Android 15 developer preview 2 is live — here’s the biggest changes

google android 15 logo
(Image credit: Google)

The second Android developer preview is here, bringing us one step closer to the launch of Google’s next operating system later this year. This means Google has added new features and capabilities to developers so they can make the most of what Android 15 will eventually have to offer.

According to Google, the main themes of the second developer preview include updating Android communications, helping developers make the most out of larger and foldable screens, additional privacy and security, as well as better streamlining media and app performance. Here are all the changes you need to know about.

Satellite communications support

One of the biggest changes coming to Android 15 developer preview 2 is additional support for satellite connectivity. This is something we’ve seen in teased the Emergency SOS app on Google Pixel phones, but it sounds like Google has grander plans for the wider Android ecosystem. So the preview includes extended platform support for satellite connectivity and UI elements to ensure a consistent experience across devices. 

Which is all a good thing, considering the last attempt to launch an Android satellite communications feature ended with failure. While it doesn’t specify what kind of satellite communications Android will operate with, or if Google has plans to follow Apple’s example and launch its own emergency SOS system. But this should mean developers can more easily work to add them to Android phones in the future.

Better support for foldable and large screens

Android is also a pretty versatile system and the addition of foldable, flippable and larger screened devices is only adding to that. To account for this, Android 15 will allow developers to get more out of those different types of screens — offering a better overall user experience.

This also includes better support for cover screens on “supported flippable devices.” The way Google puts it, these screens are too small for a lot of apps to operate on properly. But developers will be able to opt-in to cover screen support if they really want their software to be available on the exterior displays.

Better app security

As for security, Android 15 will allow apps to detect whenever they’re being recorded. That way, they can inform users that what’s happening on screen is being recorded and saved. While certain apps can block screen recording, such as banking apps or streaming services, this will presumably allow new and different ways to stop it from happening. 

More efficient software

Android 15 developer preview 2 also features a number of APIs designed to optimize the way apps work in the background — which in turns makes those apps more efficient. These APIs include letting developers see how their app started up, alongside more detailed size information and ensuring apps that have been forcibly stopped don’t start up again without the user doing it themselves. 

All together this should mean apps run more smoothly than they did on Android 14, while also preventing them from using up resources (and power) that the users have tried to deprive them of.

Other changes

Other smaller additions include a smoother NFC experience, in order to offer a more seamless and reliable way to make mobile payments. The goal being to ensure users only ever need to tap once to get a positive reading. PDF support will also be getting some improvements to incorporate more advanced features. These include password protected files, form editing, animations, selection with copy and more. 

Android 14 added automatic switching for multi-language audio recognition, but Google notes that the switching did cause a pause and dropped words. The new Android 15 developer preview reduces that pause, while also adding extra controls that allow apps to have more finetuned switching.

Android 15 will also introduce a new “loudness” standard to avoid inconsistencies for users across different apps and content. Which can only be a good thing for those of us that wear headphones a lot. Android 15 also upgrades the Spatializer to a Virtualizer, allowing developers to set how they want content to play in cases when sound spatialization is supported. 

Finally Google is adding better support for “elegant fonts”, which will prevent certain scripts being compacted and affect breaking layouts. Compact fonts will still exist, but developers will be able to toggle it off if needed. Supported alphabets are Arabic, Lao, Myanmar, Tamil, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Odia, Telugu or Thai.

When will Android 15 arrive?

google android 15 logo

(Image credit: Google)

Right now the Android 15 developer preview 2 is only available for developers, or those who are part of the Developer preview program. So the general public won’t be able to try out any of these changes for quite some time. Not until the first public beta starts, at the very least.

Google’s timeline remains unchanged, and seems to suggest the first Android 15 beta will be available sometime around April. Whether that will be a public beta isn’t clear, though we can expect the public beta will begin by Google I/O in May — as has been the case in previous years. Platform Stability will then take place in June and July, ready for a stable launch later this year.

When the final release will be is currently a mystery. Typically Google releases the next version of Android at the end of the Summer, though there are exceptions to that. Android 14, for instance, didn’t arrive until October — coinciding with the launch of the Google Pixel 8 series. So we’ll have to wait for Google to clarify what its plans are this year.

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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.