Android 15 Update: Satellite Connectivity & More Unveiled in Developer Preview 2

Google is offering a glimpse into the future of Android with the release of Developer Preview 2 (DP2) for Android 15. This update builds upon the initial preview launched last month and introduces some exciting new features, primarily aimed at developers working on apps for the upcoming operating system. While a public beta is expected to arrive in April, DP2 allows developers to get a head start on optimizing their apps for Android 15.
Android 15 Developer Preview 2
Android 15 Developer Preview 2

The Big Change: Satellite Connectivity Comes to Android

The most significant addition in Android 15 DP2 is undoubtedly the inclusion of native support for satellite connectivity. This means the operating system now has built-in user interface elements designed to provide a consistent experience for users connected to satellites.
Android 15 Developer Preview 2 Satellite Connectivity
Android 15 Developer Preview 2 Satellite Connectivity
Apps can also detect if a device is using a satellite network and adjust their functionality accordingly. Essential messaging services like SMS/MMS and pre-installed RCS apps can leverage satellite connections to ensure uninterrupted communication.

Enhanced PDF Handling and More:

Android 15 DP2 also introduces improvements for handling PDFs within applications. Developers can now integrate features like rendering password-protected PDFs, annotations, and in-document search, editing, and selection capabilities.
Android 15 Developer Preview 2
Android 15 Developer Preview 2
These updates will be delivered through Google Play system updates, ensuring users benefit from them without waiting for major Android releases. Additionally, the update promises a faster and more resource-efficient local PDF viewing experience.

Beyond these key features, DP2 brings a variety of other refinements, including:
  • Smoother NFC Payments: Expect a more seamless experience when making contactless payments using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.
  • Automatic Language Switching for Audio Recognition: Enhancements have been made to automatic language switching for audio recognition, ensuring better accuracy.
  • Customization for Foldable Phone Cover Screens: Developers can now customize how their apps appear on the smaller cover screens of foldable phones, even though Google acknowledges these screens are not suitable for running full Android apps.
  • Improved App Recording Detection: Android 15 can now detect if an app is being recorded, potentially leading to enhanced user privacy features in the future.
  • New Loudness Standard for Audio: A new loudness standard aims to address inconsistencies in audio volume when switching between different audio content.
  • More Granular Do Not Disturb Controls: Users will have more control over Do Not Disturb mode, allowing them to prioritize specific rules and trigger actions like switching to a black-and-white display, activating night mode, or dimming the wallpaper.

A Glimpse into the Future of Android:

The release of Android 15 Developer Preview 2 marks another step forward for Google's mobile operating system. With features like satellite connectivity and enhanced PDF handling, Android 15 is shaping up to be a significant update that expands the capabilities of smartphones and caters to the evolving needs of users.