Android 15: Possible release date, rumored features, supported devices and more

google android 15 logo
(Image credit: Google)

Android 15 may not be set to arrive until later in the year, but we already know a few things about what Google has in store for this year’s software upgrade. We've now had two developer previews and the first Android 15 public beta, and that means people have been crawling through this early code in search of new features, upgrades to existing ones and any fine-tuning Google’s been up to.

So far we’ve seen features that let users cooldown notifications, changes that could see in-app web pages load faster, a change that offers partial screen sharing. the return of lock-screen widgets on Pixel Tablet, better visual accessibility and forcing apps to fill the screen edge-to-edge.

Of course that’s no doubt just scratching the surface of what Android 15 could offer. Here’s everything we know so far.

Android 15 Possible Release Date

Google I/O 2023 logo how to watch Google I/O 2023

(Image credit: Google)

The release date for Android 15 is a bit of a mystery right now. Typically the new software arrives in late Summer, but there have been instances where this wasn’t the case. The launch of Android 12 and Android 14 happened in October, much closer to the launch of that year’s Pixel phones.

So while there’s every possibility Android 15 launches in late summer, as usual, we may have to wait a couple more months. Unfortunately we’re not going to find out for certain until much closer to the time.

Google’s Android 15 development calendar doesn’t help much either, noting that beta releases will commence in Spring ahead of Platform Stability from June. So far we've only got to the first part of that timeline with the release of Android 15's first beta

The final release window is rather vague, simply noting that the final release will happen an unspecified time after July. Which is as close a release window as we’ll get ahead of Google I/O 2024 in May.

We expect that, as per usual, Android 15 will arrive on Pixel phones first, with other phone makers following on at their own pace. 

Android 15 Supported Devices

Google Pixel 8 Pro held in hand.

(Image credit: Future)

The first Android 15 developer preview and public beta has confirmed which Pixel devices are set to get an Android 15 upgrade later this year. The oldest devices in line for the upgrade are the Google Pixel 6 and Google Pixel 6 Pro. Just don’t expect many additional updates, since both devices will stop receiving full Android updates sometime in October.

Naturally this means the Google Pixel 6a, Pixel 7 series and Google Pixel 8 series will be getting an Android 15 upgrade as well. All those phones can install the Android 15 beta right now.

The Google Pixel 5a is set to lose access to new Android updates at some point in August and definitely won’t be getting Android 15. So if you still have a Pixel 5a, it may be worth upgrading to the Pixel 8a once it arrives this summer.

As for other Android phones, that’s entirely dependent on what sort of software support your phone’s manufacturer has pledged. The oldest Samsung flagship scheduled to get Android 15 is the Galaxy S21, as will mid-range phones up to the Galaxy A33 and foldables up to the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3.

Android 15 developer preview & beta

Google Pixel 8 shown held in hand

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The first two Android 15 developer previews have already been made available, launching in February and March. Now we're deep into beta territory with the Android 15 public beta kicking off in April. 

It’s unclear what sort of update cadence we can expect from the beta right now. Provided Google sticks to its release schedule, we should see the big feature updates arrive before the end of June, at which point Google will focus on platform stability. Updates will still be released, but we should expect them to be much smaller, focusing on bug fixes and other behind-the-scenes changes ahead of the final release.

However these timeline isn't set in stone, and there could be issues with Android 15 that Google needs to fix — pushing these dates back by an unspecified amount.

google android 15 logo

(Image credit: Google)

Regardless, we should see beta versions of Android trickle out until right before the final release of Android 15. After which beta versions of Android’s Quarterly Platform Releases should start rolling out.

So far it’s unclear which non-Pixel phones will be eligible for the Android 15 beta, but Google will likely reveal more details at Google I/O.

Android 15 rumored features

Google Pixel 7a

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The thing about looking into Android 15 at this early stage is that we don’t know what the new software might have to offer. The first developer preview may be available, with a bunch of extra features we haven’t seen in Android before, there’s no guarantee that any of these things will make it to the final release.

Google may have plans, but upcoming software is always in flux. Some things work, some don’t, and the final version is always dealt with accordingly. That said, the closer we get to release day with each successive update, the better chance there is for new features to make the final cut.

One of the main new features Google announced alongside the first developer preview is partial screen sharing, which allows Android users to share windows from a single app, rather than sharing their whole screen — much like some of the best video chat apps already do on desktops.

There’s also a rumor that Android 15 will see lock-screen widgets return to Android phones, after options to set them appeared in the Android 14 QPR3 beta. While they may be limited to devices that support Android hub mode, like the Pixel Tablet, it’s something we would like to see return. Lock screen widgets vanished with the arrival of Android 5, and have since appeared on iOS, so they’re due a comeback on smartphones.

Rumor is that Android 15 could also feature a big accessibility change that would be useful for anyone with visual impairments. This involves an “easy pre-set” feature that utilizes larger text and icons, additional contrast and bold effects, plus three on-screen buttons for navigation. While unfinished from what we can tell, it looks pretty similar to iOS’s Assistive Access — which  simplifies the phone interface and uses more visual cues rather than harder-to-read text.

Another feature in the developer preview could see in-app web pages load slightly faster. That’s thanks to Google pinning the WebView protocol that powers those pages to your phone’s memory, and ensuring it doesn’t have to boot up from scratch each time you use it.

If excessive notifications tend to get on your nerves, then Android 15 may offer something you’ll be happy about. A “notification cooldown” has been spotted in the developer preview, which gradually lowers the volume of successive notifications apps are throwing at you. That means you don’t need to choose between putting your phone on silent, and being irritated by every last message sent to your group chats.

We may also see Android 15 force app developers to offer edge-to-edge display coverage, a feature that’s currently optional. The idea is that apps use up all available screen space, including the areas normally taken up by status bars — which already have the ability to vanish where necessary.

The preview also features a new keyboard vibration toggle, letting you disable haptics in the keyboard app, as well as some haptic feedback when you lower the display brightness. Plus like Android 14 QPR betas, it looks like it’ll be possible to switch between Bluetooth devices from the Quick Settings menu — rather than the full Bluetooth menu.

Finally Pixel Fold owners may be able to use the “continue using apps on Fold” feature that lets you continue using apps on the cover display whenever you shut the foldable display.

It appears that Android 15 will include a new feature that allows users to find turned-off devices. A recent report indicates that both the Google Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro, Pixel 8a and the Pixel 9 can use the feature. As of this moment, it seems that the only limitation on compatible devices is that there needs to be some reserve power in the battery.

The Android 15 beta has also confirmed better cellular network security, featuring warnings about unencrypted networks and the option to avoid them all together. There's also set to be support for external Braille displays, the choice of a new default wallet and measures to avoid malicious apps pushing other apps to the foreground.

Android 15 Outlook

Google Pixel 8 Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

There’s still a long way to go before Android 15 will arrive on your phone, and that means there’s still a lot we don’t know right now. Heck, what little information we do know could well change over the next few months. But from the official details we’ve received so far, and the rumors of upcoming features, there may be a lot to like about Android 15.

Still, we’re going to have to wait for some official news before we can start getting excited about what’s to come. Thankfully we should get a better idea of what to expect after Google I/O 2024. There’s no confirmation on when the event will be held, but it’s typically during the first two weeks of May.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.