Google reveals all of Android 15’s best new features – here’s what’s new

Google releases a new major version of Android every year, and that’ll be no different in 2024.

Android 15 got its official launch at Google I/O 2024, and two public betas are now live.

So, what should you expect in terms of features and compatibility with existing phones? And when will the new software arrive on your device? Here’s everything you need to know about Android 15 at this stage.

When will Android 15 be released?

Google hasn’t confirmed when Android 15 will be released, but based on the timeline below, it’ll be sometime towards the end of the year.

Android 15 timeline

Android 15 timeline

Google

Android 15 timeline

Google

Google

As you can see from the last few generations, it usually begins rolling out in the second half of each year.

  • Android 14 – October 2023
  •  Android 13 – August 2022
  •  Android 12 – October 2021
  •  Android 11 – September 2020
  •  Android 10 – September 2019

Going by this pattern, we’d expect the full release version of Android 15 to arrive around September or October 2024. It may debut on the upcoming Pixel 9 range, which may include three devices this year.

Two public betas of Android 15 are already live, allowing you to try it ahead of time. And it’s not just Google Pixel phones that you can try it on – recent devices from Honor, Iqoo, Lenovo, Nothing, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Sharp, Tecno, Vivo and Xiaomi are all compatible.

Of course, even when Android 15 officially launches, it’ll take a while before it arrives on all compatible phones. The latest Pixel devices will be first in line, but a full rollout will likely take several months
On the device you want to use, simply go to the beta page, click ‘Become a tester’ and follow the on-screen instructions.

Which devices will get Android 15?

If you’re reading this section, you’re probably wondering whether your current Android smartphone will get Android 15. And it’s not just the companies listed above that will get it.

Plenty of other devices will be eligible, though this will all depend on how long the manufacturer has said it will deliver OS (operating system) updates for. Many Samsung, OnePlus and Xiaomi phones offer four years or more, while Honor tends to get three and Asus only two.

If you’re unsure, there’s a useful Android 15 Update Tracker that monitors many of the most popular handsets.

But not all models are included, so it’s worth reading the full Tech Advisor review of your phone to see how long it’ll be supported for.

What new features will we see in Android 15?

Across developer and public-focused betas, plus Google’s I/O developer conference, plenty has already been revealed about Android 15.

Here are the main new features to look forward to.

Private Space

A separate space within Android 15 for sensitive apps. Data and notifications can be isolated from the rest of the phone.
Requires extra layer of authentication to access, and can be hidden completely.

Add to Google Wallet via photos

Allows you to add any passes with a barcode or QR code simply by scanning them.

Theft Detection Lock

Uses AI to detect if your phone has been taken and someone has run, cycled or driven off with it.
Will be automatically locked down to prevent any personal information from being accessed.

Theft Protection feature on Android 15

Theft Protection feature on Android 15

Google

Theft Protection feature on Android 15

Google

Google

Real-time app fraud protection

Uses AI to identify apps that might carry out fraud or phishing, by looking at how they’re using sensitive information in real time.
If threat is detected after being sent to Google for review, users will be warned or app disabled completely, without collecting personal data.

Satellite messaging support

Allows you to send SMS and MMS messages even without any phone signal, using satellite technology.
Unlike the iPhone, can’t be used to make emergency calls yet.

Faster NFC payments

New code means you phone will communicate with the payment terminal immediately, but not respond until you tap the screen to confirm the payment.

Easier Google Pay alternatives

If your phone has its own contactless payment app (other than Google Pay), simply head to the Default Apps settings and choose it. Previously, the option was buried in the NFC settings.

App-specific screen sharing

New ability to share only the app you’re using, rather than the whole display. Already available on recent Pixel devices.

Better PDF viewing and editing

Improvements to the default Google PDF reader to ensure documents are displayed quicker and annotations such as form editing can be added. Also native support for password-protected PDFs.

Improved camera performance

Includes a new ‘Low Light Boost’ for better previews for night photography, plus more in-depth flash controls.

Google Pixel 8 camera app

Google Pixel 8 camera app

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

Google Pixel 8 camera app

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

Audio equalisation

New ‘Loudness Control’ feature which monitors and adjusts media volume to ensure they’re all roughly of the same volume.

Notification Cooldown

Stops the same app from sending you lots of notifications in a short space of time. If you get loads within a few minutes of each other, the app will be silenced by default.

Screen recording detection

Apps will be allowed to detected if the screen is being recorded while they’re in use, helping to prevent sensitive data from being seen.

New Health Connect app

Allows users to display health, nutrition and fitness data from various apps all in one place.

Better language recognition

Improved ability to recognise multiple languages at the same time.

If your phone won’t get Android 15 or just fancy a new handset to accompany the updated software, check out our guide to the best Android phones. All 10 handsets will get the update to the new software.

Smartphones

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