Google drops the first Android 15 developer preview

The bright display on the Google Pixel 8 Pro
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google has released the first developer preview of Android 15, allowing developers to explore and test the upcoming features.
  • The preview underscores Google's increased emphasis on privacy and security in Android 15, with features like the Privacy Sandbox.
  • Android 15 introduces new camera extensions for better control over hardware and algorithms, including low-light enhancements and advanced flash adjustments.
  • Google is refining Android 15 to optimize performance on premium hardware, such as powerful GPUs and AI processing, aiming to deliver top-tier app experiences.

Google is letting developers dive into Android 15, so now users of Google's mobile OS are getting a sneak peek at what could be hitting their screens down the line.

The first Android 15 Developer Preview doesn't reveal much about what features consumers will get later this year, but it does highlight Google's growing focus on privacy and security. Plus, the company is giving creators the tools they need to "bring their vision to life on Android."

Google's announcement hypes up how it's rolling out the latest version of Privacy Sandbox to amp up user privacy and improve personalized ad experiences for mobile apps. Google's been on this privacy train since last year when it beta-tested Privacy Sandbox on Android phones as part of its effort to remove cookies entirely from the web. More recently, Google started default-blocking those cookies for 1% of Google Chrome users.

The search giant added that Android 15 is stepping up its camera game for creators by adding "new extensions for more control over the camera hardware and its algorithms on supported devices." Think low light enhancements for cranking up preview brightness and advanced flash strength adjustments for pinpoint control of intensity in both single and torch modes while snapping pictures.

Google isn't stopping there; it's polishing up the OS even more before it hits consumers. This time, it's all about helping developers harness the power of hardware features like powerful GPUs and AI processing. The goal is to pump out high-quality app experiences for users.

The post mentions new updates to the Android Dynamic Performance Framework, allowing developers to fine-tune how the system handles thermal, CPU, and GPU tasks to make power-hungry apps and games run smoother and smarter.

The developer preview also brings in some Android 14 vibes with Health Connect extensions and supports new data types in fitness, nutrition, and more. Plus, Android 15's got your back with partial screen sharing—now you can share or record just one app window instead of your whole screen. This feature debuted in Android 14 QPR2.

In order to dive into the developer preview, you can flash a system image onto your Pixel 6, Pixel 7, or Pixel 8 series device, as well as a Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet. If you don't have any of those devices, simply use the 64-bit system images with the Android Emulator in Android Studio, and you're good to go.

Google says it's aiming for "platform stability" for Android 15 in June 2024. After that, developers will have "several months" to put their code to the test before the public release of the next Android version.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.