Google debuts first Android 15 developer preview without a single mention of AI

Expect it to be stable in June, ready for release sometime after July

Google has delivered the first developer preview of Android 15.

A Friday post by veep of engineering Dave Burke led with the inclusion of the latest version of Privacy Sandbox on Android – an addition billed as delivering both "user privacy" and "effective, personalized advertising experiences for mobile apps."

Burke also enthused about the addition of Android 14 extensions 10 around Health Connect by Android, as it "adds support for new data types across fitness, nutrition, and more."

Partial screen sharing is another new feature and does what it says on the tin: allow users to record a window instead of the entire screen. Burke mentioned increased demand for large screen Androids in tablet, foldable, and flappable form factors, which surely explains why partial screen sharing makes sense.

A trio of additions are designed to improve battery performance. Burke described them as follows:

  • A power-efficiency mode for hint sessions to indicate that their associated threads should prefer power saving over performance – great for long-running background workloads.
  • GPU and CPU work durations can both be reported in hint sessions, allowing the system to adjust CPU and GPU frequencies together to best meet workload demands.
  • Thermal headroom thresholds to interpret possible thermal throttling status based on headroom prediction.

Developers focussed on shutterbugs will gain low light enhancements that boost the brightness of the camera preview, plus "advanced flash strength adjustments enabling precise control of flash intensity in both SINGLE and TORCH modes while capturing images."

Burke billed the developer preview as offering "everything you need to try the Android 15 features, test your apps, and give us feedback."

Developers willing to heed his call have two options: Flash the OS onto one of Google's Pixel 6, 7, 8, Fold or Tablet devices, or load the preview into Android Emulator in Android Studio.

Instructions on how to do both can be found here.

Burke's post suggests a second developer preview will appear in March, before monthly betas arrive starting in April. Platform stability is forecast for June, and Burke promised "several months before the official release to do your final testing."

The second-last item on Google's release timeline is Beta 4 in July, and the last is an undated event described as "Android 15 release to AOSP and ecosystem."

Google debuted its Pixel 8 devices on October 8, 2023. The Register fancies Android 15 will debut not many days either side of a similar date in 2024, as Google does like to have its latest handsets show off the most recent version of Android.

Whenever it debuts, Android 15 will likely include lots of AI – a tech refreshingly absent from Burke's post about the OS's debut. ®

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