First preview of Android 15 is now available for developers to test

First preview of Android 15 is now available for developers
Arriving a day later than originally rumored, the first developer preview of Android 15 (a.k.a. Vanilla Ice Cream) has finally made its debut. As announced today by Google, Android 15 Developer Preview 1 is now available for app developers to begin the process of getting their applications ready for the next version of the mobile operating system.

Developer Preview 1 can currently be installed for testing on the Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro, Pixel 7a, Pixel 7 Pro, Pixel 7, Pixel 6a, Pixel 6 Pro, Pixel 6, Pixel Fold, and Pixel Tablet devices by manually downloading the factory images and flashing your device. This is NOT a release meant for the average everyday user, but rather an early baseline build meant for developers only. However, there are notable features new to Android 15 found in the release notes that should be mentioned:

Focus on Privacy and Security
  • The latest Privacy Sandbox: Android 15 adds to the Privacy Sandbox initiative, designed to protect user data while still allowing some targeted advertising.
  • Secure health data sharing: The Health Connect platform gets expanded to let you manage a wider range of fitness and health information safely.
  • File protection: New features help developers ensure your app files are safe and prevent tampering or corruption that could cause problems.
  • Choose what to share: When sharing your screen, you can now select just one app window instead of showing your whole phone screen.
Tools for App Developers
  • Camera improvements: Developers can fine-tune low-light photos and precisely control flash strength for better picture quality.
  • Virtual MIDI updates: Music creation apps get enhancements for greater creative possibilities.
Overall Quality and Performance Upgrades
  • Power and heat management: Apps focused on performance (Ex: games) can better tap into device resources while managing power consumption and avoiding overheating.
  • Developer tools: More features and quality-of-life improvements are included for those building apps for Android.

Source: Google

Android 15 is not yet available via the Android Beta program, however, that will change as we get closer to the final product. Additionally, it will reach Platform Stability with Beta 3 in June 2024. Here’s the current release schedule:

  • Developer Preview 1 (today)
  • Developer Preview 2 (March)
  • Beta 1 (April)
  • Beta 2 (May)
  • Beta 3 (June)
  • Beta 4 (July)
  • Final Release (TBD)

For now, non-developers should stay away from this release, at least until Beta 1 or the QPR program opens for Android 15. The Android 14 QPR program is still running but will conclude with QPR3’s stable release in June.

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