Android 15: Google introduces new security features
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Android 15: Google introduces new security features

Jan Johannsen
16/5/2024
Translation: machine translated

With the second beta version, Google is adding several functions to Android 15 that are designed to make theft less attractive and generally protect your data better.

The smartphone with Android 15 will recognise when it is snatched out of your hand and automatically initiate protective measures. Google is also introducing a "Private Space" in which you can secure particularly sensitive apps.

Recognising theft and making stolen goods less attractive

Many of the keynotes presented at Google's developer conference I/O presented AI functions will be available on Android sooner or later. With Android 15, artificial intelligence will recognise when a smartphone is stolen using data from the motion sensors. This is especially true if the mobile is snatched from the hand and the thief flees quickly. The smartphone should then lock automatically.

If the theft detection does not work because the movements are too inconspicuous, the smartphone can be locked or located remotely using the "Find my device" function. If the location is known, you should always contact the police and not act on your own out of self-protection. It is also possible to remotely reset the phone to the factory settings to delete your data and thus protect it.

You can also deactivate anti-theft protection in Android 15.
You can also deactivate anti-theft protection in Android 15.
Source: Google

Thieves also often reset their loot to make it easier to sell. But this will be more difficult with Android 15. For smartphones and tablets that are marked as stolen, it is necessary to log in with the previous Google account even after resetting to factory settings in order to put them back into operation.

As a further security measure, you can specify that the smartphone requires further authorisation even when unlocked. A PIN, pattern or biometric confirmation would then be required, for example, to switch off device localisation or extend the display timeout. Other security-relevant settings on the phone or in the Google account would also have to be confirmed in this way.

Private Space: secure apps twice

"Private Space" gives Android 15 a vault for sensitive apps at system level. You can store banking apps in this space, for example. Access requires renewed verification via fingerprint or PIN. The corresponding apps are not visible beforehand. Their notifications only appear when you unlock the area.

You must also unlock the private area.
You must also unlock the private area.
Source: Google

Some smartphone manufacturers already offer similar systems in their user interfaces. Now this level of security is coming as standard for Android. It can also be used to secure apps that do not require further verification on their own.

Android 15 to become even more efficient

Further - primarily technological - changes in the background are intended to increase the efficiency of Android 15. Google talks about reducing power consumption when launching apps by 4.56 per cent, for example. When restarting, the system should start on average 0.8 seconds or 1.5 per cent faster. The startup time for the camera is said to be reduced by an average of 4.48 per cent - and by as much as 6.6 per cent during a cold start.

"dav1d" is a new software decoder in Android 15. This is said to be up to three times as powerful as the previously used decoder "AV1". With the new one, some entry-level and mid-range models can now also play HD AV1 videos.

Google is also starting to add a new layer called "Angle" to the Vulkan graphics interface. This should be fully responsible for Open GL ES in 2026.

Multitasking on large screens and more

For devices with large screens, Android 15 will make multitasking even more convenient. Google lets you save split-screen combinations of two apps and save them as icons on the home screen. This allows you to call them up with one click.

You can save split-screen combinations as icons on the home screen.
You can save split-screen combinations as icons on the home screen.
Source: Google

In Android 15, you can also choose the grammatical form in which your device addresses you: neuter, feminine, masculine or not personalised at all. This option was previously only available in French and will soon be available for all languages that make this distinction.

You will soon be able to choose how Android addresses you.
You will soon be able to choose how Android addresses you.
Source: Google

You can find all the new features of Android 15 Beta 2 in this blog post from Google.

Beta version available for more devices

With Beta 2, Android 15 is also available for more smartphones and tablets beyond Google's own Pixel devices. You can install the test version on the Xiaomi 14, Xiaomi 13T Pro and Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro 12.4, the Honor Magic6 Pro and Honor Magic V2, the Nothing Phone (2a), the Oneplus 12 and Oneplus Open or the Lenovo Tab Extreme, among others.

The Beta 2 of Android 15 is available for selected devices from numerous manufacturers.
The Beta 2 of Android 15 is available for selected devices from numerous manufacturers.
Source: Google

This is what's next with Android 15

The second beta should contain all the important new features in Android 15. In June and July, Google wants to work primarily on the stability of the software. This will be followed by the release of the final version in late summer or autumn. However, experience shows that manufacturers only adapt this for their devices in the following months.

Google's schedule for Android 15.
Google's schedule for Android 15.
Source: Google
Header image: Jan Johannsen

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Jan Johannsen
Content Development Editor
jan.johannsen@galaxus.de

As a primary school pupil, I used to sit in a friend's living room with many of my classmates to play the Super NES. Now I get my hands on the latest technology and test it for you. In recent years at Curved, Computer Bild and Netzwelt, now at Digitecand Galaxus. 


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