I found the top 7 features on Android 15 that are super useful

Android 15 top new features Google beta
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So Android 15 — aka Android Vanilla Ice Cream — is here. Sort of. The stable public release of Android 15 will most probably start rolling out from September 2024, but I’ve been testing the beta version of Android 15 on my Pixel 8 for about a week to find out exactly what’s new and what’s improved.

Android 15 release schedule
Android 15 release schedule (Image: Google)

I guess it probably goes without saying that Google hasn’t bothered with any major visual changes but you know what? I’ve found 7 amazing features that you’re gonna absolutely love on Android 15. And if you stick around till the end, I’ll share a bunch of bonus features that you’ll love even more! Let’s go.

Android 15 features

1. Private Space

Okay at number 1 is something called “Private Space”. It’s basically this separate, hidden space where you can store all your private, sensitive apps so that they don’t show up in the app drawer. And also the recent menu, notifications, and settings once you lock it up.

What I find especially interesting is that it’s actually a separate user profile on its own. Which means I can use a different Google account for all my apps in the private space and even have two versions of the same app at once.

Android 15 - Private Space

I really like how it lets me set a separate authentication style — like fingerprint, pin, pattern — to access the private space too. So even though someone may have figured out my phone’s password, I can rest assured that they won’t be able to access my hidden apps at least.

Now I know what you’re thinking. This isn’t a new idea… at all. There are literally dozens of apps on the Play Store that can keep your sensitive apps locked in, while every major smartphone brands like Samsung, OnePlus, and Xiaomi have a similar feature built into their phones as well. Having said that, I definitely appreciate how Google is building such a useful, privacy-focused feature into Android by default.

2. Partial screen recording

On that note, screen recording is getting a lot more private on Android 15 too. You know how when you’re trying to screen record something, you get a notification from some other app? Or you accidentally switch to a different app that you don’t want in the recording? So now you gotta edit those part out or do the whole thing again?

Well, Android 15 has a genius solution for this. Instead of recording the entire screen, you can now choose to record what happens inside one app only.

Android 15 - Partial screen recording

So when I select screen recording on Android 15, there’s a new option called “a single app”. And once I hit “start recording” and choose the app I want — it doesn’t matter if I jump to another window or get a sudden pop-up from another app — it will only record what happened in the app I selected. That’s it.

3. App pairs

Google is also pushing for easier multitasking on Android 15 with app pairs. And if you’re someone who’s constantly working with two apps in split screen mode, then this is probably the most exciting feature you should look forward to. So instead of separately opening those apps that you use side by side every single time, there’s now an option to save them as a “pair” for much quicker access. Just tap the app pair shortcut and voilà!

Android 15 - App pairs

Although… like “Private Space”, this one’s nothing new either. I’ve been launching YouTube and Notes with one click on my Samsung phone for as long as I can remember. The way Google has implemented this on Android 15 feels a little undercooked as well since there is no way to switch the app layout like on One UI. Maybe that will change with the final release of Android 15, but let’s see.

4. App archiving

Alright. The next Android 15 feature I wanna talk about is kind of a personal favorite of mine. It’s called “app archiving” and it lets me uninstall an app to save some storage space, while still keeping some of my user data. So… when I reinstall it afterward, it’s like I never got rid of it in the first place. And yeah, it’s exactly like the option to “offload” an app in iOS.

Android 15 - App archiving

I’m gonna archive Instagram and as you can see, it’s taking up 507MB of storage right now. But once I archive it, that number goes down to just 139MB. And when I need to check my Insta feed later on, I can simply restore the app without ever having to sign in again.

5. Notification cooldown

Moving on, “notification cooldown” is another new feature on Android 15 that I can’t wait for you guys to try out! Especially if you have that one friend who keeps your phone ringing and buzzing with constant notifications in the group chat. Or that one app that spams you with notifications the second you’re connected to the internet.

And you can probably imagine how horrifying this is to someone like me who carries at least a couple of phones at any given time. But thanks to Android 15, I can finally enjoy some peace and quiet by enabling notification cooldown.

Android 15 - Notification cooldown
Image: Android Authority

What it does is gradually lower the volume of all the successive notifications from the same app, and I can either apply this to every type of notification or just for those noisy group texts.

I wish I had even more precise control on specific apps to put into cooldown but let me once again remind you that I’m running a beta version of Android 15 at the moment. So Google has plenty of time to make some changes for the stable version.

6. Audio sharing

Anyway, have you guys heard of Auracast?

It’s this new Bluetooth LE Audio feature that lets you broadcast audio from your smartphones and laptops to multiple devices at once. Unlike how traditional Bluetooth connection can only stream to one device at a time. Samsung was actually the first to bring Auracast support with One UI 6.1, whereas Google wants you to be able to share your phone’s audio or join others’ broadcasts much more easily on Android 15.

Android 15 - Audio sharing
Image: Android Authority

Say I’m somewhere crowded and want to watch the latest episode of One Piece with my buddies. With Android 15, I can start sharing audio from my phone while my friends join in with their wireless earbuds. And the beauty of Auracast is that my friends don’t need to go through the hassle of manually pairing their earbuds to my phone as well.

7. Theft detection lock

Okay. I saved the best Android 15 feature for last because this one can potentially keep your phone’s data safe in case it’s stolen. Google calls it “Theft Detection Lock” and listen to this: it uses data from sensors like accelerometer and gyroscope to figure out if your phone has been snatched away. And with a little help from AI, it will quickly lock the device to prevent thieves from accessing your phone.

Android 15 - Theft detection lock
Image: Google

That’s not all. There’s also this new feature that will automatically lock the phone if the thief puts your device offline, while Google now lets you remotely lock your phone with the help of your phone number and security question too.

But the best part is that all of these are coming to older phones too, running Android 10 or later. Yay! Except for factory reset protection, which prevents the thief from resetting the stolen phone without your Google account credentials.

That’s gonna be exclusive to Android 15.

Android 15 features: What else?

Alright, so those were the 7 incredible new features I found on Android 15. And as promised, I’ll now go through a bunch of other changes and upgrades you can expect from Google’s next major Android release. It’s gonna be rapid-fire so… brace yourself.

So I know I said there aren’t any major visual changes this time but Google has made a couple of refreshes to the UI here and there.

  • For example, the volume panel has been completely redesigned with big, bubbly controls that look a lot nicer.
  • The Bluetooth tile now opens a pop-up menu on a single press instead of just turning on/off.
  • And if you dig a little deeper inside the settings, you’ll find that Android 15 now has the option to automatically turn on Bluetooth the next day. Just like on iOS.
  • Google is finally bringing “predictive back” gestures into Android as well, which gives this nice preview of where you’re returning to.
    • This feature was already there in Android 14 — buried deep inside developer options — but it’s now going to be enabled by default on Android 15.
  • Android 15 can also stop you from making calls and messages in an unencrypted network to prevent data theft and surveillance.
  • Then there’s the new “High Quality” mode when using your phone as a USB webcam. Although I should warn you that enabling it could mean the phone gets hotter and loses battery more quickly.
  • Whereas Android 15 has a ton of under-the-hood optimizations like better standby battery life and a built-in AV1 decoder for an even better user experience.

How to download and install Android 15 beta?

So yeah, with Android 15, it’s clear that Google was mainly focused on productivity, security, and stability side of things more than anything else. And if you can’t wait for the final release, you can actually install the Android 15 beta right away if you have one of these phones.

You can download the Android 15 beta build for these phones from Android Developer’s website. The actual installation method is different for every brand — which you can find from the same link — so I won’t be diving deep into that here. Although I won’t running beta software on your daily driver since… well… it’s beta software. But if you wanna try it out on your secondary phone, why not?