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Google unveils the first Android 15 Developer Preview

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Android 15 Beta 1

Google has released the first Developer Preview of Android 15, the next Android version. The preview is aimed at giving developers an early look at the new features and APIs that will be available in the final release later this year.

Android 15 Developer Preview 1 is available for the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, Pixel 6a, Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro, Pixel 7a, Pixel Tablet, Pixel Fold, Pixel 8, and Pixel 8 Pro, as well as the Android Emulator. The preview is not intended for daily or consumer use, and can only be installed manually. The public Android Beta program will start in April.

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Android 15 Developer Preview

The Android 15 mainly focuses on protecting user privacy and security, supporting creators, improving performance and quality, and enhancing developer productivity.

With the Developer Preview 1, Privacy Sandbox on Android and Health Connect offer new ways to access and share data across apps and websites without compromising user privacy.

Moreover, the FileIntegrityManager uses fs-verity to protect files from tampering and corruption with cryptographic signatures. Now, In-app Camera Controls let developers fine-tune the camera settings and algorithms on supported devices.

The Universal MIDI Packets extend MIDI 2.0 support to virtual MIDI apps and devices with Android 15. Android Dynamic Performance Framework lets performance-intensive apps interact more directly with the power and thermal systems of Android devices.

However, Google also warns how:

An issue with sideloading the Developer Preview 1 build can sometimes cause the device to show a “Device is corrupted” message after sideloading is completed. To work around this issue, we recommend that developers flash a factory image to test devices whenever possible instead of sideloading an OTA system image.

Android 15 Developer Preview

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Android

Android 15 expands default wallet app choices

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Android 15 wallet choices

Google has recently released the first beta version of Android 15, which brings a significant update as lets users select a preferred app to serve as their default wallet application. This feature enhances the system’s flexibility, allowing for a personalized choice of NFC payment apps.

Previously, Google Wallet was the default NFC payment app on Pixel phones. With the new update, users have noticed that the AMEX app is also compatible with this setting.

This change is also expected for various payment apps to become the default wallet app on Android devices. Google explains that wallet apps are designed to store essential items like credit cards, loyalty cards, and even car keys, facilitating different types of transactions.

This update is notable because it differs from Apple’s approach on iOS, where alternative digital wallet apps are not allowed. Previously, Android hasn’t blocked third-party wallet apps but this new default setting will make it easier for users to integrate these apps into their payment processes, giving them more options and enhancing the overall user experience.

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Android 15 might allow Google Play to update your phone’s NFC

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Pixel 9 samsung modem

Google’s upcoming Android 15 update is set to bring a transformational change in the way NFC technology is updated on smartphones. The company promises to reduce the complexity of operating system updates with Android 15. Notably, the NFC feature offers contactless payments and data transfer.

Back in 2019, Project Mainline was introduced by Google to address the challenge of updating the Android operating system across various devices. Project Mainline allows Google to update essential parts of the operating system directly, bypassing the device manufacturers. This method simplifies the update process and ensures that all devices receive updates simultaneously.

With the introduction of Android 15, Google plans to increase the number of updateable modules from 37 to 40 within Project Mainline. The addition of the ‘com.android.nfcservices’ package is significant because it includes the NFC stack.

Android 15 NFC update

The presence of the NFC stack package along with two other packages indicates that Google is preparing to add these as new modules to the project mainline. Although it has not yet been confirmed whether these will be included or not.

As Android 15 gets closer to its release, it’s clear that Google is working towards a more unified Android experience. The ability to update the NFC stack directly through the Google Play System is a step that provides users with a more consistent and secure operating system.

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Google’s Android 15 Beta 1 Released: What’s New

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Android 15 Beta 1

Google has released the Android 15 Beta 1 for Pixel devices through OTA. This beta update is available for testing for developers and early adopters. Android 15 brings improvements to increase productivity, enhance app quality, and strengthen privacy and security.

Now, users of the Pixel devices can try out the new features of Android 15 on their devices ahead of the stable release. The beta program is essential for refining Android, with user feedback playing an essential role.

Android 15 Beta 1 update arrives with a bundle of new features and enhancements to provide a better and next-level experience. It uses full screen, enhances NFC payments, supports more languages with better text justification, and introduces app archiving to save space.

Moreover, it also adds new developer tools for app profiling and improves Braille display compatibility. Security is strengthened with key management for encryption and more rigid background activity controls.

Android 15 First Beta Update Features

Edge to Edge

In Android 15, apps automatically use the full screen, showing content behind the system bars without extra coding. For older Android versions, it’s still best to use `enableEdgeToEdge()` to achieve this look. Material 3 design helps manage the layout for you, ensuring your app looks great on all devices.

By default, system bars on Android 15 are see-through, allowing app content to extend behind them. To avoid content hidden by the system bars, refer to “Handle overlaps using insets” documentation for Views or the Window insets section in Compose.

Android 15 Beta 1

Smooth NFC experience – part 2

The tap-to-pay process is now smoother, with apps able to register for notifications of NFC polling, ensuring better performance across multiple NFC applications.

Inter-character justification

A new justification mode allows for better letter spacing in texts, particularly benefiting languages like Chinese and Japanese that don’t rely on spaces.

App archiving

To save storage, users can now archive rarely used apps while keeping their data intact. This feature is now supported at the OS level, making it easier for app stores to adopt.

App managed profiling

Developers can gather in-depth app performance data with the new ProfilingManager class. An upcoming Jetpack API will further streamline this process.

Better Braille

TalkBack now supports a wider range of Braille displays, thanks to compatibility with the HID standard over USB and Bluetooth.

Key management for end to end encryption

The new E2eeContactKeysManager API helps in managing cryptographic keys for end-to-end encryption in apps.

Secured background activity launches

Android 15 enhances security by restricting background apps from unauthorized foreground launches.

App compatibility

With Android 15 in beta, developers are advised to test their apps for compatibility and address any issues to ensure a smooth user experience.

If you’ve a eligible pixel device, join the beta program now to enjoy the new features on your smartphones.

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