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The first developer preview of Android 15 is here and it is all about performance, security, AI, and closer ties with Samsung 



TL;DR for Android 15 Update 🚀

  • Performance & Security Overhaul 🛠️: Android 15 aims to close the gap with iOS, enhancing both performance and security.
  • Samsung Collaboration 🤝: Google is teaming up with Samsung to push AI advancements and battery optimizations.
  • All Phones in Mind 📱: The update focuses on smooth performance across devices, from flagships to budget models.
  • CPU & GPU Efficiency 🔋: New tools for developers mean better app performance with less power use.
  • Privacy Enhancements 🔒: Updated “Privacy Sandbox” and new security APIs for stronger defenses against threats.
  • Health Connect App 💪: A new health management platform, integrating data from various sources for a comprehensive health overview.
  • Camera & MIDI 2.0 Improvements 📸🎹: More control over camera settings and support for advanced MIDI 2.0 capabilities for musicians.
  • OpenJDK API Updates 🛠️: Enhanced development tools for building better apps, including quality-of-life improvements and security enhancements.
  • AI Push with Samsung 🧠: A strategic partnership to advance AI technology in Samsung’s phones, benefiting the wider Android ecosystem.

Google’s next major update to Android – Android 15 – looks set to be one of its most ambitious yet. Keen to bridge the gap, both with respect to performance and security, between Android and iOS, Google is making a slew of changes. 

Performance, security, privacy – literally everything is getting a makeover inside Android 15. 

Android 15 continues our work to build a platform that helps improve your productivity while giving you new capabilities to produce superior media experiences, minimize battery impact, maximize smooth app performance, and protect user privacy and security all on the most diverse lineup of devices out there.

Android Developer’s Blog

There’ll be closer ties with Samsung, as Google looks to further expand its reach with its AI protocols, and plenty of battery optimizations for improved efficiencies across the board. 

Reading through the release notes it is clear that Android 15 is all about performance. But not just for flagships, Google wants to make Android 15 run seamlessly on all types of phones – from high-end flagships to mid-range and budget phones. 

Android 15 Developer Preview: What’s New?

Samsung Phones CONFIRMED For Android 13 Update A GuidePin

Google has now unveiled the first Developer Preview of Android 15, giving developers their first look at what Android 15 will be capable of – and there’s quite a lot of new stuff too. Here’s the broad strokes of what’s included inside the first developer preview.

Google is doubling down on its commitment to artificial intelligence (AI) with Android 15. Developers can expect a wealth of tooling and libraries that will enable seamless integration of the latest AI technologies into their apps, opening up a world of possibilities in areas like machine learning, computer vision, and natural language processing.

Although there is still plenty of concerns about security and privacy when it comes to Google bundling Gemini inside Android, concerns no one seems to have answers for right now. AI is starting to feel a little bit like the wild west.

Fortifying Privacy and Security Android 15 is taking user privacy and security to new heights. The introduction of Android AD Services up to extension level 10 brings the latest version of the Privacy Sandbox on Android, striking the perfect balance between user privacy and personalized advertising experiences.

The integration of Health Connect by Android and the addition of FileIntegrityManager with fs-verity support further bolster data protection and file security.

Content creators and multimedia enthusiasts are in for a treat with Android 15. New in-app camera controls and virtual MIDI 2.0 device support promise to elevate low-light photography and enable advanced musical composition through apps.

Enhancements to the Android Dynamic Performance Framework (ADPF) ensure optimal battery efficiency, while updates to the OpenJDK APIs empower developers to write more efficient and robust code, resulting in higher-quality apps for end-users.

Not too shabby, right? Read on for a more detailed breakdown of each new update, tweak, and feature.

New Features, Updates & Performance Tweaks

Android 15: What You Need To Know – The First Preview Pin

We noted that Android 15 is all about performance. But how is Google actually improving the performance of its operating system? The first – and arguably most important – aspect relates to how apps use the CPU and GPU inside Android 15. 

Google has made advances with its Android Dynamic Performance Framework, improving the balance between power use and performance. It introduces a “power-efficiency mode” specifically designed for apps running background tasks, prioritizing energy savings over speed. 

Developers also gain tools to better understand the workload on the GPU and CPU, allowing Android 15 to optimize resource use, leading to improved efficiency and performance without extra resource consumption. 

Essentially, these updates mean Android devices can achieve better performance and longer battery life by using resources more smartly which is a clever way of saying Android 15 will be able to do more with less resources. And that’s what everybody wants. 

Privacy

Android 15: What You Need To Know – The First Preview Pin

Android 15 introduces an updated “Privacy Sandbox on Android,” part of Google’s ongoing effort to better protect user privacy while still allowing personalized ads in mobile apps.

In this update, Google has added new APIs that work with fs-verity, a sophisticated security feature from the Linux kernel. This feature checks files for unauthorized changes using special cryptographic signatures, providing a strong defense against malware and unwanted file alterations.

Health Connect & Partial Screen Recording 

Health Connect by Android is Google’s new and streamlined health management application that will, presumably, come baked inside Android 15. The app will function similarly to Apple’s Health app, potentially replacing the existent Google Fit. 

Google has updated its health app more than once. Google also now owns FitBit, so it’ll be interesting to see if any of FitBit’s IP has made its way inside the new health-tracking application. As for integrations, expect all the main players: Strava, Garmin, MyFitnessPal. 

The MO with Health Connect For Android appears to be the collation and display of data from multiple sources, both native and third-party. Things like your smartwatch, your calorie tracking app, and Garmin Connect, for instance, to give you a 30,000 foot overview of your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly metrics in one place. 

Camera Tweaks & MIDI 2.0 Support

Android 15: What You Need To Know – The First Preview Pin

Android 15 will feature extensions that’ll give developers more control over camera hardware and the algorithms that power them. With these tools in play, developers will be able to tweak previously inaccessible aspects of Android’s camera code – stuff like flash strength and ISO settings. 

Support for MIDI 2.0 instruments is now also baked into Android 15, offering myriad possibilities for musicians and the developers of music apps and DAWs for Android. 

And make no mistake: MIDI 2.0 is a pretty big deal. How so? Unlike the older MIDI 1.0, where messages could only go one way, typically from a keyboard or controller to an instrument, MIDI 2.0 lets devices talk back and forth. 

This means musicians can get immediate feedback and more interactive control between their instruments and controllers.

The upgrade also offers much finer control over musical elements like how hard you press a key (velocity), the pitch, and timing, thanks to MIDI 2.0’s higher resolution, making it closer to the experience of playing a real instrument. 

MIDI 2.0 also introduces “profiles,” making it easier for devices to understand each other’s capabilities right when they connect. This automatic setup helps devices work together better and faster, without the fuss of manual configurations.

And the new MIDI 2.0 standard is backwards compatible with MIDI 1.0 too, so it’ll work with older tech, which is a nice touch – no one likes having to buy completely new software when a new standard is launched. 

Android is still missing a true, honest to goodness Garage Band alternative but with these new capabilities, perhaps we’ll see some innovation in this regard inside 2024/25. 

OpenJDK API

Android 15: What You Need To Know – The First Preview Pin

Developers, Rejoice! Google hasn’t forgotten about its developer community. OpenJDK API additions enhance development capabilities, allowing you to create even better apps, even on older Android versions.

Here’s a breakdown of what’s new with the OpenJDK API in Android 15:

Quality-of-life improvements: Android 15 focuses on enhancing existing APIs related to:

  • NIO buffers and streams: This includes improvements for easier memory management and more efficient data manipulation.
  • Security: New APIs strengthen protection against vulnerabilities and unauthorized access.
  • Continued OpenJDK updates: Android 15 leverages the latest OpenJDK release, bringing in newer versions of popular libraries and APIs like Java 19. This enables developers to utilize modern programming features and benefits even on older Android versions through Google Play System updates.

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Closer Ties With Samsung 

Android 15: What You Need To Know – The First Preview Pin

Google is developing core elements of its AI platforms for use inside Samsung’s flagship phones. This strategic partnership is designed to help the two brands leapfrog Apple in the arena of AI, one of the most lucrative and future-defining trends in technology right now. 

This aspect of Android 15’s development might be something of a collaborative project for Google and Samsung, but the wider Android ecosystem of phone makers will benefit too, as key elements will be includes inside the Android 15 source code for deployment inside all compatible phones. 

Android 15 Roadmap: From Developer Preview To Release Date

Obviously, developing and testing new software takes time. The first developer preview is now officially available, but there’ll be plenty of subsequent versions released – milestones – between now and when Android 15 gets its release date. 

Google has outlined its development plan for Android 15 on its Android Developer Blog. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect from the developer preview of Android 15 between now and the back-end of 2024. 

TimelineBuildType
FebruaryDeveloper Preview 1Early baseline build focused on developer feedback, with new features, APIs, and behavior changes.
MarchDeveloper Preview 2Incremental update with additional features, APIs, and behavior changes.
AprilBeta 1Initial beta-quality release, over-the-air update to early adopters who enroll in Android Beta.
MayBeta 2Incremental Beta-quality release
JuneBeta 3First Platform Stability milestone including final APIs and behaviors. Play publishing also opens.
July, AugustBeta 4, …Near-final builds for final testing.
Final releaseAndroid 15 release to AOSP and ecosystemRelease compatible versions for apps, SDKs, and libraries.

Is Android 15 the update you’ve been waiting for? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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