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A new Android 15 update just launched. Here’s everything that’s new

Android 15 logo on a Google Pixel 8.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Less than a month ago, Google formally announced Android 15 and released the first developer preview for the software update. Now, Google is rolling out Android 15 Developer Preview 2 — and with it — a few new features that weren’t in Developer Preview 1.

So, what’s new in this second developer preview? Here are the biggest things to keep an eye out for.

New satellite connectivity features

New satellite connectivity UI in Android 15 Developer Preview 2.
Digital Trends

Satellite connectivity has been a big talking point for smartphones since Apple introduced it on the iPhone 14 series. Now, for Android phones that eventually offer the feature, Android 15 will ensure you know exactly when you’re connected and what you can do with your satellite connection.

As you can see in the screenshot above, Android 15 will show the name of your satellite network in the top left corner, a satellite icon in the top right, plus a notification alerting you that you’re connected to a satellite network. Further, Android 15 “provides support for SMS/MMS applications as well as preloaded RCS applications to use satellite connectivity for sending and receiving messages.”

Better support for flip phones

A person holding the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, showing the cover screen.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Among all the folding phones available today, flip phones — like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Motorola Razr Plus — are a big part of them. These phones have a small cover screen on the front, and in some instances, you can run full applications on those tiny displays.

Android 15 now allows developers to easily flag their apps as being allowed to run on these cover screens. As Googe explains in its press release, “These screens are too small to be considered as compatible targets for Android apps to run on, but your app can opt-in to supporting them, making your app available in more places.” In short, this should mean better app experiences on cover screens. As a flip phone foldable fan, you love to see it.

NFC improvements

The new Google Wallet app running on an Android phone.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

NFC isn’t the most exciting smartphone spec to talk about, but it is an important one — especially if you rely on Google Wallet for contactless payments. This is another area Android 15 addresses.

On “supported devices,” Google says apps can “request the NfcAdapter enter observe mode, where the device will listen but not respond to NFC readers, sending the app’s NFC service PollingFrame objects to process.” In simpler terms, this means any NFC interactions you have on your phone should be smoother than ever. NFC already works quite well on Android phones, but if you’ve ever had to hold your phone to an NFC reader a couple of times before it finally works, Android 15 should make that a thing of the past.

Other Android 15 updates

Upgrades to the PdfRenderer in Android 15 Developer Preview 2.

So, we’ve got a better experience with satellite connectivity, improved cover screen support on foldables, and some NFC upgrades. Is there anything else? Here’s a lightning-round of other updates coming in Android 15 Developer Preview 2:

  • New PDF tools. Android 15 adds more tools to its PDF APIs, making it easier to show password-protected PDF files, search and edit a file, etc.
  • Better language switching. After adding multi-language audio recognition and switching to Android 14, Android 15 is improving it. Specifically, it should help prevent dropped words, especially when speaking to your phone while frequently switching languages on the fly.
  • Other developer tools. As expected with a developer preview, Android 15 DP 2 has a host of developer tools, too. This includes an API to help developers with app startup, more insight into how apps are using storage space, and more.

Should you download Android 15 DP 2?

Android 15 logo on a Google Pixel 8.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Android 15 Developer Preview 2 is rolling out now and is available for the Google Pixel 6, Pixel 7, and Pixel 8 series phones, in addition to the Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet. Should you go off and download it?

Our advice from the first developer preview still stands. For most people, no, you should not download Android 15 DP 2. As the name suggests, Developer Preview 2 is still very much meant for developers — not everyday users. We’ll get to that point soon enough (the first beta release is on track for April), but until then, you’re better off watching Android 15 from the sidelines.

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