on screen, and while you get notification icons at the bottom, there isn't any customization possible.

Other interfaces, meanwhile, offer extensive customizability in this area. I like the range of styles available in ColorOS and the fact that I can design my own pattern that shows up on the lock screen, and while One UI doesn't offer much out of the box, you can always install Good Lock and unlock a slate of customization options.

App cloning

Android 15 wishlist

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

Most Android brands give you the option to clone an app so you can run two instances of it. This is handy if you've got two SIM cards and want to fully utilize messaging services like WhatsApp or Telegram, but you don't have the ability to do so on a Pixel phone. As it usually does, Google teased this feature in earlier Android 14 beta builds, but it was nowhere to be found in subsequent betas, and is missing on the stable version.

Android 15: Much more to come

Android 15 logo on Pixel 8

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

The Android 15 beta program is in high gear, and it's clear that it is a major release with plenty of great new features. 

With the beta builds now available on devices outside the Google ecosystem, you can get started with installing Android 15 right now. I'd advise waiting until beta 3 — that's when the build usually hits platform stability, and is much more reliable. 

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.

  • dinso
    Most Important feature would be to have fluid animations like iOS.
    It is high time there be a good competition to iOS
  • mustang7757
    I want to see better backup and restore options like how Samsung implements it across all manufacturers