Google I/O: Android 15’s Second Public Beta Is Here, and It’s Focused on Keeping Your Secrets

Google I/O: Android 15’s Second Public Beta Is Here, and It’s Focused on Keeping Your Secrets

Google is rolling out Android 15’s second public beta in tandem with the second day of the Google I/O developer conference. Google announced that many new features, fixes, and tweaks are coming to the operating system, including Private Space and Theft Detection Lock, which are designed to help protect your stuff. A new WearOS 5 beta is also available, and you can be the first to try it if you feel brave.

The Android 15 public beta is available for devices other than Google Pixel smartphones and hardware. OnePlus, Nothing, and Lenovo tablets, smartphones, and foldables are among the brands joining the beta. Overseas, manufacturers like Xiaomi are also joining the party.

Private space will require authentication to log in.

Since this is a developer conference, much of the details about the new beta are centered around developer-specific APIs and changes. But there is plenty of user-facing stuff to try out—more than in the first public beta.

For instance, Private Space is a new feature that lets you create a separate environment on your device to keep sensitive apps under a layer of authentication. It uses a separate user profile from the rest of the OS. When the space is locked, the Android apps go dormant in the background, so it’s not pinging and notifying outside of that partition.

Android 15 also includes new Theft detection. Essentially, the phone realizes, through the combination of a gyroscope and an accelerometer, that it’s been snatched out of the hand and effectively locks down the data so it can’t be factory reset. This can help increase the chances of recovering the device.

The next version of Android will also work better with large-screen devices. It’s not that it didn’t before, but Google’s been hunkering down to make multitasking feel more fluid. The changes will allow you to pin apps side-by-side for split-screen mode, akin to how Samsung’s One UI currently does with its foldable and tablet devices.

Once we’ve reviewed the beta, we’ll have a full rundown of everything new in Android 15. Stay tuned.

WearOS 5 Beta

Google’s wearables will also receive an update later this year. The WearOS 5 beta is now available for developers. The smartwatch software is based on Android 14. It’s focused on enhancing battery life and being more power efficient. Google details it in the developer documentation. Essentially, it sounds like what OnePlus is doing with the OnePlus Watch 2, which utilizes two processors, one passive and one dominant. I don’t think the Pixel Watch will necessarily outlast the 100-hour promise of the OnePlus Watch 2 anytime soon. But it’s good to know Google is prioritizing what we’ve all been complaining about with respect to wearing smartwatches.

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