After announcing artificial intelligence (AI) features for Android at I/O keynote, Google released the second beta version of Android 15 and detailed the new features it brings. The US-based software giant also confirmed the list of supported devices for Android 15 beta 2. For reference, Google released the first developer preview version of Android 15 in February, followed by the first public beta version of the new OS. The company detailed some of the new features coming to Android smartphones through these releases. These features include satellite connectivity support for messaging apps, smoother tap-to-pay experience on Android smartphones, screen record detection for privacy, and more app support for cover screens on foldable smartphones.

Below are the new features that the second beta of Android 15 brings:

Private Space

Private Space essentially uses a separate user profile to hide apps, files and media (both user generated and downloaded). Google said that when the Private Space is locked, the apps stored within it are no longer active. Users can either choose the device lock or a separate method of authentication to unlock this space. Apps within the Private Space show up in a separate container in the launcher and are hidden from “recently viewed apps”, notifications and settings when the space is locked.

Google said that this feature will allow users to create a separate space on their devices where they can store sensitive applications under an additional layer of authentication.

Theft protection

Google has announced an array of features to protect an Android device against theft. These include Theft Detection Lock, Factory Reset Protection, and more. Google said the theft detection lock feature uses AI to sense if the device has been snatched and is trying to run away. If a motion associated with theft is detected, the phone screen automatically locks. If the thief tries to disconnect the device for a prolonged period, the device automatically locks the screen even if it has no active internet connection.

Google said, someone might try to reset the stolen device, but with “Factory Reset Protection” enabled, they will not be able to set-up the device again without login in using the Google account the device was originally set-up with.

While the device lock feature is integrated within Android 15, Google said that it would make this feature also available to devices running Android 10 or newer. However, the “Factory Reset Protection” will be exclusive to Android 15-powered devices.

Android 15: Private Space and Theft protection

Limited media access

With Android 15, apps will be able to access only the most recently selected photos and videos when partial access to the gallery is granted to them. Google said that this can improve the user experience for apps that frequently request access to photos and videos.

Secure background activity

Google said that it has added a flag in the code that blocks malicious background apps from bringing other apps to the foreground. The company said that there have been instances where malicious apps can launch another app’s activity, then overlay themselves on top, creating the illusion of being the primary app. This process of “task hijacking” currently bypasses background launch restrictions as it all occurs within the same visible task.


With Android 15, Google said it has improved multitasking capabilities for tablets or “large screen devices”. With the update, users will be able to pin the taskbar on screen to swiftly switch between apps or save their preferred split-screen app combinations for quick access.

Android 15: Save split-screen layout

Android 15: Save split-screen layout

Picture-in-Picture (PiP)

Android 15 will improve the transition when the device enters PiP mode for a smoother experience.

Widgets preview

With Android 15, developers will be able to show a personalised preview to the widget within the widget picker. Essentially, the widgets preview will appear on the device screen before those are placed.

Android 15: Widgets preview

Android 15: Widgets preview

Predictive back

This new feature will allow improved navigation experience while using gesture navigation. Using new animations, the user will be informed where the gesture action will take them to. For example, swiping on the bottom left will show a back arrow on the side of the screen to denote that this action will take them to the previous menu.

Vibration effects

Google said that Android 15 supports setting “rich vibrations” for incoming notifications that will allow users to distinguish between different types of notifications without having to look at 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. Apart from its own hardware, Google said that the Android 15 beta is also available on select devices from other original equipment makers (OEMs) as well. These include devices from Honor, iQOO, Lenovo, Nothing, OnePlus, OPPO, Realme, Sharp, TECNO, vivo, and Xiaomi.

First Published: May 16 2024 | 12:15 PM IST

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